Ten Plagues: Sign of Jonah Illuminates the Darkness

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Part 1.  This Part 2 of the Plague of Darkness

Even a casual look at the sign of Jonah is mind-boggling.  It was the time of Kings and when each man cried upon his own god.  It was determined that the god who can reply and deliver us from this trouble shall be deemed the true God  This sounds very much like today.  We can compare Jonah's with Elijah's appearance on Mt. Carmel in I Kings 18:24 when these calls to idol were to no avail… 

Elisha appointed one of his disciples the responsibility of removing a light from Israel by killing all the wicked survivors of the evil house of Ahab and Jezebel.  A young prophet was dispatched to carry out this historic task (II Kings 9:1-10).  Jonah anointed Jehu in the year 3055 (705 B.C.E) as king of the Ten Tribes. 

Jonah a prophet is dispatched to warn a city it must change its ways or be destroyed.  Jonah attempts to flee the Omnipresent.  He is condemned to die for his free-will choice but is saved by a miracle.  He carries out his assignment bringing about a mass repentance.

The name Jonah is derived from the dove, a bird, which remains inviolable loyal to its mate through all of its days.  Jonah literally means my constant dove (Song of Songs 6:9).  I cannot help but think about the baptism of Jesus: 

As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. Suddenly the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and resting on Him.  Matthew 3:16

Faith Lesson:  We are to posses these characteristics as we go forth into the End of Days:

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.  Matthew 10:16

 Sign of Jonah

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 Jonas:

For as Jonas 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.

The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.  Matthew 12:38-42 KJV….

Then the Pharisees came and began to argue with Jesus, testing Him by demanding from Him a sign from heaven. Jesus sighed deeply in His spirit and said, “Why does this generation demand a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” And He left them, got back into the boat, and crossed to the other side.…  Mark 8:12

Days of the Tempest

The Book of Jonah is a picturesque portrayal of God taking a supernatural wind out of His treasury and casting it over the sea.  The wind was blowing from the land out to sea preventing the ship Jonah had chartered from returning to land.

This storm is specifically attributed to God therefore it was not a natural storm.  It was unseasonable weather being clearly Divine Providence.  It is sometimes characterized as a stray wind which became violent when the ship reached it. The mighty tempest was both in the air and raving within the sea.  As we recall from the Ten Plagues of the Exodus God demonstrated His power and authority over the air, land, and sea.

We see evidence of this type of Providential localized wind directed towards Job's house in Job 1:19 and the third mighty wind in the days of Elijah, I Kings 19:11.

Faith Lesson:  There will be Providential tempests surrounding us in the days to come.  These Providential Directed Energy Tools will be interdimensional and will blow in our environment as well as our spiritual life to refine us, destroying the sacred cows of our life.   We must prepare to be as a reed, submitting to the sovereign Will of the Lord.

Entering In

Jonah descended into the ship's hold, the innermost parts of the ship.  He was sound asleep as the storm began.  So too was Jesus as He and His disciples crossed the Galilee:

he {Jesus}was entered into a ship…And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.  Matthew 8:24-25

As for Jonah we was confident that the tempest was brought about by his sin and he felt certain that God would not answer his prayers.

Faith Lesson:  Are you ready to go into the innermost and intimate relationship with Jesus as you enter the tempest that is stirring around you?

Billows Are Crashing In

It was a pleasant camping trip to the Point or Arches at the tip point of Washington State.  Unfortunately, within two hours the warm beach sands were replaced with angry seas and leaden skies.  Friends were down the beach looking at the skeletal remains of ships who met a watery grave.  By the time they returned it was late and the storm was driving inches of water upon our heads.  We fled to a primitive hotel in Neah Bay soaked to the bone.  Youth perceives themselves as invincible.  We had planned to go out salmon fishing with friends, and so we did.  Our tiny ship was caught up on the rolling wave billows and crashed down drenching us all.  The sea roared as a mighty lion.   The swirling and chaos had its impact on our stomachs and heads.  One could not stand, there we all were, in the hand of God as the sea violently surged around us. 

