Matthew 12:39-40 – “An evil and adulterous
generation seeks for a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the
sign of the Prophet Jonah: For AS JONAH WAS three days and three nights in the
fish's belly; SO SHALL THE SON OF MAN BE three days and three nights in the
heart of the earth.”
The sign -- "AS JONAH WAS . . ."
Messiah (Christ) means anointed, as by having a
cup of perfumed olive oil poured over one's head to be consecrated to God. Under
the Biblical system, men were anointed to be  King of Israel,  Priest of
the Most High God, or  Prophet of Jerusalem. Jonah was a Messiah Prophet
under this system.
The word of Yahweh came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, 2 "Arise,
go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come
up before Me." 3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the
presence of Yahweh. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to
Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from
the presence of Yahweh.
2 Chronicles 9:21 – “For the king's ships went to
Tarshish . . .: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold,
and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.” 2 Chronicles 20:36 – “. . make
ships to go to Tarshish: and they made the ships in Eziongeber” (today's Elath).
Jonah was running from God. From Jerusalem, he
was sent northeast to Ninevah, but he went southwest to Joppa. There he took
ship to the farthest known point on earth: Tarshish, at the southern tip of
Africa. (Don't look there for Tarshish on your Bible maps, they usually admit to
not knowing.) It was a three year round trip for the King's ships, which went
there to bring back gold, peacocks, apes -- the things we get from South Africa.
The ships were made at Elath, the opposite side of the continent from Joppa.
Since there was no Suez Canal, they had to sail down the east coast of Africa,
then up the west coast of Africa to Joppa -- and South Africa would be midway.
Yahweh hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so
that the ship was about to break up. 5 Then the sailors became afraid
and every man cried to his god, and they threw the cargo which was in the ship
into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone below into the hold of
the ship, lain down and fallen sound asleep. 6 So the captain
approached him and said, "How is it that you are sleeping? Get up, call on your
god. Perhaps your god will be concerned about us so that we will not perish."
7 Each man said to his mate, "Come, let us cast lots so we may learn
on whose account this calamity has struck us." So they cast lots and the lot
fell on Jonah. 8 Then they said to him, "Tell us, now! On whose
account has this calamity struck us? What is your occupation? And where do you
come from? What is your country? From what people are you?" 9 He said
to them, "I am a Hebrew, and I fear Yahweh God of heaven who made the sea and
the dry land." 10 Then the men became extremely frightened and they
said to him, "How could you do this?" For the men knew that he was fleeing from
the presence of Yahweh, because he had told them. 11 So they said to
him, "What should we do to you that the sea may become calm for us?"-- for the
sea was becoming increasingly stormy. 12 He said to them, "Pick me up
and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will become calm for you, for I know
that on account of me this great storm has come upon you." 13
However, the men rowed desperately to return to land but they could not, for the
sea was becoming even stormier against them. 14 Then they called on
Yahweh and said, "We earnestly pray, O Yahweh, do not let us perish on account
of this man's life and do not put innocent blood on us; for You, O Yahweh, have
done as You have pleased." 15 So they picked up Jonah, threw him into
the sea, and the sea stopped its raging. 16 Then the men feared
Yahweh greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to Yahweh and made vows. 17
And Yahweh appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach
of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah got the first submarine ride, and it lasted
three days and three nights. And the details were, AS "the Son of Man"
would fulfill them!
Then Jonah prayed to Yahweh his God from the stomach of the fish, 2
and he said, "I called out of my distress to Yahweh, And He answered me. I cried
for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice. 3 "For You had
cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the current engulfed me.
All Your breakers and billows passed over me. 4 "So I said, 'I have
been expelled from Your sight. Nevertheless I will look again toward Your holy
Jonah prayed when cast out of God's sight, SO Yeshua prayed from the
cross “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (This cry, being the title of
a Psalm prophetic of the crucifixion, was like shouting: “Psalm 22! Psalm 22!”)
"Water encompassed me to the point of death. The great deep engulfed me, Weeds
were wrapped around my head.
Revelation 17:15 – “The waters which you saw . .
. are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”
the waters compassed Jonah, SO the people of the nations compassed
Yeshua; AS the waters platted a crown of seaweed on Jonah's head, SO
the Romans platted a crown of thorns on Yeshua's head!
"I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around
me forever, but You have brought up my life from the pit, O Yahweh my God.
7 "While I was fainting away, I remembered Yahweh, and my prayer came to
You, into Your holy temple. 8 "Those who regard vain idols forsake
their faithfulness, 9 But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of
thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from Yahweh."
10 Then Yahweh commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the
We aren't told if Jonah got sick (some would say
he died) in the fish's stomach, but the fish got sick from Jonah. When a whale
gets sick, it beaches itself; thus the fish vomited Jonah up on dry land. SO
the grave could not hold the Son of God, and it yielded Him up to a very dry
land -- the land of Ezekiel's dry bones!
Now the word of Yahweh came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2
"Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I
am going to tell you." 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according
to the word of Yahweh. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three days'
walk. 4 Then Jonah began to go through the city a day's walk; and he
cried out and said, "Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown." 5
Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on
sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. 6 When the word
reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from
him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes. 7 He issued
a proclamation and it said, "In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his
nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat
or drink water. 8 "But both man and beast must be covered with
sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked
way and from the violence which is in his hands. 9 "Who knows, God
may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish."
10 When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way,
then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring
upon them. And He did not do it.
The man-out-of-the-great-fish came to Ninevah,
where the people worshipped a fish-god. Can you picture the possibilities here:
Jonah coming to them bleached from stomach acid, with seaweed hanging off his
clothes like tzitzit? Did God know how to present a Jewish Messiah Prophet to a
fish-worshipping gentile people?
Acts 1:3 – “To whom also (Yeshua) showed himself
alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty
days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.”
Jonah preached forty days to Ninevah after his resurrection, SO Yeshua
preached forty days concerning the Kingdom of God after His resurrection! The
details even go way beyond the three days and three nights!
But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry. 2 He prayed to
Yahweh and said, "Please Yahweh, was not this what I said while I was still in
my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I
knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant
in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. 3
"Therefore now, O Yahweh, please take my life from me, for death is better to me
than life." 4 Yahweh said, "Do you have good reason to be angry?"
5 Then Jonah went out from the city and sat east of it. There he made
a shelter for himself and sat under it in the shade until he could see what
would happen in the city.
Jonah went out of the east of the city and sat in a booth to watch over it,
SO Yeshua went out of the east of Jerusalem (from the Mount of Olives which
was due east of the Temple) and sat down at the right hand of God to watch over
His Holy City! Details, details, details!
So Yahweh God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his
head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the
plant. 7 But God appointed a worm when dawn came the next day and it
attacked the plant and it withered. 8 When the sun came up God
appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah's head so that
he became faint and begged with all his soul to die, saying, "Death is better to
me than life." 9 Then God said to Jonah, "Do you have good reason to
be angry about the plant?" And he said, "I have good reason to be angry, even to
death." 10 Then Yahweh said, "You had compassion on the plant for
which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up
overnight and perished overnight. 11 "Should I not have compassion on
Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not
know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?"
In the end, Jonah had no pity (all prophets fall
short of completing the picture); but, Halleluyah, God has pity on us!
This prophecy is a sign by which we can know that
Yeshua is the promised Messiah King, Priest, and Prophet.
DDD Rev. 3-28-06