May 20

Fish Or Whale?

Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

(Jonah 1:17) KJV

For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth,

(Matthew 12:40) KJV

Was Jonah in the belly of a fish or a whale? Is this a contradiction in scripture? Unbelievers hoot with delight at contradictions in scripture because a whale isn’t a fish. Or is it?

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The Sign of Jonah

For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

(Matthew 12:40) ESV

The sign of Jonah is one of those things which looks like a Biblical inconsistency and the various ways that Christian scholars have tried to resolve it don’t work. On the face of it, it looks like Jesus lied.

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The Fish’s Belly

Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

(Jonah 2:1-2) KJV

Jonah woke up in a dark, cramped, smelly, moist place not knowing where he was. He’d been resurrected after a harrowing experience in the interior of the Earth. That’s not the only thing that’s odd about this verse.

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