Problem: God or the sailors put Jonah into the sea
Verses: Jonah 1:15, 2:3; Status: Weak

The Book of Jonah tells us how Jonah is thrown into the sea by his fellow sailors, who had realised that the storm that was upon them was sent by God due to Jonah's disobedience. This is Jonah 1:15:

So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. (ESV)

But Jonah does not drown - God sends a great sea creature which takes him into its belly for three days. And so Jonah prays, at Jonah 2:3:

For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me. (ESV)

So, the problem is that one verse says the sailors threw him in, while the other says it was God.

But this is a non-contradiction. Jonah believes - not without justification - that his current predicament is the will of God. It was God who caused the sailors to throw Jonah overboard, by sending the storm that so alarmed them.

Updated: 2009-01-18

Back to errancy.org main index

See also