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NOW the Lord prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonas: and Jonas was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Ver. 1.  Fish.  Heb. dag: afterwards daga occurs, v. 2; (H.) on which Leusden observes, the Jews infer that Jonas was first swallowed up by male and then by a female fish, which being full of young he was much straitened, and prayed from the belly of that (hadaga) female fish!  He alludes to R. Jarchi. H.

 

--- Thus nar, puer, is put for a girl, to imply that Rebecca was prudent and Dina rambling.  Buxt. Tib. 13.  See Kennicott, Dis. 2. p. 417 and 552.

 

--- Noble discoveries!  Many suppose (H.) that this fish was a whale, as it does not live on flesh; (C.) but its throat being so narrow, as hardly to suffer a man's arm to pass, it is more probable that it was the sea-dog, lamia or canis chariarias, (Bartolin 14.) which may easily contain a man.  Aldrovandus iii. 32.  M.

 

--- This sea-dog, or shark, has five rows of teeth in each jaw.  Human bodies have been found entire in the stomach.  Button.

 

--- Our Saviour calls the fish a whale, Mat. xii. 40.  W.

 

--- But that term is given to any great sea monster.  Yet it is not of much importance what species of fish be meant, provided the miracle be admitted.  C.

 

--- The pagans ridiculed it.  S. Aug. ep. 102. q. 6. 30.

 

--- Yet they believed many of a similar nature, alleging the omnipotence of God.  S. Jer.

 

--- This reason accounts for all the miracles recorded in Scripture.  But might not God have chosen some easier expedient?  We must not dive into his reasons.  The impression which such a fact would make on the Ninivites, and the prefiguring of Christ's burial, might suffice.  Jonas was not a type of his death, as some have imagined, Q. ad Orthodox.  C.

 

--- Nights, or as long as our Saviour was in the monument, (M.) which was about thirty-four hours.  C. Dis.



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2 And Jonas prayed to the Lord his God out of the belly of the fish.

Ver. 2.  Prayed.  He entertained these sentiments.  Sanct. xiv.

 

--- He afterwards wrote them down.  C.


3 And he said: I cried out of my affliction to the Lord, and he heard me: I cried out of the belly of hell, and thou hast heard my voice.

Ver. 3.  I cried.  These five verses (H.) express his thoughts while he was in the sea, (S. Jer.  C.) or in the fish.  H.

 

--- He doubtless prayed before, when he was cast into the sea, and also in the whale's belly, having then greater confidence that he should arrive safely on dry land, (v. 5.) and therefore vowing sacrifices of thanks, v. 10.  W.

 

--- Hell; the whale's belly, (Theod. &c.) or rather the depth of the sea.  It may denote any imminent danger.



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4 And thou hast cast me forth into the deep in the heart of the sea, and a flood hath compassed me: all thy billows, and thy waves have passed over me. 5 And I said: I am cast away out of the sight of thy eyes: but yet I shall see thy holy temple again.

Ver. 5.  Eyes, in a sort of despair, like the psalmist, xxx. 23.  Yet he presently resumes fresh confidence in God, notwithstanding the greatness of his offences.

 

--- Temple.  He went to Jerusalem, like other good Israelites.


6 The waters compassed me about even to the soul: the deep hath closed me round about, the sea hath covered my head.

Ver. 6.  Soul, so that I was in danger of being suffocated.  Ps. lxviii. 2.  C.

 

--- Sea.  Heb. "weeds entangled," &c.  H.

 

--- The Mediterranean has a great deal of sea weed.  He speaks of the time before he was swallowed up by the fish.



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7 I went down to the lowest parts of the mountains: the bars of the earth have shut me up for ever: and thou wilt bring up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.

Ver. 7.  Lowest.  Heb. and Sept. "clefts."

 

--- Bars, or prisons, in the abyss, (C.) farthest from the heights.  W.


8 When my soul was in distress within me, I remembered the Lord: that my prayer may come to thee, unto thy holy temple.

Ver. 8.  Me, at the last gasp, (C.) and oppressed with grief.  M.


9 They that are vain observe vanities, forsake their own mercy.

Ver. 9.  Mercy.  He alludes to the sailors.  Theodoret

 

--- Heb. also, "let them forsake their worship," (Drus.  Lev. xx. 17.) or they are guilty of impiety.  They neglect their vows.  v. 10.  C. i. 16.  C.


10 But I with the voice of praise will sacrifice to thee: I will pay whatsoever I have vowed for my salvation to the Lord. 11 And the Lord spoke to the fish: and it vomited out Jonas upon the dry land.

Ver. 11.  Spoke to the fish.  God's speaking to the fish was nothing else but his will, which all things obey.  Ch.  W.

 

--- Land.  Josephus says near the Euxine Sea.  But thus it must have travelled 800 leagues.  Others fix upon different places, without any proof.  C.



Jonas Cast Forth By The Whale

Jonas Cast Forth By The Whale

And the Lord spoke to the fish: and it vomited out Jonas upon the dry land.

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