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Jonah Swallowed By Whale Or Fish

Where do people get that Jonah was swallowed by a whale? The bible says a great fish.

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 ---Rebecca_D on 6/20/05
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Jonah may have died in the fish and was resurrected(So to speak)
---John on 7/11/11

Deuteronomy 32:3
[3] Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.

Jonah 1:17
[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.

Matthew 12:40
[40] For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Maybe the "great fish" was a fish prepared by God and was a whale just as the scriptures show.
The important thing is that it was a type and shadow of Jesus!
---Frank on 7/8/11

Francis-- You're slipping! You didn't warn people to eat only fish that have scales!

The story of Jonah is prophetic and has some lessons for us as well, as catherine expresses. But what kind of "fish" is the least important detail. It's astounding how many species of fish have been newly identified just in the last few years. I'm sure there may have been "sea creatures" in Jonas day that are now extinct or now live so deep they've never been identified.
---Donna66 on 7/7/11

Matthew 12:40
[40] For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

If Jesus said it was a whale that's good enough for me.
---Frank on 7/7/11

And Adam and Eve ate an apple in the Garden of Eden...or did they?
---scott on 7/7/11

There are stories of men who have been swallowed by sharks and then either regurgitated or cut out of them and were still alive.

But for the Orthodox, as Jesus put it, the main point of the story of Jonah was as a figure of His own Resurrection.

Eloy--is it your contention that amoeba do not exist? You called it a man-made word--but ALL words are "man made".
---Cluny on 6/12/11

The word whale is translated sea monster in greek dictionary. It is said that whales throats are too small for a man to be swallowed, They say Sharks are the biggest fish of the sea. Can I suggest a whale shark!?! Can grow over 50 feet (look up whale shark on google) Swims like fish, a great gentle giant, when it feeds it gapes so wide a man has no problem being swallowed. It is a perfect candidate. Bible says Great fish I go with fish! A 50+ whale shark (sharks=Big Fish).
---Matthew633 on 6/11/11

aka joseph, I agree, a whale or a fish, so what. The posted question is like asking, "Where do people get that Jesus was a person? The bible says the Son of man." It really doesn't matter because it means the same thing. BTW, I don't eat grape nuts, I tried them once and it reminded me of rabbit pellets or cardboard. There is similar organic cereal which I get sometimes, but it has better nutrition, called "Smart Bran, with psyllium & oatbran" from Nature's Path.
---Eloy on 6/28/10

I was in no way using big mammal as a replacement and for any argument here. I think this is a silly question that I did not think that could be topped until I read your blog. did you have your grapenuts this morning? :~)
---aka.joseph on 6/28/10

great fish and whales swim in the sea, and both are large enough to swallow a man, do you see the same thing? but the secular word "mammal" has nothing to do with this passage, as does also a big bang and amoebae and homonid and evolution, all manmade pet words fabricated to explain their observations. Whenever a person wants to argue Holy Scripture with nonscriptural words as though the manmade words somehow have more significance then God's word, I laugh at their foolishness. What's the difference, a circle, a round, or a sphere? What's the difference, a pest, a bug, or an insect? It's all the same. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, because they have no light in them.
---Eloy on 6/28/10

Is there some significance (to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its related message) that will make a difference if it is a big mammal or big fish? If there is, please let us know.
---aka.joseph on 6/25/10

Check out Matthew 12:40>>> Jesus called this great fish a "sea monster">>> a whale, yes it was. The mystery has always been in the word of God. Jesus is indeed God, Hallelujah....Now, Jonah is saved, we are going to talk about this a little. His life was saved by a miracle. Just like mine was in so many ways.. In the midst of judgment God remembers mercy. Though Jonah-- flees from the presence of the Lord, and seems to fall into His avenging hands, yet God has more work for him to do....Thank You, Jesus++
---catherine on 6/24/10

Matthew 12:40 KJV says "whale"--not great or huge fish.

Could that be where people get the idea?

