Jonah the Prophet

Jonah in the Great Fish

Jonah the Prophet

The Scribes and Pharisees Ask for a Sign
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” 39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. 42 The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.’
– Matthew 12:38-42 (The Holy Bible NKJV)

Jesus Christ in contrast with Jonah the Prophet
“For Jonah was a servant, but I am the Master; and he came forth from the great fish, but I rose from death. He proclaimed destruction, but I am come preaching the good tidings of the kingdom. The Ninevites indeed believed without a sign, but I have exhibited many signs. They heard nothing more than those words, but I have made it impossible to deny the truth. The Ninevites came to be ministered to, but I, the very Master and Lord of all, have come not threatening, not demanding an account, but bringing pardon. They were barbarians, but these – the faithful – have conversed with unnumbered prophets. And of Jonah nothing had been prophesied in advance, but of me everything was foretold, and all the facts have agreed with their words. And Jonah indeed, when he was to go forth, instead ran away that he might not be ridiculed. But I, knowing that I am both to be crucified and mocked, have come nonetheless. While Jonah did not endure so much as to be reproached for those who were saved, I underwent even death, and that the most shameful death, and after this I sent others again. And Jonah was a strange sort of person and an alien to the Ninevites, and unknown; but I a kinsman after the flesh and of the same forefathers.
– St. John Chrysostom (Homilies on the Gospel of St. Matthew 43:2)

Resemblance between Christ and Jonah
‘And when we examine the story of Jonah, great is the force of the resemblance. Jesus was sent to ‎preach repentance; Jonah also was sent: but whereas the one fled, not knowing what should come to pass; ‎the other came willingly, to give repentance unto salvation. Jonah was asleep in the ship, and snoring ‎amidst the stormy sea; while Jesus also slept, the sea, according to God’s providence, began to rise, to show ‎in the sequel the might of Him who slept. To the one they said, “Why are you sleeping? Arise, call ‎your God, that God may save us;” but in the other case they say unto the Master, “Lord, save us.” Then ‎they said, “Call upon thy God”; here they say, “save Thou”. But the one says, “Take me, and cast me into the ‎sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you”; the other, Himself rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a ‎great calm. The one was cast into a whale’s belly: but the other of His own accord went down, where the ‎invisible whale of death is. And He went down of His own accord, that death might cast up those whom he ‎had devoured, according to that which is written, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; and from ‎the hand of death I will redeem them”.’
– St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Contemplation by HH Pope Shenouda
‘It was as though the Lord said to Jonah: “Do you think, Jonah, that you have fled from Me? No, you have not. I will send you to the mariners, not as a prophet, nor as a preacher, nor as a voice crying out calling people to repentance, but as a guilty person and a sinner, and a cause of a dilemma and trouble for others. Thus I will save them through you. In this way you will be a blessing when I send you and a blessing when you flee. You will be a blessing to the people of Nineveh when they dread you as a prophet, and a blessing to the mariners when you are cast out into the sea as a guilty person. I will carry out My purpose through you in whatever state. Even when you are in the belly of’ the whale, not among the Ninevites nor the mariners, but when you are on your own in the belly of the whale, I will make you a prototype of My death and resurrection so that in mentioning your story people will learn.
– HH Pope Shenouda III (Contemplations on the book of Jonah the Prophet)

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