by G. Ch. Aalders.
I. The Miraculous Event
Many people consider that the problem of the book of Jonah consists chiefly in the miraculousness of its contents. How could a man be swallowed by a whale and vomited out alive upon the dry land after three days and nights? How could an entire heathen city like Nineveh, including their king, become repentant upon the preaching of a Hebrew prophet? How could a gourd come up in a night, and perish in a night?
Indeed, there has repeatedly been keen discussion on these points, in particular with respect to the whale story. On the one hand, this has been adduced by sceptical impiety as conclusive proof of the untrustworthiness of the Bible. People have scoffed at it as being ridiculous. The whale has such a narrow gullet that only a small fish like a herring is able to pass through, and how could a full-grown man make his passage?