Did Jonah die while he was in the belly of the fish?


Jonah 2:1 - 10

ESV - 1 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish. 2 Saying, "I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Those who accept the literal account of Jonah take one of two main views regarding what happened to Jonah during his time in the belly of the great fish (Jonah 2). One view holds that Jonah died an...

July 01 2013 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Eced7a1f c81d 42f4 95ea 9d5719dce241 Singapore Moses Messenger of God, CEO in IT industry, Astronaut, Scientist
It is false if anyone preaches that Jonah was miraculously kept alive; he died when thus swallowed up. He became a true type of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The "as... so" of Mt. 12:40 requires the death and resurrection of Jonah in the type.

Jonah was later resurrected from the dead (Jonah 2:10; Mt. 12:40).

--> 3 days and 3 nights

The Hebrew idiom "three days" can be used for any part of three days, but when the word "nights" is used with it the term can only mean three literal days and nights (Mt. 12:40).

"As Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly" in Mt 12:49 indicates that Jonah was dead for three days and was resurrected as a true type of Christ. If this is not the case, then he could not be a true sign of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Nothing is said about Jonah being preserved alive in the whale's belly. It would be just as easy to believe one as the other.

Jon 2:1 (KJV) says, "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."
Hebrew:She'owl (H7585) is used to refer HELL, the unseen world, the place of departed souls; it is not a grave where the body goes at death.

Jonah prayed from both places-- the belly of the fish before die and his soul was in Sheol after his physical death; for he was in both places, his soul being in Hades between the time of his death and resurrection (Jonah 2:1- 2).

--> Jonah was resurrected when the whale vomited him out.

Jesus also descended to hell (Ps. 16:10; Mt. 12:40). He descended, not only from deity to humanity and from humanity to infamy and death (Php. 2:5- 11), but also into the lower parts of the earth-- into hell itself to conquer hell and liberate captive souls from Satan (Eph. 4:8- 10 Ps. 16:10; 68:18; Mt. 12:40; Heb. 2:14- 15).

August 08 2014 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image Mike Joshua Sinner saved by grace to serve and witness wherever I can
I agree that neither version of alive or dead is conclusive, and in these instances we should be careful. If we are not, then the focus becomes Jonah and his plight and not the conclusion where the city repents. 
I am not discouraging discussion I just prefer to let God reveal facts where He chooses and where He chooses to be wooly then there must be a higher and more profound reason for it.
Either way - Jonah arrived and preached, the city repented and God in HIs awesome mercy didn't destroy it.
Jonah learned a lesson on the way too.

July 27 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Lumiu pictures   videos 044 Mthura Nyiki
I completely disagree with the view that Jonah died after being swallowed by the big fish for two principal reasons which are,

1.No where in the bible is it said that he died before being vomited out.
2.A dead person can neither pray nor cry as Jonah did whiles in the belly of the big fish.

Jonah's experience of being swallowed and then vomited out is merely symbolic of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ exactly in the same way as being baptized by water,the later is not real death but symbolic as the story of Jonah.

Emihle Nyiki.

April 07 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Jonah was very much alive in the belly of the fish for three days.

After three days the big fish vomitted him out

January 09 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Kenneth Heck
Anyone swallowed whole by a fish (or whale) is as good as dead according to any reasonable standards. Vomiting Jonah out afterwards is a marvel, perhaps a miracle in itself, because we don't see fish vomiting up what they catch.

So, Jonah was as good as dead, but later Christ was truly dead. The difference in the two situations corresponds to the difference between the Old and New Testaments. In the Old we encounter poetical statements such as in Jonah 2.2 "From the depths of the grave I called for help." In truth he was in the belly of the fish, probably one of the largest ones, such as a large megamouth shark, or perhaps a whale. 

In the New Testament we see that "...Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). Because the full explanatory truth isn't always directly available in the Old Testament, any supposed evidence that Jonah truly died can't be given the full credibility of the New Testament standard. If Jonah had actually died and been resurrected, he would have gone way beyond the limits of the Mosaic Covenant, which doesn't provide for an unaided physical resurrection from death. 

Jonah was alive for three days in the great fish, but he might not have been fully conscious or breathing normally, since God may have placed him in a coma or suspended animation in order to survive. His prayer could have been while asleep or in a coma. This is as close as he could have come to Christ's true death and resurrection after three days. No one in the Old Testament duplicated what Christ did.

February 22 2015 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

John1717 Clare Knowlton Student
No, Jonah did not die. He prayed in the belly of the whale for three days. After three days the whale spit him out on dry land and he was near Nineveh. God sent the whale to take him to Nineveh. 
Look up the song: In the Belly of a Whale by the Newsboys. It's a fun Christian song that kids will enjoy for a life time.

April 08 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Robert Bills High Pursuit Ministries
Yes, He did die, the Scripture says the weeds were wrapped about his neck, and then describes the first after death experience that I am aware of, He describes being at the gates under the sea which is yes the very same that we know of as Hell, which even the righteous went to a chamber down there, called Abraham's bosom, and later set free when CHRIST went there and released them after His crucifixion, and then God miraculously brought Him back to life while being preserved in the large fishes belly, so no other elements would have been able to destroy Jonah's body, He prayed and was then vomited on shore near Nineveh, where God had told Him to go in the first place.

