Jonah is thankful.
Jonah prayed. Jonah is happy he didn’t drown. He offers a prayer of thanksgiving.
out of the fish’s belly. Jonah offers this prayer of thanksgiving from inside the fish.
VERSE 2. He said, “I called because of my affliction to the LORD. He answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried. You heard my voice.
Sheol. It was thought of as the place of the dead.
Out of the belly of Sheol. That is, “from the depths of the grave.”
This refers to the fear of death that had gripped Jonah. It does not mean Jonah actually died.
VERSE 3. For you threw me into the depths, in the heart of the seas. The flood was all around me. All your waves and your billows passed over me.
you threw me into the depths. In truth, it was the sailors who threw Jonah into the sea. But Jonah sees their actions as the hand of God.
Psalm 88:7. Your wrath lies heavily on me. You have afflicted me with all your waves. Selah.
VERSE 4. I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’
I will look again toward your holy temple. Jonah has repented. For now he has confidence in approaching the LORD God.
your holy temple. This might be the physical temple in Jerusalem. Or it might be the heavenly realm.
VERSE 5. The waters surrounded me, even to the soul. The deep was around me. The weeds were wrapped around my head.
VERSE 6. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains. The earth barred me in forever; yet you have brought my life up from the pit, LORD my God.
I went down to the bottoms of the mountains. Jonah is describing his plunge into a watery grave.
you have brought my life up from the pit. The LORD God used the fish to rescue Jonah from the “pit” of the watery grave.
VERSE 7. “When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD. My prayer came in to you, into your holy temple.
in to you, into your holy temple. This probably refers to the heavenly realm, and not to the physical temple in Jerusalem.
vain idols. No idol have saved Jonah’s life.
VERSE 9. But I will sacrifice to you with the voice of thanksgiving. I will pay that which I have vowed. Salvation belongs to the LORD.”
the voice of thanksgiving. Jonah’s time in the belly of the fish did not end until this moment of thanksgiving.
Giving thanks to the LORD God is important for our own deliverance.
the LORD spoke to the fish. After Jonah drops his guard, the Hound of Heaven, the ever-present, the Holy One, is right there to touch his life and bring him to conversion.
If you know someone who has strayed from the faith, we encourage you to hold out hope for him or her. Whether it takes days or decades, the Hound of Heaven is relentless and passionate in seeking out the lost and strays.
The people of the LORD God are prone to going astray. In those times, they need a godly shepherd to bring them back. Read more »
it vomited out Jonah on the dry land. The big fish deposited Jonah exactly where he needed to be: on the shore of Nineveh.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.