An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 8 - Prophetic Truth - Page 283 of 304
prompted by the conviction that God being a gracious God, and of great
kindness, would recall His threat of judgment and repent if there were any
signs of repentance on the part of the enemy, the Gentile, at Nineveh.
Jonah's rebellion sets forth, moreover, the attitude of Israel, which
filled up the measure of their iniquity.  Paul, writing to the Thessalonians,
said, 'Ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they
have of the Jews: who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and
have persecuted us: and ... are contrary to all men; forbidding us to speak
to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway; for
the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost' (1 Thess. 2:14 -16).
It will be remembered how the angry mob of Jews listened to Paul as he
spoke in the Hebrew tongue, making no protest until he reached the hated word
'Gentile'.  'Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.  And
they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and
said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he
should live' (Acts 22:21 -22).  Jonah, it will be remembered, said, 'It is
better for me to die than to live ... I do well to be angry, even unto death'
(Jonah 4:3,9).
Because Israel took such a definite line of antagonism against the
extension of salvation to the Gentiles, they have been for the last nineteen
hundred years blinded, scattered, and to all intents dead, for when the time
comes (and the hour seems to have struck) for Israel to be restored, the
figure used by the prophet Ezekiel is that of a valley of dry bones that are
caused to live, or as Paul has written, 'What shall the receiving of them be,
but life from the dead?' (Rom. 11:15).
When we examine the prophecy of Hosea we see that this interval in
Israel's history is covered by the name given to Hosea's son Lo -ammi 'not My
people', and by the interval of 'two days' after which, on 'the third' they
shall once again 'live' in His sight.  The period of Jonah's typical death
while in the great fish and his return on the third day, not only fore-
shadowed the death and resurrection of Christ, but the spiritual death and
resurrection of the people whose attitude to Gentile evangelism he so
strongly anticipated.  We do not feel that our readers need a lengthy defence
of the record of 'Jonah and the Whale'.*  In the Old Testament narrative the
word 'whale' does not occur, but the monster that swallowed Jonah is called
'a great fish' and not only so, but a great fish which the Lord had
'prepared'.  The word 'whale' is found only in the New Testament record,
which word is the Authorized Version translation of the Greek ketos, a word
that indicates an order of marine animals called cetaceous.
Should 'evidence' be required, the reader should consult
The Cruise of Cachalot by Frank Bullen.
The repentance of Nineveh was not lasting, but the revelation which
this strange story gives of the character of the God of Israel is a standing
witness for all time against the blasphemy of the Higher Critic who seems to
delight to pour scorn upon the 'savage, primitive and local character of
Yahweh or Jehovah'.
Here is the testimony of this earliest of the Prophets of Israel.  The
`Lord' is, according to Jonah, 'the God of heaven, which hath made the sea
and the dry land' (1:9).  Here is no mere tribal god.  Here is uncompromising
witness to the fact that God was Creator.