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Bible Commentaries
Jonah 2

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-10

Jonah 2:1-10 Jonah Pray of Deliverance from the Belly of the Fish (The Power of Praise to God) In Jonah 2:1-10 the prophet Jonah prays and cries out to God from the belly of the fish. In this prayer he makes the sacrifice of thanksgiving. With this attitude of thanksgiving the Lord commanded the fish to spit Jonah out upon dry land. Thus, we see the power of praise unto God. We also see the power of praise and thanksgiving when Jehoshaphat gives the Levites instruments to praise the Lord and sends them forth to lead the battle (2 Cor 20:21).

2 Chronicles 20:21, “And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.”

Another example of the power of thanksgiving is seen when Jesus gives thanks and blesses the loaves and fishes before feeding the five thousand people.

Jonah 2:1-10 Jonah Pray of Deliverance from the Belly of the Fish (Three Days and Three Nights) Jonah 1:17 and Jesus tells us that Jonah spend three days and three nights in the belly of the whale. Jonah could not have kept track of time in the belly of the whale. It is more likely that in his visit to Hell, suggested in Jonah 2:6, his perception and understanding were enhanced so that he understood the time frame of his experience. In his book 23 Minutes in Hell Bill Wiese explains that his own senses were enhanced while he was in Hell. [15] He instinctively knew and understood things that he would not normally be able comprehend on earth.

[15] Bill Wiese, 23 Minutes in Hell (Lake Mary, Florida: Charis House, c2006), 6, 7, 10. Wiese quotes Erwin Lutzer, who said that in Hell a person has “heightened perception and a better understanding.” [see Erwin W. Lutzer, One Minute After You Die (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1997), 39]

Jonah 2:6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.

Jonah 2:6 Comments - Jonah 2:6 appears to describe a descent into Hell. The phrases “the bottoms of the mountains,” and “the earth with her bars,” suggest that God took Jonah out of his physical body, which remained in the whale, and took him to Hell, before returning his spirit to his body in the belly of the fish. Bill Wiese was taken to Hell, where he was initially sent to a cell made up of rough stone walls and iron bars. [16] He refers to other Scriptures that describe prison cells in Hell. Proverbs 7:27 refers to “chambers of death” in hell. Isaiah 24:22 says that the prisoners of Hell will be “shut up in the prison.”

[16] Bill Wiese, 23 Minutes in Hell (Lake Mary, Florida: Charis House, c2006), 1-14, 151.

Proverbs 7:27, “Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.”

Isaiah 24:22, “And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.”

Such an experience would have served the purpose of showing to the prophet the extreme horrors of Hell and God’s desire to give even the vilest sinner an opportunity to repent and avoid this place. One New Testament verse that supports this view is when Jesus paralleled Jonah’s time in the whale’s belly to His own time in Hell (Matthew 12:40).

Matthew 12:40, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

Jonah 2:9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.

Jonah 2:9 Comments - Jonah offered to God the voice of thanks giving by faith, not by feeling. He probably did not feel like rejoicing and shouting and dancing, but his confession became this: “Voices of Thanksgiving are My pleasure.”

Jonah 2:10 And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

Jonah 2:10 Comments - Deliverance came immediately from God. God saw that Jonah was ready to obey Him. Psalms 50:23 is illustrated in this verse.

Psalms 50:23, “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God .”

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Jonah 2". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/jonah-2.html. 2013.
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