The story of Jonah
One of the many peculiar stories of the Bible is the story of Jonah and the Whale.
The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me…
But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord….
Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up….
When this happened the sailors blamed Jonah, since he was running away from ‘God’. Jonah also felt responsible and asked them to throw him in the sea in order to save the ship and its crew.
Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.
Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
In summary, the story claims that ‘God’ created thunderstorms to make Jonah realize his mistake and, once he regrets it, ‘God’ stops the thunderstorms and sends a ‘whale’ to save Jonah from drowning in the sea. Using fear and demonstration of power, ‘God’ was able to gain the ‘faith’ of Jonah and the ship’s crew—a technique used many times in the past by all kind of so-called gods and deities.
Assuming that the references in the Bible are not ‘fairy tales’ and are based on true events, it is obvious that no one could survive inside a whale for three full days, causing many to assume the ‘whale’ was some kind of technologically advanced craft. Could it have been a spacecraft, even a submarine? Let us travel back thousands of years to a time when there was no technology and ask ourselves how an advanced, modern vehicle would have been perceived and described using the limited terms and references the civilization had. Is it not obvious that an airplane would have been perceived as a shiny, metallic bird, or a perhaps a chariot of fire? Similarly, isn’t it possible that a submarine would have been perceived as a whale, since whales, even then, were the largest mammals in the sea? A prime example of such a limitation is how we still use the term ‘flying disc’ for unknown vehicles simply because they remain, to us, unknown disc-like shaped objects that fly. If we had this kind of technology then the term we use would be completely different.
This story makes you wonder whether this ‘God’ could have just been a supreme being with knowledge and power beyond the author’s comprehension, along with a fleet of vehicles at his disposal to force the faith and obedience of his subjects.
By John Black