Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Jonah 1:11 - 1:17

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Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Jonah 1:11 - 1:17

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Jonah and The Sea Monster

v. 11. Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee that the sea may be calm unto us?
What would Jonah himself suggest or advise in order to turn away the wrath of God from those who were not implicated in his guilt?. For the sea wrought, continued to rage, and was tempestuous, still rising in angry billows.

v. 12. And he said unto them,
showing the right spirit in offering himself up as a sacrifice in their behalf, Take me up and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you, be quieted down; for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.

v. 13. Nevertheless the men,
not desiring to carry out the prophet's suggestion, rowed hard to bring it to the land, that is, they tried everything they knew in the line of seamanship in order to break through the billows which hemmed in the ship; but they could not, for the sea wrought and was tempestuous against them, so that they could make no headway against the surging waves.

v. 14. Wherefore they cried unto the Lord,
in this case addressing Jehovah, the true God, and said, We beseech Thee, O Lord, we beseech Thee, let us not perish for this man's life, be held accountable for the fact that they would now deliver him to what appeared to them a certain death, and lay not upon us innocent blood, by imputing it to them, since Jonah had not harmed them in any manner; for Thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased Thee, He had determined it, the lot, as directed by Him, made the execution necessary.

v. 15. So they took up Jonah and cast him forth into the sea; and the sea ceased from her raging,
it stood still and no longer rose in such tremendous billows.

v. 16. Then the men,
seeing in this sudden change of the weather the almighty hand of God, feared the Lord exceedingly and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord and made vows, as men will under the stress of such a sudden fear and emotion, although there is no real change of heart in them.

v. 17. Now, the Lord had prepared a great fish,
not a whale, but a special sea-monster, to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights, being alive and conscious through the power of the Lord, whose plans called for a further use of this prophet. In the entire story there are many elements of the miraculous, but not a line which makes the narrative appear unreasonable. It is for us to believe what the Lord has here recorded.