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From: "James Wynn" 
Subject: RE: (urth) Sign from the fish's belly
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2003 09:13:45 -0600

Tami Whitehead said:
Now, not knowing how this fits into the Horn question, the thing that has
struck me deepest on Jonah's story is exactly the resistance to God's will,
and how the whole thing is supposed to be a prefigurement of Christ...

Crush offers
Since your speculation was not how this relates Horn, the answer to what
this was all about (I think) was explained by Jesus...

Matthew 12:41 - 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 point is that Nineveh repented, receiving no more "sign" than that a
prophet "arose" from the deeps after having been three days in the belly of
a fish. Jesus said that the aggregate of the current "generation" in
Jerusalem and Galilee would not repent although they received a sign of the
"greatest of prophets" rising from three days in the grave.

There IS a subtle application in this to the "Long Sun/Short Sun" in that
"underwater" is so ubiquitously associated with the "underworld"; that is,
the land of the dead and the source of prophecy.

BTW - Nutria gave a very interesting explanation of "3 days and nights" in
the grave phrase. On the other hand, a more prosaic explanation is that the
Hebrews and Romans did not have a zero at the time. Counting was conducted
in terms of "first, second, third, etc." rather than "one, two, three, etc."
Days were from sunrise to sundown, not 24-hour intervals. So when Herod
slays infants two years and younger it means "infants in their second year"
or "one year and younger." Jesus was in the tomb (late) Friday, Saturday,
and (early) Sunday - "three days"

The phrase "three days and three nights" is an idiom; it doesn't make
logical sense and doesn't have to. Matthew quotes it even though he later
says that Jesus went into the tomb on Friday at dusk and came out on Sunday
at sunrise. I remember the reaction of some Latino children to the phrase
"when the alarm goes off." They thought it was very funny. "The alarm
doesn't 'go off', it 'goes on'."



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