Theologists discourse on Jonah and the Whale

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Theologists discourse on Jonah and the Whale

Post by Hovannes »

A woman was teaching Sunday school for a small group of four-year-olds. Unbeknownst to her, she breached a surprisingly controversial topic when she discussed Jonah and the whale. “The prophet Jonah got thrown out of a boat, and was swallowed by a whale, and then was discharged three days later,” she said.

One four-year-old boy spoke up and said, “Nuh-uh! There may have been a prophet Jonah, but he didn’t get swallowed by a whale! It didn’t really happen! That’s just symbolic!”

Another boy said, “Nuh-uh! It did too happen!”

The teacher spoke up and said, “Now boys, it’s just a story, let’s not…”

“Ah-HAH!” said the first boy. “She said it’s just a STORY! You heard her! It didn’t happen!”

“Nuh-uh!” said the second boy. “Just because it’s a story doesn’t mean it’s not true! The largest whales on earth are hundreds of thousands of pounds! They could too swallow a person!”

“Yeah, but there’s a problem, numbskull!” said the first boy. “Whales only eat krill! Their throat is only a few inches wide! They couldn’t swallow a grown man!” said the first boy.

“Like f*** they only eat krill!” said the second boy. “The sperm whale eats giant squid! Even colossal squid! The text never says it was a BALEEN whale!”

The teacher, frustrated, said, “Boys! Let’s not…”

“But live squid are only found hundreds of feet below the surface, numbskull!” said the first boy. “They wouldn’t be eating a person who just fell off a boat!”

“They could too, dimwit!” said the second boy. “And it might not have even been a whale! The term used in the original Hebrew text is ‘dag gadol,’ and that could refer to any number of large aquatic species, even non-cetaceans! It’s not like they had the Linnean classification system back then, you moron!”

The first boy replied, “Well, you can take your Physeter macrocephalus and shove it! Why don’t you just ask Jonah for yourself if he was swallowed by an animal, and you can confirm it that way!”

The second boy, being very young and not yet familiar with the concept of the typical human lifespan, thought this was a practical way to solve the disagreement. “All right,” he said. “After I get home today, I’ll find out Jonah’s email and send him a message asking him. And when he replies, I’ll give you his answer.”

“Yeah, except you CAN’T!” said the first boy. “Jonah’s dead! He died thousands of years ago! So ha! I win!”

The second boy, being very embarrassed for not knowing this, said in reply, “Well, when I die and go to heaven, I’ll ask Jonah myself! Then I’ll get an answer!”

The first boy then said, “Oh yeah? And what if Jonah went to hell?”

After a few moments of silence, the second boy replied, “Well, then YOU can ask him!”
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