It really doesn't matter to me whether you call it "whale", "great/huge fish", "shark," or "sea creature."

Oddly enough, similar incidents have happened before of humans being swallowed whole by sea creatures and living to tell about it, though I don't know if any of them were there for 3 days.

But to argue about this is to miss the point of the story.

It's a figure (living prophecy, if you like) of Christ's Resurrection.
---Cluny on 6/24/10

Mat 12:40a For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly...
Jesus said so francis, but we must look at original Greek and Hebrew.
'Tan' and 'tannin' translated from Hebrew to 'whale' is probably bettter translated 'serpent','dragon','seaserpent' or even 'plesiosaur'.
'Dag' and 'Dagah' translated 'fish' is used in Jonah and is generic for most all aquatic animals including whales.
'Ketos' translated from Greek to 'whale' is only used once in scripture, so is whale in NT. There is nothing that points otherwise than 'whale'.
---micha9344 on 6/24/10

Jesus spoke and people were healed and raised from the dead. We either believe it is within God's power to do this, or we don't.

Do we believe God caused a sea creature to swallow Jonah? Do we believe God was able to keep Jonah alive within this creature?

I do, why not?
---Warwick on 6/24/10

What fish is there that can swallow a man, and at that without biting him first?

Check out a whale shark, about 40 feet long,
capable of swallowing a man
---michael_e on 6/24/10

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Where do people get that Jonah was swallowed by a whale? The bible says a great fish.

What fish is there that can swallow a man, and at that without biting him first?

Even if there was a fish big enough, they usually bite not just swallow.

All in all the bible says it was a fish, and not a whale. so we should stick with fish.

No i did not say eat fish sticks, i said stick with fish.

Anyway that jonah story does sound a bit fishy to me
---francis on 6/24/10

There you go, Robyn!
---catherine on 1/10/10

ROBYN... A whale is NOT a fish!
A Whale is a Mammal
---PASTOR_JIM on 1/10/10

A whale is a fish. The wording is not really important. People use words to discredit the bible all of the time and try to confuse God's people. Does not matter to me. I just want to be with Jesus and do His will, now and forevermore.
---Robyn on 1/10/10

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Jonah was not pleased when God commanded him to go to Nineveh and preach repentance. Assyrian brutality and cruelty were lengendary. The Assyrians were known to impale their enemies on stakes in front of their towns and hang their heads from trees in the kings gardens. They also tortured their captives-men, women, or children-by hacking off noses, ears, or fingers, gouging out their eyes, or tearing off their lips and hands [good grief]. They reportedly covered the city walls with the skins of their victim [sickos]. Religious subjects were included in this torture. Jonah decided that he world rather quit the prophetic ministry than preach to such people.
---catherine on 1/10/10

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.

Do you see what God Did he prepared a great fish. That means that fish was made by God to swallow Jonah and does not matter what you think are anyone one else thinks.
---exzucuh on 1/10/10

There are no whales in the Mediteranean Sea.
The word was one of the many errors in the KJV.
---PASTOR_JIM on 1/9/10
That does not negate the possibility that a misguided whale could have been there at the same time as Jonah.

I used to live in Mystic, CT. Misguided whales from time to time became confused and came up the freshwater Mystic river and had to be "helped" back to sea.

Also, the KJV very possibly could have called a whale a fish since it also makes references to Unicorns which to not exist.

As for swallowed by a whale, back in 1981 the Houston Chronicle ran an article about a fisherman that fell overboard, was swallowed by a whale, and lived to tell about it!
---obewan on 1/10/10

There are no errors in the king James Bible, the error lies in the People that have no Holy Spirit to teach them the word. The word Katos
is Greek for whale or great fish. They only translated what the Greek said. People will go to hell for discrediting the word of God. All the Bible is not the word of God. Some is history some is conversation in letters like Paul telling someone to bring his coat. But it is accurate and it is Holy and approved of God.
And any one that discredits it is a gainsayer who wants to use the excuse of poor translation so they can promote their lies.
---exzucuh on 1/10/10

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There are no whales in the Mediteranean Sea.
The word was one of the many errors in the KJV.

