"A visit required three days"

Sat, 23/09/2006 - 00:47 -- James Oakley

Thank you Mark Dever, in The Message of the Old Testament for this that I’ve never seen before:

“It is also interesting to note that Jonah spent the same amount of time in Nineveh that he did in the fish – three days. By saving a city in the same amount of time that Jonah spent in the belly of a fish, was God teaching Jonah how many opportunities are wasted when his people flee from him? And was he subtly reminding Jonah of his own grace to him?”

Another one of those observations that are obvious once someone’s shown you.

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Ros's picture
Submitted by Ros on

Hmm. Not sure I'm absolutely persuaded by this.

matthew's picture
Submitted by matthew on

No, I don't think I am either.

Check out Daniel's post here: http://christandcovenant.blogspot.com/2006/09/jonah.html

I wonder whether the parallels between Nineveh and the fish (great fish//great city; three days in the fish// three days journey) point to the fish symbolically representing the pagan nations who will both swallow Israel in judgment, and at the same time preserve Israel and "vomit" him back to the land in the return from exile.


James Oakley's picture
Submitted by James Oakley on

Thanks Matt and Ros - I'll look at that.

I'm clear that the 3 days in the fish, and 3 days required to go to Nineveh are set alongside each other. I was less persuaded by Dever's ideas as to why.

More precisely, he offered two links. I was unpersuaded by his thought that the time in the fish could have been spent saving Nineveh. I was more persuaded by the thought that the detail shows in one further way the parallel between God's rescue of Jonah and his rescue of Nineveh. One thing that is clear is that Jonah fails to appreciate this parallel.

Now to look at Leithart's interpretation and see what I can learn...

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