Jonah 1:17–the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and he was in the stomach of the fish three nights and three days (NASB).
The August 16, 1981 issue of Parade magazine tells how sailor, James Bartley was swallowed by a sperm whale in 1891. Bartley’s whaling crew members had no idea until the next morning when the whale’s stomach was hoisted onto the ship’s deck. According to M. de Parville, science editor of the Journal des Debats and investigator of the incident, there was movement in the whale’s belly. Bartley was found inside, unconscious. He was carried on deck and bathed in seawater. This revived him, but his mind was not clear. He was confused and confined to the captain’s quarters for two weeks, all the while behaving like a lunatic. Within 4 weeks, Bartley had recovered and related what it had been like to live in the belly of the whale.
He remembered the whale’s tail hitting his boat. Then, he was encompassed in darkness and felt himself slipping along a smooth passage covered in slime. The heat was unbearable—likely about 104 degrees. He lost consciousness. When he awoke, he was in the captain’s cabin. Bartley’s face, neck and hands remained white; bleached by the whale’s gastric juices.
Was ‘the great fish’ in the Book of Jonah is a whale? Does it matter? No. It does matter that we believe God’s Word for what it is. Truth.
Prayer– Show us God, where we don’t fully believe you, then redirect our minds to your truth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.