Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jonah, a great fish and a whale

A common modern complaint about the book of Jonah is “a whale is not a fish”. Jonah 1:17 speaks of “a great fish” and “whale” is used in Matthew 12:40. This can become a complicated debate for some, but let us reserve the debate over technicalities to within “the family”. There is no reason to run from this issue like a frightened schoolchild. Let us stand firm, look the scientist and skeptic in the eye and say, “God is sovereign.” God is the Sovereign of the universe and the Creator of all things. He is under no obligation to categorize fish and mammals by the classifications some modern scientist has chosen. He is the creator of the whale. He can call it what He wants. When you or I can place a man inside a big fish or whale and keep him alive for three days and three nights, maybe we will have earned some right to call him what we wish.


Jim1927 said...

Aside from all that, the scriptures calls it a fish. Traditionally we have called it a great fish prepared by God. Tere is no fish that could swallow a human complete to the bowels (the Hebrew word in Jonah). A whale was the largest known sea mammal, and it became common to refer to it as a whale.

As you point out, it is the events that tell the story, and "fish" prepared by God is insignificant.



R. L. Vaughn said...

If we believe in a sovereign God who can do all things, "prepared by God" should remove all difficulties.