Also, Jonah died in the fish and was raised up to a new life and shores. It is also a Baptism of Jonah all symbolic of the death and resurection of Jesus. It is the only sign given to the Jews.
---PASTOR_JIM on 1/9/10

In the Hebrew It says Jonah was swallowed by a Dog.
---exzucuh on 1/9/10

Valena, I like your answer. This type of question is more "proof" that we have gotten too smart for our own good. The problem people have with this "great fish" is that we now KNOW that a whale is a mammal and not a fish. We forget that while people back in the Bible times didn't know this difference it didn't/doesn't matter in context of the passages where used. Jonah was thrown into the sea and "something" in the sea swallowed him and then tossed him out onto the sand. It caused him to go and do God's command, so who CARES whether it was "a great fish" or a "whale"?
---tommy3007 on 1/9/10

Read before you reply please.
Matthew 12: 40 King James Version.
---volvin on 1/8/10

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God does not always draw a great big picture. A great fish sounds like a whale, to me. In any case, it will have no baring upon one's salvation status.
---catherine on 1/5/10

The reason for the term Great Fish is more important than what type fish it was. Jesus gave us the exact knowledge we needed to know about the reason.
"Death" was the Great Fish that God was out to catch when He tossed Jesus as bait into the STORMY WATERS OF THIS EARTHLY REALM.

Bigger fish swallow smaller fish. In the SEA of mankind, the biggest fish was Death. Before Jesus came, DEATH swallowed all men like a Great Big Fish.

Prophetically Jonah was tossed into the deep and swallowed by a Big Fish for 3 days in the same exact way that Jesus was swallowed by death for 3 days. Death couldn't hold Jesus as the Great(big)fish couldn't hold Jonah.

Ends up that the Greatest(biggest) Fish is LIFE... GOD'S LIFE!
---Legends on 1/5/10

Are we straining out knats only to swallow camels? Hello! people, whales (a newer term) live in the water along with the rest of the fish (an older term).
---Eloy on 10/24/09

Valena, good to see someone who trusts God's word. Keep it up!
---Warwick on 10/23/09

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I have been researching this for the past couple days. The "great fish" would have been the same description a historical person of that time period and location might have used for a shark, whale, sea serpent, or even a giant squid. As most of these animals are deep-sea creatures, I have come to a personal conclusion that God grew an extremely large great white shark (Carcharodon megalodon) to swallow Jonah. This animal has been extinct for "billions" of years, according to the Marine Mammal Fund, but we know that God created the world only several thousand years ago. All creatures were created at that time, including dinosaurs and extinct sea creatures.
---Valena on 10/23/09

For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matthew 12: 40 King James Version
---Thesszah on 8/10/08

Went for a short walk, Houston is heavy on my heart. I'm praying for Houston, all the surrounding areas, and resources. I was hoping you would agree with me in prayer. CN will be included in my prayers.

Michelle Monique R.
---MMR on 4/16/08


ChristiaNet is located in Houston, Texas. Do you think God is asking you to pray over ChristiaNet?
---Moderator on 4/16/08

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Moderator, pray protection for Houston, TX today and the next 7 days. I'm praying for a hedge of protection around the city and area.
I was led to Exek Ch 7 and Isaiah Ch 24. I went to sleep, not sure how to pray. Pray for Houston. God Bless Houston and protect her resources.
---MMR on 4/16/08

Well, what would you call a "great fish"? Back then, they probably didn't know about a whale being a mammel, not a fish. But whether a fish or a whale, what's important is the truths behind the story. (Likewise, where do they get the idea Adam & Eve ate an apple? That's not biblical either.)
---Ann5758 on 7/29/07

Where did you get that there was any intrinsic difference?

SOME translations say "BIG fish." Which ones are right?

