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Thursday, May 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Jonah 2

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-10



Verses 1-10:

Jonah’s Running To God

Verse 1 describes Jonah’s intercession to "his God." his God still. though he had run in opposition to His call. Like the prodigal son, who resolved from the pig pen. "I will arise and go to my father," and did, Luke 15:18; Jonah resolved in faith, from the belly of the great fish. at the depth of the sea, at the end of "three days and three nights." (Jonah 1:17) to pray to his God. as follows:

Verse 2 reports that affliction was the cause or occasion for his cry to the Lord. God’s chastisement upon him brought good results, Hebrews 12:9-11. He asserts that the Lord heard, heeded. or responded to his cries, as He had to David’s cries. Romans 10:13; 1 John 1:8-9. See also Psalms 120:1; Psalms 130:1; Psalms 142:1-2; Lamentations 3:55-56. From and out of the "belly of hell." (Heb sheol) the unseen, darkened world, which the belly of the fish resembled, Jonah affirmed that the living God saw him. heard him. and delivered him in mercy, that he did not die, as expressed Psalms 18:5; Psalms 30:3. God hears the cry of the penitent Psalms 51:17

Verse 3 acknowledges that God did cast Jonah into the "eddying, the abyss, deep," though he asked the marines to throw him overboard, when the lot had fallen on him, as the one whose wickedness had caused the terrible storm, Jonah 1:15; Job 1:21; Job 2:10 recognize that the hand of God may be in calamities; It is also indicated that David recognized that the hand of God often came upon men in chastening for their sins, 2 Samuel 16:5-11. Jonah described his chastisement as being from God, as the floods, billows, and waves encompassed and surged over him, as also expressed Psalms 24:2; Psalms 42:7; See also Psalms 73:14; Psalms 118:18; 1 Corinthians 11:32.

Verse 4 recounts Jonah’s confession that he was "cast out of God’s sight," out of God’s favor, or favorable regard. He had "fled from God’s presence," from God’s fellowship and good will: God had not fled from him, Jonah 1:3; Psalms 31:22; Isaiah 59:1-2. Jonah resolved in faith to look again to God, with forgiven sins and a clean heart, 2 Chronicles 6:22-23.

Verse 5 gives a gripping physical description of Jonah’s environment while in the whale’s belly. There, or while sinking, before being swallowed by the great fish, waters almost strangled him of physical life. Then seaweeds seem to have wrapped around his throat, choking life from him, little by little, as he despaired consciously, yet surviving in the belly of the whale, Psalms 31:23. It was a severe motivation for a back-slidden prophet to cry unto the Lord, and he did, v. 2; Psalms 18:5; Psalms 69:1; Lamentations 3:54.

Verse 6 further describes the depth of the sea to. which Jonah descended, called mountains, the very terminating depths to which the sea monster carried Jonah; but Nineveh wasn’t there! The sea depth is the foundation of the hills, of the world, as far as physical land or sea creature can go, Psalms 18:7; Psalms 18:15. The bars of the earth’s foundation, jetting submarine rocks, like prison bars, held Jonah a temporary captive, as the great sea creature tried to hide beneath them, with a sick preacher in his belly, and perhaps as sick a whale­--sick of each other. Jonah was there "forever," so far as his own ability of escape was concerned; For it was not within him to deliver his own soul, Deuteronomy 3:5; Job 38:10; Jeremiah 10:23. Then, without hope, within his own strength, Jonah praises God for delivering him from corruption, putrefaction, or death, as also described, Isaiah 38:17; Romans 8:11; Isaiah 44:22; Job 17:4.

Verse 7 verifies that Jonah remembered the Lord when his "soul fainted in him," when he despaired of life. His conscience, the monitor of the human soul, the computerized depository of every human thought, was awakened by the witnessing spirit of God, even in his dying hour, to call him to repentance and further witnessing for God, much as God called Hezekiah in his affliction, Romans 8:16; Romans 8:26; 2 Kings 20:1-11; Psalms 42:6; Psalms 73:26. This indicates the triumph of the spirit of the flesh and faith over mere sense, Psalms 42:6; Psalms 73:26. Jonah remembered the Lord, from the belly of the fish, in a way he did not when running from the Divine call to preach to Nineveh, Jonah 1:2-3. He also now affirms that God heard and answered him from the holy temple, the holy place in Jerusalem, v. 4.

Verse 8 warns that those who observe "lying vanities," or reverence and regard idols that are lifeless and powerless to save, forsake or desert their own grounds of mercy, Psalms 31:6; Psalms 59:17; Psalms 144:2. He found no mercy from the prayers of the heathen mariners to their gods, Jonah 1:5. To worship other gods, or to disobey the true God, is to deprive one’s self of happiness and usefulness, Jeremiah 2:13; Jeremiah 17:13.

Verse 9 pledges sacrifice to God, with thanksgiving, for his assurance of deliverance from his affliction in the belly of the whale, Psalms 50:14; Psalms 116:17-18; Hosea 14:2; Hebrews 13:15. It appears that this was even begun from the belly of the great fish, and from Jonah’s broken and contrite heart, as if deliverance had already come. He now vows to obey God where he had not before, 2 Chronicles 20:21; Psalms 119:67. Mighty salvation is here vowed to be wholly from the Lord, Matthew 1:21; Acts 4:12; Romans 1:16; Romans 10:13.

Verse 10 affirms two things: 1) First, God spoke to the great fish He had prepared as an afflicter and submarine excursion bearer for Jonah for a period of three days and three nights, Jonah 1:17; Jonah 2) Second, the great fish obeyed the voice of his creator and vomited (regurgitated) Jonah upon the dry land, perhaps in Palestine, or near the mouth of the Tigris river, below Nineveh, in the upper Persian Gulf. Of all God’s creatures it appears that man is most prone to disobey Him, Matthew 8:9; Acts 12:6-9. From Genesis 5:24 to this event God manifest Himself by miracles. It foretells a greater hour of resurrection, Isaiah 26:19; 1 Corinthians 15:54-58.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Jonah 2". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/jonah-2.html. 1985.
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