Billows in the original language means: 

  • Heap of stones
  • Alone Job 8:17 with roots (weeds) wrapped about it
  • Heap or pile made for use in ratifying compact
  • Figurative of chastisements
  • Spring of Water, a fountain sealed
  • Rolled together, rolling, rolling up

In the surge waters of Tribulation we will discover:

The deep is calling to deep and billows will go over us. Psalm 42:7

The noise of the sea is like the noise of the multitude peoples.  Psalm 65:7

God says He appoints the tempest and lifts the billows.  Psalm 107:25

God establishes the whirlwind and billows and makes them calm.  Psalm 107:29

The Lord of Hosts quiets the seas when their billows roar.  Isaiah 51:15, Jeremiah 31:35

Babylon has a great voice that God will destroy.  Jeremiah 51:55

And there shall be signs in sun and moon and stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the billows; Luke 21:25

Faith Lesson:  If one has eyes to see God is revealing His signs in the heavenlies.  Anyone watching the news can see the distress of nations and the perplexity of mankind.  We go through this Tribulation storm knowing He is control; we will not go through this tempest unscathed for His billows will wash over us; but at His command the tempest will  become calm and quiet.  We must stand in faith as chaos swirls about us.

Ye of Little Faith

Jonah knows that he is guilty from running from God and that is the true reason for the mighty storm.  He acknowledged he was a sinner.  How many storms in our life come our way due to our free will decisions?

During the storm on the Galilee Jesus rebukes His disciples faith [matters of the heart] when He says, And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?

Faith Lesson:  What lessons of faith is He teaching you?  Or do we suffer the terrible affliction of little faith?  Are you willing to open your ears and your heart to learn as deep lessons of God call unto the deep recesses of your heart?

Descent into the Nethermost Parts

Jonah wanted to die which is why he descended to the nethermost parts of the ship which are hidden.  In the original language the wording has an elliptic meaning that he did not go to all the innermost chambers of the ship, but to a specific chamber.  We also see this language style in Judges 12:7.

It is not uncommon for a Believer to come to such despair that one desires to die.  Elijah, a prophet of God, in I Kings 19:4-5 requested that he might die and he lay and slept under a broom tree in hope.

This portion of Jonah is a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ, for Jesus willing lays down His life for you. There is controversy on whether Jesus descended into hell during the three days between His death and His Resurrection.  Scripture is fairly silent on this matter except for, in I Peter 3:19,  this Jesus, who by the same spirit by which he is raised from the dead goes and preaches to the lost spirits in prison.

Most of us are familiar with the Apostles Creed which states that states when Jesus died He went to the abode of the dead.  This Creed is fraught with controversy and cannot be counted as biblical evidence of where Jesus resided for three days.  

We come closer when we read, Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.  Revelation 1:17-18. 

From this passage we see that is possible (but with uncertainty) that Jesus, in the process of conquering the sting of death, visited some chamber in hell.  He alone would have that power to go and to return in victory.  We must balance this with other verses such as Jesus saying to the thief on the cross, Today you will be with me in Paradise.  Once again, we must refrain from putting Jesus in a box, limited by our understanding.  In asymmetrical interdimensional warfare time and space are very different than our understanding.

Faith Lesson:  Two-fold can be our instruction.  We can expect to be discouraged to the point of giving up, but until Jesus takes our life breath, we stand and occupy.  I see biblical evidence that Jesus may have descended to a hidden chamber for a purpose known only to Himself and the Father.  What matters is that He lives and He brings eternal life to all who believe in Him.

Sleeping on the Job

He laid down and he had fallen fast asleep …Commentaries vary if Jonah's sleep was one of anguish of the soul or of complete submission and peace. 

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He giveth His beloved sleep. Psalm 127:2  We therefore can have confidence in God, Who watches over us when we are awake and peacefully asleep.

We can almost hear this conversation, and many of us have had this conversation with others:

How can you remain slumbering?  This is not time for sleep.

We are standing here between life and death and you are slumbering and sleeping!

Don't you realize that we are in mortal danger?

Why don't you pray like the others?

[For idolaters only] Up!  Call upon your God, and maybe he will be appeased. 

Jonah knew that if he died others would live because the tempest was on his account.  The captain, actually rendered- officer of the ship is derived from the word tying a rope.  He seeks a private audience with Jonah while the idol worshipers were fervently beseeching their idols to save them.  The particular wording alludes that the officer and his sailors were knowledgeable of the craft.  As they were idolaters this hints that they were skilled in the forbidden Dark Magical arts and used this for purposes of navigation.  Given the original description of these particular sailors, a discussion about propulsion, and the language alluding to their Dark Arts craft, and navigation might these sailors have had access or gained access to interstellar travel?  

Faith Lesson:  Jesus slept. Jonah slept.  God provides us restful sleep when we are weary.  What I do not see advocated in the Holy Scriptures is a person during waking hours asleep, in their normalcy bias state.  It is essential we remain awake and ready for His call.

