Jesus vs Jonah & Whale


Jonah and the Whale is a popular story in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Jonah was a prophet who ran away from God. He set to sea, and ended up inside a big fish. Some say it was a whale – and for that reason the story is sometimes called Jonah and the Whale.

Whilst at sea, God sent a violent storm, which threatened to break the ship to pieces. The terrified crew cast lots, determining that Jonah was responsible for the storm. Jonah told them to throw him overboard. First, they tried rowing to shore, but the waves got even higher.

Afraid of God, the sailors finally tossed Jonah into the sea, and the water immediately grew calm. The crew made a sacrifice to God, swearing vows to him.

Jonah was in a giant fish for three days and three nights. Then, God commanded the whale, and it vomited prophet Jonah onto dry land. From thereon, Jonah obeyed God's commands and called people to 'Monotheism', the worship of the one, true God.

Book of Jonah
Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.

Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?

And he said unto them, I am a Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.

Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him. Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.

And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.

Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee.

So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows.

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.
JONAH | Matthew
Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.

But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah:

For as Jonah 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
JONAH | Luke
And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonah the prophet.

For as Jonah was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of Man be to this generation
JONAH | Quran
And indeed, Jonah was among the messengers. when he ran away to the laden ship.

And he drew lots and was among the losers.

Then the fish swallowed him, while he was blameworthy.

And had he not been of those who exalt Allah, He would have remained inside its belly until the Day they are resurrected.

But We threw him onto the open shore while he was ill. And We caused to grow over him a gourd vine.

And We sent him to [his people of] a hundred thousand or more. And they believed, so We gave them enjoyment [of life] for a time

When asked for a Sign, Jesus gave the prophecy, 'For just as Jonah was... so shall the Son of Man be'. Jesus prophecised his life as being 'very similar' to that of Jonah. This was a sign for his believers now and in the future
Christians believe Jesus' prophecy is evidence he is God; he had future knowledge of his own life, crucifixion and resurrection
Jews do not believe in the prophethood of Jesus or his prophecy
Muslims believe Jesus' prophecy is proof that Jesus spoke the truth and could perform miracles with God's permission. Therefore he was a true prophet sent by God

Comparing Jesus and Jonah

The table below compares the lives of Jesus and Jonah.

Jonah Jesus
 JONAH is a prophet in Judaism, Christianity and Islam  JESUS is a prophet in Islam only

On the ship, the violent storm was considered a bad omen and Jonah was held responsible for it

Jesus was wanted dead as he turned the tables of the money changers

Jonah admitted the storm had come because of him

Jesus said forgive them, for they do not know what they do

Jonah knew it was actually God casting him into the sea

Jesus predicted his own death and rising up on the third day

All the sailors prayed to their God. Jonah too would have prayed for the storm

Jesus was sorrowful and troubled before his arrest and prayed in Gethsemane for the Father to save him from crucifixion

Ships crew picked lots to decide who was to blame for the natural disaster

Pontis Pilate asked the crowd which Jesus he should crucify, Barabas or Christ
Drowning Crucifixion on Cross

Probably, Jonah would have regretted turning away from God and prayed for forgiveness

Jesus cried out to God why he had been abandoned by Him

Jonah was questioned about the storm

Jesus spoke to Mary just before his crucifixion

Probably, Jonah was mocked when his name was selected for punishment

Jesus was mocked on the way to his crucifixion

There is no evidence to suggest Jonah was beaten by the sailors on the ship

Jesus was physically beaten, whipped and crown of thorns put on his head along the way to his crucifixion

Jonah asked to be thrown into the sea, as it was his fault

Jesus was forcibly nailed on the cross by Roman soldiers. There is no evidence that Jesus offered to sacrifice himself and willingly went to the crucifixion

God sent a great wind into the sea

The earth shook with an earthquake and darkness came over the land

The sea calmed down after Jonah was thrown into the sea

The tombs were opened, and the bodies of many holy people who had died came back to life

Jonah was alive when he was thrown over board into the sea

Jesus was alive when he was put on the cross

After throwing Jonah, the sea became calm and the sailors offered a sacrifice to God

