The Bible

 

Jonah 2 : Jonah in the Belly of the Whale

        

Study the Inner Meaning

1 Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly,

2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.

4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.

5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.

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.

7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.

8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

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.

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

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 212


Other references to this story:

Arcana Coelestia 247, 756, 1691, 3880, 4728, 6726, 8278, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 191


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 220, 518, 538, 622, 750

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

1 Samuel 12:21

1 Kings 17:4

2 Chronicles 33:12

Psalms 5:8, 22:26, 42:8, 69:2, 14, 88:6, 7, 116:1, 2, 120:1, 142:4

Isaiah 38:17, 20, 43:11

Lamentations 3:54, 55

Hosea 13:4, 14:3

Micah 1:2

Matthew 12:40

Acts of the Apostles 14:15

Hebrews 13:15

Bible Word Meanings

jonah
'Jonah' represents the Jewish nation.

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

God
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

belly
'Womb,' as in Genesis 49:25, signifies the conjunction of good and truth. The term 'belly' is used where truths are being discussed, and the term...

hell
'Hell,' as mentioned in Jonah 2:3, signifies the earth below.

voice
'Voice' signifies what is announced from the Word. 'Voice' often refers and is applied to things that cannot have a voice, as in Exodus 4,...

deep
The deeps mentioned in Psalms 148:7 signify the ultimate heavens, in which the spiritual natural angels are ; also divine truths in abundance, and arcana...

seas
Water generally represents what Swedenborg calls “natural truth,” or true concepts about day-to-day matters and physical things. Since all water ultimately flows into the seas,...

compassed
To encompass, as in Genesis 19:4, signifies to be contrary, or to attack and assault with a hostile intention.

passed
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

waves
Water in the Bible represents true ideas about natural, external things – day-to-day life and physical existence. The sea represents the whole collection we have...

sight
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

holy
'Sanctuary' signifies the truth of heaven and the church. 'Sanctuary,' as in Ezekiel 24:21, signifies the Word.

temple
'A temple' represents heaven and the church. The sacred place where the ark was, represents the inmost, or third heaven, and the church among people...

soul
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

head
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

mountains
The Writings tell us that the Lord's love is the sun of heaven, and it is natural for us to look above ourselves to the...

earth
"Earth" in the Bible can mean a person or a group of like-minded people as in a church. But it refers specifically to the external...

bars
Bars, as in Lamentations 2:9, signify doctrinals

ever
'Perpetual' in the literal sense, means to the end of one’s life, after death, and eternity.

life
'Lives' is used in the plural, because of the will and understanding, and because these two lives make one.

remembered
'To remember,' as in Genesis 41:9, signifies conjunction. 'Remembering' denotes conjunction because the remembrance of anyone in the other life joins them together, because as...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

observe
"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

vanities
'Vanity' signifies evil and the falsity of evil. 'Vanities of strangers' signifies falsities of religion.

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

mercy
In regular language, "mercy" means being caring and compassionate toward those who are in poor states. That's a position we are all in relative to...

vowed
In Genesis 28:20, 'he vowed a vow' denotes, in the internal sense, willing that the Lord will provide. In the highest sense, where the Lord...

salvation
'Salvation, to the Lord our God,' as in Revelation 19:1, signifies an acknowledgment and confession that salvation is from the Lord.

spake
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

vomited
In Revelation 3:16, 'I will spew thee out of my mouth,' signifies being separated from the Lord, which consists of being neither in heaven nor...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 How the Lord Saved Jonah
A retelling of the story for young children with beautiful color illustrations. 
Story | Ages 4 - 6

 Jonah
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Jonah and the Great Fish
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Jonah and the Great Fish
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Jonah and the Great Fish (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Jonah and the Great Fish (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Jonah and the Great Fish (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 Jonah Disobeys the Lord
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Jonah in the Great Fish
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Jonah Swallowed by a Fish
Another way to make a 3 dimensional fish that can swallow Noah. 
Project | Ages up to 6

 Quotes: Divine Providence and Evil
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 The Prophet Jonah
This article shows how the Lord tried to teach Jonah to be merciful and kind when Jonah disobeyed the Lord because of his hatred toward the Assyrians. 
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

Commentary

 

Jonah Series, Part 2 of 4 – Prayer from a Desperate Place      

By Rev. Todd Beiswenger


To continue browsing while you listen, play the audio in a new window.

We know that when we get in a tight spot, it is time to pray! What makes Jonah's prayer special isn't so much the prayer itself, but it is Jonah's transformation that goes with it. He's realized that his choices have only made him miserable, and he's ready to do God's will.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 458; Heaven and Hell 6; Jonah 2:1-10)


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