Question 180

By: Robert Serreyn

Question? Was Jonah really swallowed by a whale?

(Jonah 1:17) Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

(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.


In Matthew 12:40 it says WHALE, In Jonah 1:17 it says GREAT FISH.

At first reading it seems we have an apparent contradiction between the Old Testament and the New Testament.

In Matthew 12:40 the word WHALE is the Greek word KETOS and means HUGE FISH.

In Jonah 1:17 the words for GREAT FISH is the two Hebrew words GADOL(Great), DAG (Fish) and combined together they mean GREAT, MIGHTY FISH.

AFTER a second reading with consultation of the Hebrew and Greek words, we find out that there is NO CONTRADICTION.

Matthew 12:40 and Jonah 1:17 BOTH DESCRIBED a Huge, Great, Mighty fish that the Lord used to swallow the DISOBEDIENT Jonah, where Jonah DIED, yes he did die.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT – Whatever this Fish was (MAYBE a whale) we are simply NOT TOLD.

The translators used the word WHALE for it was the BIGGEST sea creature known alive at that time that the Hebrew and Greek words described, but whatever it was it sure was LARGE ENOUGH to swallow a person whole.

After Jonah had been SWALLOWED he was in the stomach of this Great, Huge, Mighty Fish, being digested by its stomach acids.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT – Do you think ANYTHING can survive these digestive acids alive???

The apparent common sense ANSWER to that Question should be a BIG NO.

In Conclusion:

Was Jonah swallowed by a WHALE, No not likely, Whales are NOT fish but mammals (Because they breath air) and not use gills like Fish, Sharks, and Stingrays,ect.

I’ll take what the scripture says a Great Huge, Mighty Fish.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing to know IS Jesus Christ as savior, just simply believe that Jesus Christ went to the cross and DIED and shed his blood, was BURIED and three days later RESURRECTED from the dead to pay for your sins.

-Christ DIED for you – Romans 5:8

-Christ PAID your sins in full – 2 Corinthians 5:21,1 Peter 2:24

-BELIEVE (Trust In Completely) in Christ ALONE as the complete payment of sin for salvation – John 3:16, Acts 16:31, Ephesians 2:8,9

“For the wages(payment) of sin is death (eternal torment in hell); but the GIFT(salvation) of God is eternal life THROUGH Jesus Christ our Lord”. Romans 6:23