KJV as originally written says WHALE in Matthew 12:40.

BTW--the significance Jesus gives the story (which should be the REAL understanding of it) is of His third day resurrection.

Exactly WHAT swallowed Jonah (or Jonas) is beside the point!
---Jack on 7/14/05

The story of Job would contain just as much TRUTH if it is treated not as literally accurate, but as a figurative account of Jonah's rebellion and eventual submission to God's will for him.
---Alan_of_U.K. on 6/23/05

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There's many real lfe accounts of men being found 'alive' in the belly of sperm whales, colorless, [a 'throughly white' man would have gotten lots of attention in that part of the world then!]. The scriptures also says God had prepared a great fish for Jonah, this being the case, everything needed to keep Jonah alive was in place, including the fish's preordained route, destination, and exactly where to 'deposit' Jonah after God spoke to it v.10 [apparently where he left from]!
---Elishama on 6/22/05

I think that people can relate to a whale better than a big fish. As (in my opinin)one can visualize the size of a whale.
---norwaynut on 6/21/05

Jonah was called to a certain place and he chose to go the other way. The sign of Jonah is given to the wicked and adulterous. Turn around. Jonah was called to Ninevah. Read Matt. 12:41-45. The great fish was the earth. Jonah signifies the resurrection.
---gregg8944 on 6/21/05

The exact identity of whatever swallowed Jonah is beside the point. According to Jesus, the point of Jonah is it's a figure of His own death and resurrection. (And after all, isn't the explanation that Jesus gives to any OT scripture the only real one?)
---Jack on 6/21/05

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Vivi I think that you perhaps intended to post this as a new question but the answer is that after Abraham had shown how he was prepared to withhold nothing from God, God then told Abraham how he would become the father of a great nation. Through his descendents the nation of Israel would be born - God's chosen people. God honours those who honour Him.
---Xanthi on 6/21/05

Genesis 22 : 17
Can anyone explain to me that verse ?
---vivi on 6/20/05

Maybe it was LOST IN TRANSLATION or maybe the word "whale" wasn't a hebrew word, it may have been big fish meaning a whale and the translators then took this to mean whale because in the year and culture of translation the word "whale" was understood to mean big fish. The point is it's not significant to you or me whether it was a fish or a whale, but the message of running from God is going to get you swallowed up regardless of by what.....don't get caught up in the technicalities
---lisa on 6/20/05

You're absolutely right, Matt.12:40, Jesus Himself said that Jonah was 3 days in the belly of a WHALE, not a big fish- comparing that to His 3 days in the ground. That's probably why people started calling it a whale.
---Ann5758 on 6/20/05

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As Jesus said in Matthew 12:40 "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." This is why the book of Jonah is one of the first books attacked in the Bible when people start deliberating whether it's all the Word of God. If they can do away with Jonah they can do away with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
---Danny on 6/20/05

In the New Testament gospel of Matthew, it is called a whale. What matters is not what people call it (whether whale or big fish) but instead what did Father God intend for us to understand by speaking of it at all.
---Linda_Smith on 6/20/05

Much of what is written in the Old Testament would not have been understood by the writers. They were writing what God told them to write, whether they understood it or not. If God said FISH He did not mean WHALE. I'm certain of that. I'm also certain that the fish would have been prepared especially for this purpose. This was no chance happening.
---Xanthi on 6/20/05

you are absolutely correct. Everyone assumes it was a whale. The bible says a big fish. I think God made a big fish just for Jonah.
---shira_5965 on 6/20/05

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Hi Rebecca,There are a number of reasons:1. Some well meaning Sunday school teacher thought it woudl be easier to explain that it was a whale that swallowed Jonah whole, thinking that it was impossible for a fish to do so.Original Hebrew text maybe had no word to describe a whale other than a big fish, no understanding at that time that a fish could actually be a mammal.Whatever the reason, it is immaterial to your salvation, whether or not it was a whale or a fish.
---Darryn on 6/20/05

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