Idol Worshipers

The narrative switches from Jonah to the crewmen.  Malachim are the oar-men of the vessel.  They are called this because they stir up the water with their oars when propelling the ship, like one who whips up a bowl of beaten eggs.  This same word is used interchangeably with angels and kings in the original language.

These oarsmen saw that their idols were vanity as the storm surged, not subsiding with their devout prayers.  They decided that the storm was retribution and so they purposed to cast magical lots.  Make note that these men showed restraint and cunning.  The word 'lots' is plural. Upon perceiving this Jonah confesses culpability to dissuade their use of magic.  They cast lots several times because the demanded a conclusive answer to their calamity.  Each and every cast fell upon Jonah.  Lots were considered to be divine sanction. 

They demanded a detailed account in regard to who, what, why when, and where this calamity (evil) befallen them.

Jonah responds that he is a Hebrew, a fearer of God, the Supreme Ruler it is He Who caused this storm. He will quiet the storm when He desires it.  He will bring us back to dry ground.   He made the sea and the dry land.  He did not use the word create which encompasses more than one day  attributing to God that it was on the third day that He confined the waters making dry land and this event would follow a similar pattern.   

Faith Lesson:  Be ready to give a true account of the hope that is within us.  We must also do as best we can not to be a stumbling block for those who do not know God.  Jonah confessed his sin to deter the idolaters turning to magical lots. 

Escaping God

If we are honest, we have all attempted to run from God, His mission or calling for us, or in other ways.  Jonah brings this into our consciousness so that we might make wise free-will decisions. 

Jonah finally realizes how futile it was to flee to the sea and he acknowledges this notion.  The hand of God would seek him out and force him to complete his prophetic mission.  These men were seized with great fear [awe] of God which is why the text specifically uses the term men instead of sailors.  They had potential for salvation.

They were incredulous as to why Jonah thought he could How escape God's presence in the sea? 

God's rhetorical question in the Garden:  What is this that you have doneGenesis 3:13

Jacob to Laban:  What have you done, that you have deceived me?  Genesis 31:26

And if they hide from before My eyes in the land of the sea, from there I will command the serpent, and it shall bit them.  Amos 9:3 

It is interesting that even these idol worshiping men knew that Jonah was running from God's prophetic ministry. 

Many years ago I was a guest on Steve Quayle's daily show.  I do not recall the topic but I had many listeners' contact me inquiring where they could go to be safe for the days to come.  The answer is the same today as it was back then, your only safety is in Jesus Christ and His will for your life. 

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8: 38-39

Faith Lesson:  Let Jesus, Maker of heaven and earth, be your Tribulation refuge.  Build your relationship so tightly that you will merely peer out at the destruction wrought upon the wicked.

Raging Sea

The story of Jonah and the disciples with both include a raging sea and a natural behavioral unrest and distress at the situation.  In an uncanny way if you consider the Ten Plagues of the Exodus you can see this is applicable to Pharaoh, his magicians, and the idolatrous peoples of Egypt who used the conveyance (ship) of the Dark Arts to do business in the forbidden great waters resulting in wondrous plagues from the depths of God.  This warrants a peek into the Psalms:

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; 

These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.

 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.

 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.

 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.

Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

 Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.  Psalm 107: 23-32

Faith Lesson:  Whether we be in storm or calm, Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Self Sacrifice

Jonah says to pick me up and heave me into the sea.  He joins other biblical personages in this request:

Yet know, if You will forgive their sin [and if not, please blot me out of Your book which You have written].  Moses.  Exodus 32:32

Lo, I have sinned…but these sheep, what have they done?  Let Your hand, I pray You, be against me and my father's house.  David.  II Samuel 24:17

For I know that [it is] because of me [literally because that is of mine, sin] and have no fear that you will be punished as accomplices.  The storm is directed at me alone.

Faith Lesson:  Our walk with Jesus is that of self-sacrifice, laying down our lives for brothers and sisters, and maybe a spirit in waiting about to spring forth in salvation.  We are to be a selfie-free people.

Stealth Tunneling

The sailors were reluctantly to carry our Jonah's petition.  In the original language the words implies that the men rowed harder [against the Will of God].  The verb literally means boring or digging.  It is used here figuratively as rowing hard since this is akin to digging in the water with oars and forcing ones way through a wall of waves.  They toiled like one who digs a tunnel and vigorously rowed against the force of the storm. Tunneling often indicates a desire to do something stealthily, like a thief who burrows into a house to escape detection.  Thus, the sailors tried to row back to shore as if tunneling in an attempt to deceive God.  They thought hard, seeking ideas and plans to enable them to bring the ship back to shore. 

