All posts tagged: Jonah and the whale

Byrde's whale off the coast of Thailand Credit: morningdew/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Jonah, Rainer and the whale

Rainer Schimpf, 51, is a diver and tour operator from South Africa who for nearly 15 years has filmed the ‘sardine run’ that takes place off the Agulhas Bank located off the Southern tip of Africa. Billions of sardines gather at this point and begin a northern run along the eastern coast of African continent. Of course, the sardines attract hundreds of predators including sharks, dolphins, birds and whales. This year as Schimpf was photographing a shark in the feeding frenzy, a Byrde’s whale accidentally swallowed him. Named after Norwegian whaler Johan Byrde, the whale can grow to nearly 50′ in size and weighs up to 28 tons, but tend to be more elongated than other whales. Because they eat fish as well as plankton, these whales gather at the annual “sardine run.” A photographer on a nearby boat caught the whale swallowing of Schimpf (see video below). Schimpf told Barcroft TV, that he knew the whale had swallowed him when everything went completely dark and he felt pressure around his hips. Schimpf said: “Nothing …

Gibraltar Crossing near the city of Tarshis Credit: Cubanito, Wikipedia

Did an ancient Babylonian priest refer to Jonah?

Though known primarily for his confrontation with a whale, Jonah was a well-known prophet in Israel and is referenced several times (Judges 16:23-24; 1 Samuel 5:1-7; 1 Chronicles 10:8-12; 2 Kings 14:25). But of course it’s his story of calling the city of Nineveh to repentance that he is most known for. When Jonah refused to obey God’s call and took passage on a ship heading towards Tarshish near the Strait of Gibraltar on the coast of Spain, God stirred up a storm to get Jonah’s attention. After the sailors threw Jonah overboard, he was swallowed by a Grey whale (my vote but far from certain) and after a three days was coughed up on a beach undoubtedly along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. From there Jonah headed far inland to Nineveh that was then part of the nation of Assyria and delivered a message of repentance. Led by the king, the city responded and repented. Some have suggested, the king may have been impacted by Jonah’s whale story, because one of the …

I vote Grey whale: The story of Jonah

A group of archaeologists digging at a Roman fish factory plant located near the Straights of Gibraltar made a discovery that may answer the question on what swallowed Jonah. The salting factories first showed up around 400 BC. Many are familiar with the story of the disobedient prophet who God wanted to send to Nineveh to call the city to repentance. Jonah, who obviously hated this enemy, refused to go fearing they would repent and God would spare them judgement. So to escape his calling, Jonah booked a boat to Tarshish, that oddly enough most Biblical scholars believe was located on the coast of Spain near the Straights of Gibraltar. In an effort to catch Jonah’s attention, God stirred up a large storm that the sailors believed was divine in origin. After Jonah fessed up, the sailors threw him overboard and the prophet was swallowed up by a large fish or sea creature that eventually vomited up the prophet along the shore near Nineveh, where he successfully called the city to repentance. So what did …