After the earthquake, they (soldiers) realised their mistake and acknowledged Jesus was the Son of God

Jonah did not die by drowning

Jesus died due to the crucifixion
Burial Place
Whale or large fish Tomb

Jonah was alive in the belly of the whale

Jesus was dead when placed in the Tomb
In Islam, Jesus did not die. If Jesus was in the Tomb, he would have been alive

Jonah was alive in the belly of the whale, as it travelled the ocean for 3-days and 3-nights

Jesus was dead whilst in the Tomb. It is not known how or at what point he was resurrected

In Islam, Jesus did not die. If Jesus was in the Tomb, he would have been alive throughout his time in there

Jonah was alive when he prayed to God from inside the whale

Traditionally, it is believed that Jonah survived the sea and was alive in the belly of the whale. How else would he have prayed to God?

Jesus was dead in the Tomb and so could not have prayed to God. The exact timing of his resurrection is unknown
In Islam, Jesus did not die. If Jesus was in the Tomb, he would have prayed to God for forgiveness and his prompt release

Jonah is vomited out of the whale onto the sea shore alive

Jesus is taken off the cross and believed to be dead
In Islam, Jesus did not die. If Jesus was on the cross for 3-hours, then he would have been alive when taken off the cross
3 days in a Whale 1 or 3 days in a Tomb (disputed)
3 nights in a Whale 2 or 3 nights in a Tomb (disputed)
CHRISTIANITY | 1 Day 2 Night
The Christian view is held by most Christians, as they believe Good Friday was crucifixion and Easter Sunday was resurrection
Good Friday
Jesus crucified/buried before sunset
0  |  1
Saturday (weekly Sabbath)
Jesus in Tomb
1  |  1
Easter Sunday
Jesus missing from Tomb before sunrise
0  |  0
TOTAL 1  |  2
CHRISTIANITY | 3 Day 3 Night
The Christian (simple) view holds even a part of a day as 1-day and 1-night. It is simple and easy to understand
Good Friday
Jesus crucified/buried before sunset
1  |  1
Saturday (weekly Sabbath)
Jesus in Tomb
1  |  1
Easter Sunday
Jesus missing from Tomb before sunrise
1  |  1
TOTAL 3  |  3
JUDAISM/ISLAM | 3 Day 3 Night
The Jewish/Muslim view is held by Unitarian Christians. It relies on modern Bible translations (not KJV); calculates timings based on Jewish/Islamic traditions; and acknowledges the 'Special Sabbath' day. Therefore, if Jesus was crucified it would have been on Wednesday and not Good Friday.
Weds (Passover)
Jesus crucified/buried before sunset
0  |  1
Thurs (special Sabbath/High day)
Jesus in Tomb
1  |  1
Good Friday
Jesus in Tomb
1  |  1
Saturday (weekly Sabbath)
Jesus in Tomb
1  |  0
Easter Sunday
Jesus missing from Tomb before sunrise
0  |  0
TOTAL 3  |  3

Jonah did not die in the sea
Jesus died on the cross
In Islam, Jesus did not die, but was raised up by God

The whale did not cause Jonah to die
The cross caused Jesus to die
In Islam, Jesus did not die, and so he could not have died on the cross

Jonah was alive. No other cause resulted in Jonah's death
It's possible Jesus was alive. But a soldier speared Jesus' body to ensure he was dead
In Islam, Jesus did not die due to crucifixion or any other cause

After Jonah was ejected from the Whale, God made a plant grow over Jonah and heal him of the dangerous acid he was exposed to inside the Whale's stomach

Mary Magdalene and others bought sweet spices, perfumes, myrrh and aloes so they could anoint Jesus' dead body after his crucifixon
Future (Post-Death)
The storm subsided after Jonah was thrown into the sea. The men feared their Lord and offered sacrifice Jesus returned from his death and ordered his followers to baptise and preach Gods word

After being vomited out, Jonah continued his mission of calling people to Monothesim

After his resurrection, Jesus ascended to God. His mission is due to continue on his second coming to Earth


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2288 views · 8 hrs ago |   Author: Guest   •   Updated: 11 Jun 2019

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