What comes to mind is all the dynamics of Pharaoh and the magicians in their attempt to keep their perceived divinity. I also think of DARPA Subterranean Project and all the boring and tunneling that we are witnessing today.  It is as if mankind unconsciously knows he is sinning and is attempting to hide underground [as is prophesied] from His Creator.

Let us not perish on account of this man's soul…  And do not reckon it for us [literally and do not place on us innocent blood].  The sailors accepted and converted to true God fearer's and requested of Him not to consider them murderers by throwing Jonah overboard.  This reminds me of Pilate, during the ordeal of the crucifixion of Jesus, where he wanted to take no responsibility for innocent blood.  Truth be told, there are many such cases embedded within the Scriptures.

Faith Lesson:  When the path of faith gets difficult let us rise to the occasion rather than stealthily digging a grave for ourselves. 

The Great Fish

God readied a fish for the moment Jonah was cast into the sea. It was a miracle that the fish swallowed him and he did not drown.  At that very instant, it reminds me of when Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac when at the last moment God Himself provided a lamb to sacrifice. 

Great could also refer not to the size of this fish but to his years, an ancient fish having seen many years. 

The existence of the fish must be at least considered as a function of creation as with the other supernatural miracles in Scripture.  Such miracles, as we have seen in this Ten Plagues of the Exodus, do not contradict the doctrine of free-will.  God already knows our free will decisions and intercedes as He chooses. 

We now turn our attention to an important biblical concept contained in the generic fish.  The species of the fish is not identified.  Many people believe it was a whale, such as a sperm whale or a large shark capable of swallowing a man whole.  The identity of the species is unimportant and distracts us from the essential threads of the biblical narrative.  Many times we get caught up in the net of speculation and miss the critical lessons that the Divine Author intended us to take to heart.  It is suffice to say the fish was large and prepared as God's agent. 

There is another possibility to the Sign of Jonah spoken of in the Book of Matthew and Luke.


Cetus as a sea dragon, 1825

Historians generally agree that the biblical Tarshish is the historical Tartessos in southern Spain. If you took a ship from Jaffa and crossed the Mediterranean towards Spain, in the fall or winter months, you would find yourself sailing into the belly of the fish or the constellation Cetus, the Big Fish. To this day, sailors who sail into the belly of the fish find themselves in storms just before reaching southern Spain in the area of the Balearic Islands.

Was the Book of Jonah and the fish swallowing him simply Jonah surviving a storm under the constellation of Cetus?  As with all scripture, the truth has many layers depending upon the faith lessons God wants to teach us.

Faith Lesson:  We may be hurled into a catastrophic situation but God Himself provides a rescue vehicle.  It is quite possibly that the species of fish was not important as the great fish is a manifestation of Jesus Christ.   Early Christians used the sign of the fish.  As you view the ministry of Jesus you will see many references to fish from multiplication of loaves and fishes to making disciples fishers of men. 

Swallowed Alive

God designed the fish to swallow Jonah whole without harming him.  It could have been that this emphasized that fish's sole reason for existence.  It is interesting that in the original language the fish is initially referred to in the masculine form but changes to the feminine form when it describes from the belly of the fish as an indicator of the spaciousness (such as female internal organs for bearing children) of the chamber in which he was imprisoned, but then reverts back to a male fish upon spitting Jonah out. 

And Jonah remained [was] in the fish's belly three days and three nights

Needless to say, it was miraculous for a man to survive even a moment in the belly of a fish. 

The number three is significant.  Critical salvation events in history occur on the third day and we saw the judgment often occurs in sets of three:

Joseph freed his brothers on the third day Genesis 23:18

Torah received on the third day in the wilderness Exodus 19:16

Never would I denigrate a miracle from God but there have been accounts in history where a man has survived being swallowed alive. 

There is an oft-quoted story concerning a certain James Bartley, when he was a harpooner on the whale-ship Star of the East, in 1891, under the command of Captain Killam, near the Falkland Islands. In the course of a whale hunt, Bartley fell into the sea and disappeared. The whale was killed and the next day, when the sailors cut it open, they were amazed to find Bartley still alive in the whale’s stomach. He was revived and in time recovered from his experience. The report says, ‘During his sojourn in the whale’s stomach Bartley’s skin, where exposed to the action of the gastric juice, underwent a striking change. His face, neck, and hands were bleached to a deadly whiteness, and took on the appearance of parchment. Bartley affirms that he would probably have lived inside his house of flesh until he starved, for he lost his senses through fright and not from lack of air.’

