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Jonah's fish

Sam Allberry on Jonah and the fish.. not so much a rescuing fish as judgement on the rebel-prophet. The sea goes calm to save the sailors but Jonah continues to die. And then later is saved when vomitted out onto the land. I think this makes more sense of the scene and helps sort out my general confusion about act 2 of this cracking OT grace-drama.

And for the benefit of Jim Walford, codeword: All-berry.


  1. Great stuff.

    I wonder if we can combine the fish as salvation and the fish as judgment though. Especially if we bring some exile stuff into the equation.

    If the sea and the sea monster/fish can be associated with exile/babylon, then suddenly the two are combined. The exile is both judgment and yet also the means of preservation/salvation (see the book of Daniel). Jonah/Israel are sent into exile among the nations, and yet God carries them safely through, even using the might of babylon to protect the faithful.

    Surely the same too with Christ's death all the more - it was both judgment and salvation, infact, it was salvation by judgment. He undergoes exile for us. And yet his exile/death was also the necessary route to his own glorification/perfection/vindication.

    All of this in turn yields some interesting stuff for the NT's 'exiled in babylon' book, 1 Peter, where their exile functions as judgment of a sort (judgment begins with the house of God, after all), which judgment leads to persevering faith and salvation for the elect. Just like the babylonian exile which, for the faithful and repentant israelite, would function as refining judgment, not obliterating condemnation.

    There is a sea-gentiles link in the bible, and maybe also a sea monster-babylon link too (leviathan anyone?).

    The Jonah ideas were mostly stolen from Peter Leithart.


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