We meet with the same answer given to the Pharisees, Mat_12:39. You pretend yourselves to be the children of Abraham, but you are bastards rather than his children; he saw my day afar off and rejoiced, you will not believe though you see me amongst you, and at your doors; he believed without any sign, you will not believe though I have showed you many signs. You shall have no such sign as you would have; the sign of the prophet Jonah is enough. But in our Lord’s former reference of them to the prophet Jonah, he instanced in one particular, viz. his being three days and three nights in the belly of the whale; here he seemeth more generally to refer to Jonah as a type of him in more respects, which indeed he was. Chemnitius reckons them up thus:
1. Jonah was thrown into the sea by the mariners, to whom he had entrusted himself: Christ was delivered to death by the Jews, to whom he was specially promised.
2. Jonah was willingly thrown into the sea: Christ laid down his life, and man took it not from him.
3. Jonah by being cast into the sea saved those in the ship: Christ by his death saved the children of men.
4. Jonah after he had been in the whale’s belly three days was cast up on dry land: Christ after three days rose again from the dead.
5. The Ninevites, though upon the preaching of Jonah they made a show of repentance, yet returning to their former sins were soon after destroyed; so were the Jews within forty years after Christ’s ascension.
So as Jonah was many ways an eminent sign and type of Christ. Our Lord having referred them to study this sign, would entertain no more discourse with them, but leaves, and departeth from them. Mark saith, Mar_8:13, that he entering into the ship again, departed to the other side, (the ship which brought him to Dalmanutha, or Magdala), and went into the coasts of Galilee again.