This story is said to have first appeared in October 1892, in the English newspaper Great Yarmouth Mercury. It was then reprinted in other papers, and was included by Sir Francis Fox in his book, Sixty-three Years of Engineering, Scientific and Social Work, published in 1924. This story has been refuted.

Dr Harry Rimmer, D.D., Sc.D., tells of personally meeting a sailor who fell overboard from a trawler in the English Channel and was swallowed by a gigantic Rhincodon whale shark. The entire trawler fleet set out to hunt the shark down and, 48 hours after the accident, the shark was sighted and slain with a one-pound deck gun. The carcass was too heavy for the ship’s winches to handle, so the crew towed it to shore, intending to give their friend a Christian burial. When the shark was opened, the man was found unconscious but alive. He was rushed to hospital, where he was found to be suffering from shock alone, and was later discharged. He was on exhibit in a London museum at a shilling admission, and was advertised as ‘The Jonah of the Twentieth Century.’

As the End Times proceeds prophecies indicate the swallowing up of nations and peoples only it will not be Jesus Christ who swallows them but the anti-Christ. 

Faith Lesson:  We can survive this great swallowing up of biblical values, morals, and ethics but only in Jesus Christ.  My dear friends we are entering into the belly of the beast.  We must preserve our faith in Jesus at this time, even when all looks bleak and hopeless.

Three Days and Three Nights

The ancient Hebrews idiomatically counted a part of a day as a whole day, so that three days and three nights could have been as short as 38 hours. This explains how Jesus could say that the time He would be in the tomb (from late Friday afternoon to early Sunday morning) was similar to the ‘three days and three nights’ of Jonah’s experience Matthew 12:40. It is interesting to note that in Mark 8:31 Jesus is recorded as saying, ‘The Son of Man will rise again after three days’, while in Matthew 16:21 He says, ‘He will be raised again on the third day.’ Jesus used the two time frames interchangeably, and there is no error or contradiction concerning the time Jesus was in the tomb compared with the time Jonah was in the fish.

One of the many remarkable parts of this story is why Jonah waited so long before he prayed to God out of the fish’s belly Jonah 2:1. God’s intention was that Jonah should foreshadow Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Faith Lesson:  It is always darkest before the dawn.  As we enter the greatest time period of tangible darkness that creation has ever known let us remember that from the eternal perspective it is but a short time and then we will be with Jesus for eternity. 

A Matter of Prayer

I called from my distress [literally trouble or from a narrow confine] to God 

I was in my distress and He answered me.

Jonah called out in prayer while imprisoned in the fish in a prophetic-past tense which alludes to a future salvation, as if the prayer were accomplished, it is done, finished.  He appealed to God using His Name's for the attributes of mercy and justice.  

Jonah was swallowed up twice, once by the sea and once by the great fish, and he did not die but remained alive for three days.   Jonah took this as a sign that his life, not death was desired by God.  He did not pray to be saved, but a prayer of thanksgiving. 

He answered me is a past tense verb that implies confidence in the future.  God had answered his prayer.

In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me.  Psalm 120:1

I [Jonah] was in my distress.  I was not deserving of an answer because I had fled from You O God.  I brought distress upon myself.  Nevertheless!  He answered me and can be also read as He will answer me.  He will either free me from my distress or allow me to die. 

From the belly of the lower-world I cried out-You heard my voice.

The lower world refers to the depths of the earth, opposite of the heavens which are the heights.  Metaphorically, this refers to the depths of the grave, the abode of death.  It is Sheol one of the levels of Gehinnom.  It is often the place used figuratively to indicate spiritual distress Psalms 18:5.

In Jonah's case, it refers to the constricted belly of the fish which was like a grave unto Jonah. 

Jonah was praying with a grieving heart, repentant heart.

Faith Lesson: As darkness hems us in on all sides let our instantaneous reaction be to come to our God in humility, with repentance, and with thanksgiving.

Even before a word is on my tongue, You know all about it, O LORD. You hem me in behind and before; You have laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Psalm 139:5

A Word about Heaven and Hell

Oftentimes there is confusion about the various words surrounding the biblical concept of hell.  A understanding is relevant to current events and times.

