We have here Jonah’s discharge from his imprisonment, and his deliverance from that death which there he was threatened with—his return, though not to life, for he lived in the fish’s belly, yet to the land of the living, for from that he seemed to be quite cut off—his resurrection, though not from death, yet from the grave, for surely ne bf5 ver man was so buried alive as Jonah was in the fish’s belly. His enlargement may be considered, 1. As an instance of God’s power over all the creatures. God spoke to the fish, gave him orders to return him, as before he had given him orders to receive him. God speaks to other creatures, and it is done; they are all his ready obedient servants. But to man he speaks once, yea, twice, and he perceives it not, regards it not, but turns a deaf ear to what he says. Note, God has all creatures at his command, makes what use he pleases of them, and serves his own purposes by them. 2. As an instance of God’s mercy to a poor penitent, that in his distress prays to him. Jonah had sinned, and had done foolishly, very foolishly; his own backslidings did not correct him, and it appears by his after-conduct that his foolishness was not quite driven from him, no, not by the rod of this correction; and yet, upon his praying, and humbling himself before God, here is a miracle in nature wrought for his deliverance, to intimate what a miracle of grace, free grace, God’s reception and entertainment of returning sinners are. When God had him at his mercy he showed him mercy, and did not contend for ever. 3. As a type and figure of Christ’s resurrection. He died and was buried, to lay in the grave, as Jonah did, three days and three nights, a prisoner for our debt; but the third day he came forth, as Jonah did, by his messengers to preach repentance, and remission of sins, even to the Gentiles. And thus was another scripture fulfilled, After two days he will receive us, and the third day he will raise us up, Hos. 6:2. The earth trembled as if full of her burden, as the fish was of Jonah.
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