February 22 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Tony Flores Tony Flores a servant of Jesus Christ
Jonah did not die inside the fish. He could have easily gotten oxygen from the sea weed around his head and the sea weed could have gotten Jonah's carbon monoxide. Also, when the fish vomited Johah, he would have been very white like a ghost and the people paid attention to him, for he looked like a ghost. 

If Jonah die or was kept alive by God, it still reflects that he was in the Big Fish's belly and was alive after three days and that was the only sign Jesus would give when the people wanted a sign to believe in Him. Remember that nothing is impossible for God and what ever we believe happened inside the Big Fish was the Will of almighty God.

February 22 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Blood Phil Calvert husband and dad, follower of the bible and bible studies
Jonah 1:17 KJV
[17] 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.

It says here that he was in the whale 3 days and night. 

The Jonah prayed the God and then the whale vomited him up onto the shore as seen in. 
Jonah 2:10 KJV
[10] And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

So no Jonah did not die in the whale

December 07 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini David Tan
I think Jonah did not die because:

(1) He counted 3 days and nights. If he had died he would not have known how many days and nights he had been in the fish belly.

(2) Jonah 2:3 says, "Billows and waves passed over him," which means that the big fish was swimming near the water surface, allowing waves of water to pass over Jonah. This also means fresh air for Jonah.

August 01 2017 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Bonnie Agudelo
Jonah was alive while in the belly of the fish. The Bible says he prayed out of the belly of Sheol. First, Sheol would be hell and the Bible doesn't mention hell having a belly. Second, if he's in hell, it's too late for second chances. Third, if he wasn't in hell, he would've been in Abraham's bossom and he wouldn't had prayed to leave from there. God kept him alive and he was able to think about what he had done in running away from God's will and now be ready to obey.

August 03 2017 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Janice Thomas Perpetual Bible student, retired Property Developer
Firstly, with regard to the feasibility of, Jonah being kept alive for three nights and 3 days in the belly of the great fish: a fisherman from Belgium survived for 2 days and 2 nights inside a whale after having been sucked into its mouth.

There were several witnesses to this fact, and miraculously, although he wasn't injured physically, he did spend quite a while in hospital afterwards due to the prolonged damaging effect it had on him mentally.

Jonah, being human, would surely have suffered the same mental anguish resulting in him thinking he was in hell and so called out to our Lord for deliverance. 

The bible tells us, "...the dead are dead and conscious of nothing"... so, Jonah must have been alive.

More so because surely, God would have wanted Jonah to be fully aware of his impossible predicament so that his only escape was in surrendering to God's request... which finally, Jonah did do.

Jonah also remembers fainting. He could not have fainted had he been already dead … much less remember it.

January 02 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Ed Besselman
Maybe we can rephrase the question... Did Jonah die before the great fish swallowed him?

Jonah 1:17 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.

So we know he was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights... this fulfills prophecy. But Scripture does not say how long Jonah was in the water before he was swallowed.

2:3 For Thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all Thy billows and Thy waves passed over me.

This sounds like he was in the water a pretty long time. (in the midst of the seas... all Thy billows and Thy waves passed over me.

2:5-7 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me forever: yet hast Thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.

The Mediterranean Sea is very deep. The weeds at the bottom of the sea wrapped around his head... 
And he went down to the bottoms (plural) of the mountains (plural)... (how long can you hold your breath?) 
The earth and her bars was about me forever (sounds like DEATH). 
Yet hast Thou brought up my life from corruption (sounds like DEATH).
So I believe Jonah was revived in the belly of the great fish but also that he was dead before it swallowed him up.

October 06 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Img 5726 Leslie Coutinho
Jonah 2:1-2: Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly, and said, "I cried by reason of my affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice."

Jonah was told to arise and go to Nineveh, the great city, and to cry against it for the wickedness that came before the Lord, but he rose and fled to Tarshish. (Jonah 1:2-3) When he was cast into the sea a great fish swallowed him, and out of the fish’s belly that his spirit cried out was the “belly of hell”. 

This belly of hell is “Hades” where the souls and spirits of the dead are kept in the heart of the earth which is the lower part of the earth having a place of “comfort” and a place of “torment”. (Mat 12:40) Jonah died, and his soul and spirit were sent to this place of torment for not listening to the voice of the Lord, and this place of torment was downwards to the earth where the rich man in Hades was crying out to Father Abraham, seeing the beggar Lazarus who was in his bosom in a place of comfort. (Lk 16:22-24) 

As Jonah went down to the bottom of the mountains his soul fainted and then he remembered the Lord and his prayer came unto the Lord in His Holy Temple. (Jon 2:6-7) The Lord then heard his cry from the place of torment where the earth with her bars was around him. The Lord spoke to the great fish that hearkened to the voice of the Lord, and it vomited out Jonah's on the dry land and his spirit was sent into the body and then he arose and went to Nineveh to preach as the Lord bid him. (Jonah 2:6,7,10/3:3) 

Mary and Martha’s brother Lazarus was dead for four days lying in the tomb, when the Lord Jesus came to the tomb, where his body was wrapped up in grave clothes, he called out to Lazarus and his spirit and soul came into the body and he stood up and he was loosed to go. (John 11:43-44) When Jesus was crucified His Spirit ascended to heaven and his body was taken by Joseph of Arimathea and laid in a tomb wrapped up with linen. (John 19:38) On the third day His Spirit and Soul came into the body, He was raised again and came to the disciples and showed unto them his hands and His side. (John 20:20)

Jonah 3:9: Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

December 24 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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