Gehinnom is the Valley of Ben-Hinnom, a valley south of Jerusalem on one of the borders between the territories of Judah and Benjamin, between the Valley of Rephaim and En-Rogel  according to Joshua 15:8; 18:16

During the time of the Kings, Gehinnom, at a place called Topheth, was the site of a cult which involved the burning of children to Molech, II Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 7:31; 32:35. Jeremiah repeatedly condemned this cult and predicted that on its account Topheth and the Valley of the Son of Hinnom would be called the Valley of the Slaughter Jeremiah 19:5–6

Gehinnom is generally used as an appellation of the place of torment, fire and brimstone, reserved for the wicked, those refusing Jesus, after death. The New Testament used the Greek form Gehenna in the same sense.

Some say that the wicked are utterly destroyed and cease to exist, while others believe in eternal damnation.

Sheol: An Underground Abyss

The subject of death is treated inconsistently in the Bible, though most often it suggests that physical death is the end of life.

There are, however, several biblical references to a place called Sheol.  It is described as a region dark and deep, the Pit, and the Land of Forgetfulness, where human beings descend after death. The suggestion is that in the netherworld of Sheol, the deceased, although cut off from God and humankind; live on in some shadowy state of existence.

Books of Ecclesiastes and Job, insist that all of the dead go down to Sheol, whether good or evil, rich or poor, slave or free man

As we see in the Book of Jonah it is provocative that we see this Stealth Tunneling in our day as if the wicked are tunneling to the Abyss and own graves. 

The World to Come, Paradise, and the Garden of Eden

What the next world is, however, is far from clear. It is a heaven-like afterlife as well as to the messianic era or the age of resurrection

The afterlife is often interchangeably with the terms Gan Eden or Paradise, referring to a heavenly realm where souls reside after physical death.

The use of the term Gan Eden to describe heaven.  It is a return to the blissful existence of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, before the fall. It is generally believed that in Gan Eden is where the human soul exists in a disembodied state until the time of bodily resurrection appointed by Jesus.

Faith Lesson:  What is certain is that our days are limited and that we need to make our days count.  The Book of Ecclesiastes states that the day of a man death is better than his birth for we all begin life with a clean slate and it is what we do with our days that will be our legacy.  Only in the blood of Jesus determines where you will spend eternity.

The Heart of the Sea

You cast me into the depth, in the heart of the seas...

As we study the Ten Plagues of the Exodus we clearly see God is concerned primarily for with the heart of His creation. 

Jonah is catapulted into the most turbulent part of the sea.  In this case, the sea is used figuratively for the heart since the heart is the most active part of the body

The words seas is plural possibly meaning the middle of the Mediterranean or a confluence near Jaffa, a sea port. 

The river whirled around me (engulfed me, encircled me)  the currents of the sea engulfed Jonah. 

Your breakers and waves swept over me …Rolling over me much as a never ending wheel.  My misfortunes come in pairs like a double loom.  The word in the original language is understood and spelled as misfortunes fly and soar over my head like many birds.  In Psalm 18:6 the Psalmist talks about the pains of death those are associated with pains of a woman in labor Hosea 13:13. When Jesus provided Signs of the End He relayed:   Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains. Then they will deliver you over to be persecuted and killed, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name…Matthew 24: 7-9

The Scripture elucidate on this tumultuous time:

  • The torrents which can be as swift masses of soldiers
  • Base Godlessness of men
  • Bands of wicked surrounding me which can be defined as 'pains and travails' and the 'lower-world'
  • Crying out to God and my prayers reach His ear.
  • Quaking, a violent shaking and convulsions 'like the rivers whose waters toss them'. Jeremiah 46:7
  • God's revenge, His wrath with smoke arising from His nostrils
  • Dark waters is the gathering of clouds knitted together
  • Thick clouds abundance of water vapor which creates darkness

As Jonah was in the belly of the fish these waves did not touch him.  The Psalmist says:  Many evils befall the righteous but he Lord saves him from all of the.  Psalm 34:20

Then, I thought… I wonder quietly to myself what would be my thoughts as I was being hurled to my death in the sea.

Because of my sin was I to be driven from Your sight [literally from against Your eyes)?  I was hurled into the sea, going to my death, I was overcome with fear and I thought I was being drive away from Your eyes, Your concern, Your Providence over me.  I thought that You were keeping aloof from me during my certain death.  In my panic, I believed that I was banished forever from Your Presence. 

ButNow I realize that You performed a miracle of keeping me alive.  I was destined to die but now confidence springs from my miraculous escape from drowning.  You alone have sustained me. 

