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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary
Jonah 2

 

 

Verses 1-10

2:1-10 A PSALM OF THANKSGIVING

Jonah regained consciousness inside the great fish. This almost unbelievable experience caused him to believe that it was God's way of saving his life. From inside the fish he then thanked God for saving him from drowning. He seems to have remembered phrases from various psalms and prayers used in temple worship, and he brought these together to form his own prayer of thanksgiving.

In the opening words of the psalm Jonah recalled his prayer of desperation as he found himself overcome by the rough seas. He was sinking into what he feared was the world of the dead (2:1-3). As he sank deeper, the pressure of water increased and he could feel himself losing consciousness. He felt that his end had come and that he would be cut off from God for ever (4-6). The next thing he knew was that he was alive, inside the great fish. God had answered his prayer and saved him (7-8).

Jonah had no idea how he would return to the world of his fellow human beings, but he knew that if God had done this much for him, the same God would finish his work and save him fully. In confidence he offered thanks for his salvation, even though it was still not complete. God rewarded his faith and gratitude by delivering him from the fish (9-10).

Various attempts have been made to prove and disprove that a person could be swallowed by a great fish or whale and still live. Regardless of these arguments, the events described in Jonah were still the miraculous work of God. It was highly unlikely that such an animal should have been at the spot where Jonah was thrown overboard, that it should have swallowed him, and that the place it vomited him up should have been near the mainland shore. The entire course of events to this point, as well as what was to follow, was a demonstration of God's sovereignty. He had complete power over the natural world, he was in control of events, and he showed mercy on sinners.

 


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Bibliography Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Jonah 2:4". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/jonah-2.html. 2005.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, October 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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