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Types of Christ in the Old Testament

Jonah as a Type of Israel

Jonah . . . A Type of Israel
Luke 11:29-30 And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign,. and there shall be no sign given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. [30] For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. (KJV)
Jesus tells us here that as Jonah was a sign unto the Ninevites; likewise, shall the Son of man be a sign to this generation. The specific reference is: Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (KJV) . . . When we study about the Son of God and the Son of Man, we find that Israel is also called the son of God. Exodus 4:22-23 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: [23] And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn. (KJV)

The Lord Jesus Christ was a sign to His generation, and those to follow. Israel too, is a sign to each generation; so, both our Lord and Israel are typified in Jonah. The Book of Jonah reveals many interesting angles of analogy between Jonah and the nation of Israel. Here are eleven such analogies:

1. In Jonah 1:2, God commissioned Jonah to go to Nineveh, a great Gentile city, and cry out against it. This was very unusual, the Lord calling a Jewish prophet to go to the Gentiles and preach, for yet the time of the Gentiles' salvation was not at hand (Eph. 2:11-13). In Abraham, God also called Israel to go to the Gentiles and give a witness (Gen. 12:1-3). Verse 3 says that ALL families of the Earth are to be blessed in him. Intimation of Israel's responsibility had already been noted in Gen.9:27, where we are informed that all spiritual blessings which the Gentiles are to receive shall come to them through Shem. In Isa. 43:9-12, we learn of the world-wide scope of Israel's mission. The first analogy between Jonah and Israel is this: Jonah was commissioned to go to the Gentiles . . .Israel was commissioned to go to the Gentiles.

2. Jonah chose to disobey the Lord and refused to go to the Gentile city of Nineveh. He ran from the Presence of the Lord and tried to get away from the Lord's will concerning his task. Israel in her pride refused to take the Gospel to the Gentiles, choosing rather to gather her garments of complacent selfrighteousness around her, while calling the Gentiles "dogs" (Psalm 22:16; Mat.7:6; Matthew 15:26; Mark 7:27; Philippians 3:2; Revelation 22:14. Dogs was a term of reproach.

3. Jonah's disobedience brought much trouble to him. As he ran from the Presence of the Lord, he sought passage on board a ship going to Tarshish, possibly the furthermost point away. Tarshish seems to be identified in Scripture as the ancient maritime and island nation which we today call Great Britain. Jonah was going as far away from Nineveh as he could get. Israel also disobeyed and attempted to put as much space between them and the Gentiles as they could, and they too have brought themselves great trouble. Jonah found himself on board a ship with a mighty storm at sea endangering the ship, its cargo and crew. Jonah, out of the will of the Lord, brought distress upon the Gentiles aboard ship. The Jews out of the will of God have brought distress, not only upon themselves but also upon the Gentiles of the world. Read Deut. 28 for a clear picture of the prophesied trouble to come upon Israel if she disobeyed the Lord.

4. There would be NO relief for the ship, its cargo and crew with Jonah on board. There can be no relief for Israel out of the Lord's will, though she is in her land. The only alternative for the crew and Jonah was for him to be cast overboard into the sea. The only alternative for Israel was for God to cast her out of the land into the sea of Gentile nations. With the scattering of Israel and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the Jews certainly were cast into the sea of the Gentiles.

5. When Jonah was cast overboard, peace prevailed on the sea, the storm STOPPED and the Gentile crew was saved both physically and spiritually. In Jonah 1:16, we find that salvation came to the Gentiles. We also learn that when Israel was cast out of her land, scattered among the Gentile nations and set aside, salvation came to the Gentiles. (Rom.11:15-19.) May we NEVER forget that salvation to the Gentiles came through Israel's rejection by God.

6. Even though Jonah was cast into the sea, he was NOT cast off by God. He still had to fulfill God's purpose, and He moved quickly to preserve and keep him until Jonah came to his senses and would do His will. God's preserving Jonah was a miracule in that He prepared a great fish to swallow him. There need be NO doubt about the identify of the fish, its dimension etc., because it was especially prepared by God for this specific purpose. Very interesting that the fish did NOT digest Jonah. He was preserved and protected by God while in the belly of that special fish (whale, Mat.12:40). What about Israel? Has God cast her off because she has been cast out into the sea of Gentile nations? (Rom. 11:1-6). Many people today think so! But they are WRONG! God has a purpose for Israel, and that is to carry the Gospel to ALL the Gentiles on the face of the Earth. Since she has not yet done this, He shall keep preserving her until such a time when she will be submissive and obedient to His will (Rev.7) so, God's protecting care of Israel through the centuries, continues to today and on into the future. The Gentiles have NOT been able to digest the Jews. No matter what they do with them they will NEVER digest Israel. God is keeping her safe for the fulfilment of the purpose for which He brought her into existence, and that is to be His witnesses to ALL the Gentiles in the world. Many tragic attempts of the Gentiles to do away with the Jewish people have failed. Pharaoh in Egypt; Hamaan in the days of Mordecai and Queen Esther; Antiochus Epiphanes in the days of the Maccabees, Hitler's holocaust in which he destroyed approximately one-third of the Jewish race. But in all these experiences, God has preserved a remnant, just as He preserved Jonah while in the belly of the fish. Israel is here to stay (Jer.31:35-37).