Waters encompassed my soul  They encompassed me until I was near the point of death.  The waters rose to my nose preventing me from breathing, snuffing out my very breath of life, my soul was about ready to depart, but then the fish swallowed me.    For the waters have reached my soulHe drew me out of deep waters Psalm 69:2  Hence the nations are likened to water.  We up to our necks in troubles our lives are about to be extinguished just as the Plague of Darkness has the capability of extinguishing light.  We can endure physical suffering but not the erosion of spiritual values, heresy, and immorality.  

Deep whirled about me [literally engulfed and surrounded me] the deepest part of the sea. Your wrath has swept over me; Your terrors have destroyed me. All day long they engulf me like water; they enclose me on every side.  You have removed my beloved and my friend; darkness is my closest companion.…Psalm 88:17

Faith Lesson:  Though we are currently being cast into the depths of the heart of the sea let us keep our hearts tender to our Savior, even unto death. 

Entanglement within the Weeds

Weeds were entangled about my head… seaweed grows in the sea and which tangles around the heads of the fish swimming through it.

As we saw earlier weeds and roots are symbolic of walking in through the Valley of Death alone in the physical but not alone from our God, as Psalm 23 indicates.

During the darkness of the Tribulation there will many entanglements and distractions that will draw us away from God's perfect will for our life.  Technology is a tool but when it replaces God it is transformed into an idol and many of us are guilty of substituting the Word made flesh with technology.

God is piling up the stones, a testament of our actions and He is ratifying His compact to bring evil to an end.  This cannot come to pass until the chastisements that were laid upon Him are similarly laid upon us His children.  We are in a time with many entanglements and snares such as artificial intelligence.

Faith Lesson:  As the billows of trouble roll over us we will recount that the Living Water has a secret fountain sealed for His faithful children.  Our names are written in the Lambs Book of Life; a scroll rolled up and in His hand and one glorious day that scroll will be unrolled.

Pillars of the Earth

To the bases of the mountains did I sink [descend] the very ends of the mountains, i.e. their foundation on the ocean floor. 

Just before a person's death it is often said that a person sees their entire life passing before their eyes.  I am not sure if this is true or not, but it is a common understanding.

The earth; its bars against me forever….  Jonah believed that the bars were closed against him forever.  While he sunk he beheld the bases of the mountains. He thought that the bars of the earth above him were closed against him and he thought he would never escape and return to the land of the living.  The depths of the sea would be his grave forever, eternally sealed for doom.

The ancient understanding of the earth is that it had pillars supporting the earth.  God showed Jonah the pillars of the earth during his ordeal.  This language reminds me of the many conversations that God had with Job.  Legend has it that Jonah was shown not only the depths of Gehinnom, but also the Foundation Stone, upon which the whole world rested, fixed in the depths of the sea.

You lifted my life from the pit, Lord my God…  I now know You did not intend that the earth's bars to be closed against me forever.  And that you raised me from the pit of the grave, as described by being in the belly of the fish.

While my soul was faint within me   Even when I was swooning from misery of my predicament within the fish's belly and I thought myself near extinction, [the word literally means wrapping oneself up as in burial shrouds].  Misery compresses my body as if I am shriveled in the process of death.  I appear bent and folded over as if being wrapped up in burial garments.  Lamentations 2:19 talks about the swooning many of us will face from starvation and hunger only one of the ravages of judgment we face.

God reminds us in this narrative the futility of idol worship and in our generation there are many idols that will coalesce into under the authority of the Dragon, Anti-Christ, Beast, and False Prophet. 

The vast amount of humanity will forsake their kindness of God in Christ Jesus.  The idolatrous sailors accepted God, but then forsook Him when danger was over.  We see this time and again through the Ten Plagues of the Exodus and Pharaoh.

Jonah's prayer was heard.  He was filled with cheer and gratitude.  He could now go complete his prophetic assignment from God to Nineveh. 

Faith Lesson:  Tribulation will bring many of to our deaths and if not death such will be our anguishes that it will be as if we were dead already in burial shrouds.  Even as we prepare to meet our Savior some of us will be raised to reach the few remaining souls and to declare to the world the Gospel of truth.  Whatever He chooses to be our fate let us enter with cheer and thanksgiving.

Sign of Jonah

This is the Sign of Jonah, which features in passages in Mark 12: 39-42 and Luke 11. 29-32. The two texts have such close verbal resemblances that it is believed they have a common origin. Because they are in Matthew and Luke but not Mark, most (but not all) scholars would attribute them to the lost gospel of Q.

