Here’s Schrödinger’s thought experiment: We place a living cat into a steel chamber, along with a device containing a vial of hydrocyanic acid. There is, in the chamber, a very small amount of hydrocyanic acid, a radioactive substance. If even a single atom of the substance decays during the test period, a relay mechanism will trip a hammer, which will, in turn, break the vial and kill the cat. Accordingly, we must assume that the cat is both alive and dead at the same time, without ever opening the box.
We can see Jonah much the same way, with respect to the great fish, that God had prepared for his new housing arrangements. Jonah is both alive and dead. He is physically alive, but while in the belly of the great fish he is being digested…hmmmmmmm…heck of a way to go, don’t you think? However, on another level, Jonah is dead, he has been separated from God due to his disobedience to God’s command and mandate. We can see this in Isaiah 59:2 which says, “…your iniquities have separated between you and your God…” You cannot get anymore dead than your separation from God and physical death can only make things worse!
There are those (with the popular view) that believe Jonah was alive and pondered his ways while in the belly of the fish, and the less popular view that Jonah was dead while in the belly of the fish from where he was resurrected. This book being a telling of the resurrection of Jesus, more or less; for a minor prophet, this book of Jonah possessed no prophetic messages but rather a narrative of that which occurred to him, and experience – if you will. Therefore, it is a foretelling of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself…by way of the resurrecting of man from his sins.
Can we agree that perception holds a vast amount of weight in the minds of men? To them, perception is everything! Jonah admitted that he was dead in God’s eyes, as well as, his own eyes by stating:
“…From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry.” ~Jonah 2:2
His call from the “…realm of the dead…” is, in-fact, a call from the grave (which is the word sheol.)
(Heb., “the all-demanding world” = Gr. Hades, “the unknown region”), the invisible world of departed souls.
When YOU believe yourself to be dead and in the grave, and when you believe you are calling out to your Creator for help to be brought out of the grave…you are seeking to be resurrected from your death. THIS is a much greater miracle than being saved from a big fish! To be brought back from the dead is far greater a miracle that is left to God!
There are two known species of whale that are able to swallow a man, or larger, the sulphur-bottom whale (or blue whale) and the whale shark. Neither possess any teeth, but open their jaws swimming at a great speed and after straining out the water they swallow what is left in their mouths. There are numerous stories and tales of people, or animals, being swallowed by either of these two “great fish;” however, one of particular interest was one in which a man in the 1920s or the 1930s was swallowed by one of the two mentioned whales. The victim was released 2 or so days after his capture. Dr. Harry Rimmer interviewed the man and several things that were noted: 1) he had no hair on his body and 2) his body possessed patchy/blotchy brown and purplish coloration on his skin. The gastric juices were/had reacted with his body by digesting him. In so doing, in my personal opinion, aided Jonah in obtaining his audience while evangelizing the people of Nineveh.
It pretty much comes down to faith. You either believe in the power of God, or you do not. If there is a God and He is all powerful, all knowing, all present, and He is not limited by anything…do you believe that He could protect a man in the belly of a great fish??? Do you believe He could save the nation of Israel from the great and powerful Egyptian army? Or, perhaps, feed the Hebrew people during their exodus from Egypt? Grant them decisive military victories while fighting against such odds? It would be a miracle, wouldn’t it? A miracle worthy of the likes of God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus.
Consider it for a little bit, then decide whether or not you believe.
Do you believe Jonah was alive, dead, or resurrected?
May God Richly Bless You My Beloved!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD