Was Jonah truly swallowed by a whale?


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

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
The story of Jonah is the amazing tale of a disobedient prophet who, upon being swallowed by a whale (or a "great fish" - see below) and vomited upon the shore, reluctantly led the reprobate city o...

July 01 2013 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Billy P Eldred
I actually already answered this question in a comment to another post but because of the specifity I want to answer it again here. 

Some years back after I was first Saved, I had a hunger to read the Bible. I accepted that the Bible was the Word of God and was Truth and that I needed to know as much as possible from it. 

Being a new Christian, I was vulnerable though, and a non-Christian friend planted doubt in my mind about the accurateness of the Bible and specifically about the book of Jonah. He said, come on now, do you really believe that a man could be swallowed by a big ole fish and live for three days in it's belly. He would have been crushed. 

Because of this doubt and my Hungar for the knowledge I could only get (I thought) only from the Bible, it bothered me that there might be errors in it, so I started praying to God: "God, why did you let these errors into the Bible? You know, God," I prayed, "a man who was swallowed by a big fish could not survive for three days. There would be stomach acid and he would be desolved." (I know, kind of stupid for me to be lecturing God. Hadn't even occurred to me yet that if He could speak something into existence, this would be a minor miracle). But I was serious and sincere in my prayers. I did not want to let doubt steal my newfound Faith. 

I prayed that way for several days. I am still humbled by the way that God heard and answered my prayers. 

My wife and I were at the old Blockbuster video store to rent a VCR movie to watch. Again, being a new Christian, I was trying to be careful of what I watched. I came across a movie by the name of "Commandments" that I picked up and read on it "dark comedy". I put it back on the shelf because I didn't want to watch anything "dark". (even though it looked good to the old me) A few minutes later, my wife brought the same movie over and said here is one I want to watch. Needless to say, we rented it. 

As I watched the movie, I would see something and say to myself I think I will turn this off (it really was kind of dark), but then an inner voice would say "keep watching, something profound is going to happen". To which I would think, okay, but I am going to watch with one eye closed, meaning if I saw something I didn't think I should be watching, I would close the other eye. :) This happened several times during the movie but each time I would hear that voice "something profound was going to happen." 

The movie was about a man who had just gotten married and while at the beach on his honeymoon, while he fell asleep his wife drowned. This made him so mad at God that he vowed to break every one of the ten Commandments. He had broken every one except "though shall not kill". In the climax of the movie he was in a lighthouse during a storm and the only thing left to be decided was would he kill his brother n law or kill himself to break the final commandment. He threw himself out the lighthouse window into the storming sea to kill himself breaking the final commandment. 

After this happened the female lead in the movie was driving up the coast in her grief and noticed a crowd out on the beach. She walked up to the scene and saw a beached whale with a scientist and lots of onlookers. The scientist had slit open the belly of the whale and was reaching into the belly of the whale and raking out arm loads of WHOLE UNDIGESTED fish through the slit. At this time that inner voice said "this is the profound part". Ding, ding, ding! I realized then "how many times had I myself actually caught fish and when cleaning them, I cut open their belly and found WHOLE UNDIGESTED fish, insects, etc. Inside the belly of these little fish I caught. How much more possible was it that something or SOMEONE could remain undigested inside the belly of a whale.! I said "Okay God I get it, Jonah could have survived inside the belly of that fish." Just about that time the scientist reached inside the belly of the whale and pulled the live man from the lighthouse scene out of the belly of the whale. The entire movie had been a parody of the book of Jonah! 

To many people, they would say "interesting coincidence". But God knew me and would not take a chance that I would be one of those. Over the next 3 days he showed me in numerous ways that the book of Jonah was true and belonged in the Bible. As an example, I was watching a well known preacher on TV who out of nowhere said "Do you think the book of Jonah does not belong in the Bible, go look in the New Testament" wow, I said, I just read the New Testament. I don't remember Jonah in it, so I looked. Was not in there once but 4 times. And God knew I already accepted the New Testament as Truth. To this day I don't know if the tv preacher really said that or if I just heard it from that inner voice. 

Many other things happen like these over that week end. I was 100 percent convinced and I believe that if you have doubt, if you pray with the same sincerity that I did, God will remove your doubt as well. The things that convinced me might mean nothing to you, but God knows what will convince you too. 

"Jesus did many other things as well. If everyone of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. " John 21:25 If it made it in the Bible, it is there for a reason, True and for a purpose. Do not doubt it. 


October 31 2014 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image Greg Kelly
No, probably not, but it may have been a "Whale Shark". Short simple answer, but a whale shark is a great fish; it has the anatomical ability to swallow a human being and hold him/he in its belly, and the digestive system of sharks is very slow. 

Whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is a slow-moving filter feeding shark and the largest known extant fish species. The largest confirmed individual had a length of 12.65 m (41.50 ft) and a weight of more than 21.5 metric tons (47,000 lb), and unconfirmed reports of considerably larger whale sharks exist. Claims of individuals over 14 m (46 ft) long and weighing at least 30 mt (66,000 lb) are not uncommon. The whale shark holds many records for sheer size in the animal kingdom, most notably being by far the largest living nonmammalian vertebrate, rivalling many of the largest dinosaurs in weight. It is the sole member of the genus Rhincodon.

October 31 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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