Jesus is talking about prophetic signs. He refers to the Queen of the South, who traveled to see Solomon, and also the sign of the prophet Jonah. According to Luke:

For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. … The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here (KJV)

Matthew’s reading is similar, but with a critical difference:

For as Jonas 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. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

In Luke, Jonah is a prophet who calls to repentance. In Matthew, he is relevant because of the direct parallels between his experience and Jesus' approaching burial and Resurrection. Matthew’s version offers an explicit prophecy of the Resurrection.

During the account of Jonah a solar eclipse is thought to have occurred.  The time of Jonah’s preaching in Nineveh can only be estimated very generally from the Bible. II Kings 14:25 says that Jeroboam II, king of Israel, restored the northern and eastern borders of Israel according to the word of the Lord spoken by the prophet Jonah. Jeroboam II began a co regency with his father Jehoash in 793/92 BC and reigned alone from 782/81 to late summer or early fall of 753. Assuming that Jonah’s prophecy of restoration came early in the reign of Jeroboam, Jonah’s ministry would have been in the first half of the eighth century BC, from about 793 to 750 BC. During this time the Assyrian Eponym Canon records an eclipse of the sun that occurred in the eponym of Bur-Sagale, in the month of Simanu. Modern astronomical calculations date this eclipse to June 15, 763 BC, and show it was a total eclipse as it passed near Nineveh.

The accuracy of the AEC dates was later confirmed when new inscriptions were found, and also when compared to the data derived from Ptolemy’s Canon for the century for which the Canon overlaps with the AEC, 747 to 648 BC.

NASA graphic showing the path of the solar eclipse of June 15, 763 BC. The eclipse would have been seen as total in the area between the blue lines. The site of ancient Nineveh (the city) is about four miles northeast of the center of the modern city of Mosul, Iraq; the province of Nineveh occupied a considerably larger territory. If this NASA reconstruction is correct, the eclipse would have been observed as only partial in the city, but total just a few miles further north. The fact that modern astronomical programs show the eclipse as only partial in the city itself has led some investigators to surmise that the eclipse mentioned as occurring in the eponym of Bur-Sagale was some other eclipse at a different date.

Could the Bur-Sagale eclipse be part of the reason why Jonah, when he finally got to Nineveh, found a city that was serious about repentance?

Nineveh           Plague                       765 BC

Ashur              Eclipse/revolt              763 BC

Ashur              Revolt                         762 BC

Arrapha           Revolt                         761-760 BC

Guzana            Plague/Revolt            759-758 BC

Jonah Appearance                             759-758 BC

Peace in the land for 2 years

The Assyrians regarded plagues and eclipses as divine signs of judgment for the whole land. The plague of 765, followed by a revolt and eclipse in 763 and then revolts in the following four years would only confirm in the mind of the Assyrians that they were under divine displeasure. It is then appealing to think that the year of peace in 758 and the lack of rebellions and plagues in the following 11 years were a consequence of God’s mercy because of the repentance of the nation. If so, this would date Jonah’s appearance at Nineveh to 759 or 758 BC.

Faith Lesson:  If an eclipse did occur during this tumultuous time it would have been a sign to the pagan nations to turn to God when Jonah did finally arrive in Nineveh.  As people of faith we should not need a sign to believe in God.  Celestial signs can be a confirmation of what we already know to be truth, but we should not pin our faith or demand God provide us signs.  We live in an age of great deception and signs can be manipulated.

I know this is allot to digest.  It was for me also. But the days of Tribulation we need as much of the Word and understanding of His Word in our life to avoid deception. 

There will be a Part 3 to the Plague of Darkness on the Two Witnesses.  Just as we do not understand Kingship well we also fail to know the value of witnesses. 




Growing Food At Home: Montana Organic Farmer Celeste Bishop Solum

Growing Food At Home: Montana Organic Farmer Celeste Bishop Solum | Richard Sacks Lost Arts Radio Show on Sunday ...



Growing Food At Home: Montana Organic Farmer Celeste Bishop Solum | Richard Sacks Lost Arts Radio Show on Sunday ...



Planetary Healing Club: Celeste Bishop Solum - Insider Interview 1/17/19

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Celeste has worked as a contractor for Homeland Security and FEMA. Her training and activation's include the infamous day of 911, flood and earthquake operations, mass casualty exercises, and numerous other operations. Celeste is FEMA certified and has completed the Professional Development Emergency Management Series.

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Celeste grew up in a military & governmental home with her father working for the Naval Warfare Center, and later as Assistant Director for Public Lands and Natural Resources, in both Washington State and California.

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