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Jonah

god fish nineveh city

Jonah was a Hebrew *prophet, associated with the eighth century B.C. , whose story is recounted in the short Old Testament book which bears his name. He disobeyed *God’s command to go to Nineveh and preach against the wickedness of its citizens; instead he boarded a ship bound for another city. God hurled a great storm at the sea, and the sailors cast lots to determine the cause of the storm. Jonah was discovered to be the culprit and, at his request, the sailors threw him into the sea where he was swallowed by a huge *fish. Jonah spent three days and three nights in the belly of the fish. Finally God responded to Jonah’s *prayer, and the fish disgorged Jonah upon dry land. Jonah then went to Nineveh and carried out his mission with instantaneous success; the citizens repented, and God relented from carrying out punishment on the people of Nineveh. Jonah sulked outside the city in the shade partially afforded by a gourd  tree, which God caused first to grow and then to die. God pointed out to Jonah that Jonah’s sorrow about the gourd tree should help Jonah understand God’s compassion for the city of Nineveh. The story ends inconclusively. Jonah’s tale was referred to by *Christ as an occasion for repentance and was also understood by Christian theologians as a prefiguration of Christ’s own *Entombment (for three days and nights), *Resurrection, and hence salvation for humankind. The story of Jonah was especially popular in early Christian art and appears in catacomb frescoes, in small-scale free-standing sculpture, and on carved sarcophagi. Vignettes chosen for separate or sequential illustration include Jonah cast overboard, swallowed and disgorged by the huge fish (often creatively interpreted as a sea serpent or a dragonlike or whalelike creature), and resting under the gourd tree.
Jones, Bobby(1938–) - Television show host, musician, Chronology, Pursues Degree in Elementary Education, Enters Teaching Profession [next] [back] Joly, John

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