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Jonah and the Whale by Peter Lastman (1621)Museum Kunstpalast  (Public Domain)

Muyso Akyqake, The Chaos Monster Archetype Of Lake Tota

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The Biblical story of Jonah and the Whale uses shock and awe to install an ancient motif of mythology into the minds of children attending Sunday School. According to the Book of Jonah the Biblical prophet is attempting to avoid God's command when a storm hits his ship. The sailors throw Jonah overboard as a human sacrifice to save themselves. Jonah is then swallowed by a great fish from which he emerges triumphant. While this is an iconic Christian tale, similarly to Christmas and many other aspects of the new prevailing religion, the story of a person being consumed by a whale is structured on the older oral traditions and rituals of tribal shamans around the world.

Perseus Freeing Andromeda by Piero di Cosimo (1510) Uffizi Collection (Public Domain)

Perseus Freeing Andromeda by Piero di Cosimo (1510) Uffizi Collection ( Public Domain )

Overcoming Monsters In The Underworld

Ronald L. Boyer in his 2017 article The Sign of Jonah: Initiatory Symbolism in Biblical Mythopoetics, explains that in Greek myths “ heroes like Heracles, Perseus, and Jason (of the Argonauts) are all devoured by sea-monsters of various kinds from whose bellies they later escape .” Death-rebirth imagery, motifs and archetypes, including swallowing by sea-monsters is replete in folklore and fairy tales. In one of the original versions of Little Red Riding Hood , known as The Grandmother and the Werewolf , both the heroine and the grandmother are devoured by a werewolf and later cut from its belly by woodcutter, miraculously restoring them to life.

In Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, (1951) author Mircea Eliade describes the existence of a composite ritual structure associated with tribal initiation, including initiation in secret societies. Based on the initiatory essence of the candidate’s ‘death’ followed by his ‘resurrection’, Eliade discovered in composite rituals “ candidates in secret tribal societies that undertook periods of solitude or isolation in the bush, representing “the beyond” in which they assimilated to the dead .” With their faces covered by funerary masks or ash, candidates symbolically descended to the Underworld where they faced difficult ordeals like being devoured by a monster or a god.

Destruction of Leviathan, depiction by Gustave Doré, (1865) (Public Domain)

Destruction of Leviathan, depiction by Gustave Doré, (1865) ( Public Domain )

Ancient Babylonian texts recount a battle between the god Marduk and the multi-headed serpent-dragon Tiamat and a Canaanite poem from Ras Shamra (ancient Ugarit) in northern Syria records a battle between the god Baal and a monster called Leviathan.

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Ashley Cowie  is a Scottish historian, author and documentary filmmaker presenting original perspectives on historical problems, in accessible and exciting ways. His books, articles and television shows explore lost cultures and kingdoms, ancient crafts and artifacts, symbols and architecture, myths and legends telling thought-provoking stories which together offer insights into our shared social history .   www.ashleycowie.com.

Top Image : Jonah and the Whale by Peter Lastman (1621)Museum Kunstpalast  ( Public Domain )

By Ashley Cowie

Comments

Hi All,

I keep forgetting people see these Testimonies as Symbolism.

One more thing about that Syrian Story of Baal an Leviathan a Creature mentioned in Job chapter 41 and before 1885, 5 time's in The Old Testament; mainly Isaiah.

So to first author of this here eye opening article you just became an answer to a prayer for me; could you post that Syrian Story please Baal vs Leviathan thank you so much, if you can do that for me, I will much appreciate it.

Now back to the discussion at hand on Jonah.

In my personal experience most other Believer's on Sunday's or in Sabbath School always picked Joshua & Battle of Jericho, Ill-fated love Affair through Samson & Delilah, David and Goliath, Daniel and The Lions Den (in the case of my Nephew when He was little Elijah and Queen Esther), that being said
Jonah is by far my favorite Bible Text of all Time.

I even have animated Jonah movies; plus, Book's all about Jonah. An yes, I Believe, in The Truth's that are taught, within The Bible.

Opening my Bible an in fact reading the thing's that it teaches me about since it is a Book of Faith For myself I am declaring Yes to the Impossible where Logic an Reason for Me has No place.

So when Reading Jonah that is apart of The Bible I don't believe in Jonah of The Big Fish as Symbolism, I believe Jonah's Testimony to be as real for me as Breathing.
This is my position on The Subject of Jonah an The Big Fish.

I've enjoyed this article very much so until next Discussion Everyone, Goodbye!

Hi All,

I keep forgetting people see these Testimonies as Symbolism.

One more thing about that Syrian Story of Baal an Leviathan a Creature mentioned in Job chapter 41 and before 1885, 5 time's in The Old Testament; mainly Isaiah.

So to first author of this here eye opening article you just became an answer to a prayer for me; could you post that Syrian Story please Baal vs Leviathan thank you so much, if you can do that for me, I will much appreciate it.

Now back to the discussion at hand on Jonah.

In my personal experience most other Believer's on Sunday's or in Sabbath School always picked Joshua & Battle of Jericho, Ill-fated love Affair through Samson & Delilah, David and Goliath, Daniel and The Lions Den (in the case of my Nephew when He was little Elijah and Queen Esther), that being said
Jonah is by far my favorite Bible Text of all Time.

I even have animated Jonah movies; plus, Book's all about Jonah. An yes, I Believe, in The Truth's that are taught, within The Bible.

Opening my Bible an in fact reading the thing's that it teaches me about since it is a Book of Faith For myself I am declaring Yes to the Impossible where Logic an Reason for Me has No place.

So when Reading Jonah that is apart of The Bible I don't believe in Jonah of The Big Fish as Symbolism, I believe Jonah's Testimony to be as real for me as Breathing.
This is my position on The Subject of Jonah an The Big Fish.

I've enjoyed this article very much so until next Discussion Everyone, Goodbye!

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