Jonah digested by the whale.

care of Bible color and me

For your interest Was Jonah really swallowed by a whale?


Nineveh was located on the Tigris River near modern-day Mosul in northern Iraq it was one of the oldest and greatest cities in antiquity. It was originally known as Ninua, a trade centre, and would become one of the largest and most affluent cities in antiquity. It was regarded highly by ancient writers other than those who created the biblical narratives which cast it in a negative light.

Settled as early as 6000BC, Nineveh became an important Religious centre and by 3000 BC known for the worship of Ishtar. The meaning of its name is unclear, possibly related to its prefix Nin which also prefixes names of deities Ninhursag and Ninurta being two of many – possibly translating as House of the Goddess, more specifically, House of Ishtar having had a long association with her.

The Nineveh of Jonah is a pale reflection of the historical one, now known   today as Mosul, Iraq and almost seems like a fairytale city invented as the backdrop for the improbable tale of a man swallowed by a fish.

In biblical times, According to Judith 1:1, Nebuchadnezzar (a king of Babylon) ruled over Nineveh “the Assyrians in the great city of Nineveh,” an historical inaccuracy that marks the book as moralistic fiction in which the Assyrians symbolize the Great Foe.( It was a mean, cruel, place, and Jonah didn’t think it deserved mercy. God did. Jonah did not

How is Nineveh portrayed in the Bible?

“Various biblical documents find theological significance in Assyria’s success and eventual fall. Second Kings 15-23 depicts Israel’s God as orchestrating Assyrian control over Israel and Judah, the destruction of Samaria in 722 B.C.E., and Sennacherib’s campaign against Judah in 701 B.C.E. Prophetic books such as Isaiah also attribute the people’s defeat by the Assyrians to God’s punishment, while Zeph 2 and the book of Nahum eagerly anticipate Nineveh’s destruction at God’s hands.”

Nineveh – Bible Odyssey

Jonah was sent of Nineveh circa 760BC and prior to his arrival the city had been decimated by plague in 765BC, experienced a solar eclipse in 763BC, and another plague in 759BC. These events augured something dreadful, so when Jonah arrived, they believed his message and repented:

The quesion arises; is it physically possible for a whale to swallow a man? Biologists say one of the larger toothed whales with large enough gullet to swallow a person whole. But the thing is defying the gastric juices, finding air to breathe.

Next time we will give thought to that hapless sign of the Son of man,who spent three days struggling with souls dead before Noah and one **** of a large stone, nevermind folding his clothes neatly before doing a spot of gardening.

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord. But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. .Jonah 1:1-17 ESV

Open bible topics-Jonah



For your interest Was Jonah really swallowed by a whale?

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About Andrew Blair

Living in Maroubra Australia. Carer for my wife Jessica. Simple web designer and Administrator; photographer, artist and theologian. We now attend the Uniting Church in Maroubra Junction where we are very happy. My greatest desire is to serve God in the capacity of an Interfaith dialoguer since this seems to be my calling since 1997

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