7. Affliction brought repentance. It seems that Jonah inside the whale's belly died and went to sheol (the Hebrew word for the place of departed spirits, irrespective of their condition, whether saved or lost). Jonah's dying and resurrection was a vital part of his being a type of Christ. It might do you well to study some of hell, sheol, and hades. Read Luke 16:19-31 where we have both Lazarus and the rich man in hell (or sheol or hades), the same place to which Jonah went. It was because of Jonah's affliction and realization of wasted opportunities that he turned to the Lord and called upon Him. There is a day coming called the "day of Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:5-7). In the day of her affliction, Israel will call upon God. This is set forth in type in Ex.3:7-12. After Moses had appeared unto the children of Israel the first time as their deliverer and they had refused to receive him, he went away into a distant country where he married a Gentile bride and became a shepherd. So too, our Lord came the first time, was rejected by Israel, and has gone away into a far country. He is now taking out of the Gentiles a people for His Name. While Moses was in the desert the affliction of the children of Israel in Egypt was so intensified that they called out to God for help. The Lord heard their cry and sent Moses back the second time to deliver them, and they received Him. When the day of Jacob's trouble (also called the great tribulation) falls upon Israel, they will call on the Lord (Matt. 23:39), and the Lord will return to deliver them, and THEN they will receive Him. As Jonah's affliction caused him to call upon the Lord, so shall Israel's coming affliction cause her to do the same.

8. Looking toward the temple: In Jonah 2:4, he affirms his conviction that he will yet look toward the holy temple, that is, he will be restored to his homeland and his place of worship in the temple. Israel in her dispersion continues to dream of the day when she too will again look to the holy temple. That is the day when Israel will be restored, the city and the temple be rebuilt, and Israel will once again be serving the Lord from His holy temple.

9. Resurrection and restoration: When Jonah called upon the Lord at the time of his affliction, God heard him and commanded the fish to put him on the dry land (Jonah 2:10). When Israel shall again cry out to the Lord, He will hear their cry and put them back in the land (Jer. 30:10,11).

10. Resurrection on the third day: In Jonah 1:17, we are told that he was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Mat.12:40 tells us that Jesus was to be in the heart of the earth three days and nights. Now as Jonah was raised on the third day and as Christ was raised on the third day, even so shall Israel be raised on the third day: "I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offense, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us,. he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight" (Hos.5:15-6:2). In Hos.6:2, we read that it is on the third day that He will raise Israel up. 2 Pet. 3:8 informs us that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day; so, Israel's resurrection is to take place after 2,000 years, and during or in the third thousand-year period. How startling when we realize that Israel has been cast off for nearly 2,000 years and that the time of her resurrection is fast drawing nigh!

11. Jonah, placed on the land, was told the second time to go to Nineveh and preach. This time, He went! He hastened to obey the Lord; and the result .was that the whole city, from the king down to the lowest slave, put on sackcloth and ashes in repentance in turning to the Lord. When Israel is restored, the Lord will command her the second time to go to the ends of the earth and preach the gospel of the kingdom to every Gentile (Matt. 24:14; Rev. 7:1-8). God preserved Jonah that he might preach to Nineveh as He had originally commanded him. God is preserving Israel that she may yet preach the Gospel to all the Gentiles. When Jonah preached, unparalleled and supernatural results followed. When Israel carries the Gospel of the Kingdom to the Gentiles of the world, unparalleled and supernatural results will follow. (Rev. 7:9-17.) Thus we see God's original purpose in Jonah fulfilled; and very SOON we shall see God's original purpose in Israel fulfilled. Jonah is a type of the nation of Israel.

Types of Christ in the Old Testament

Type of Israel, Jonah

Types . . . Eve Bride of Christ

Types of Christ's Death, Coats of Skin

Types of Christ's Death, Old Testament Sacrifices

Types of Christ's Death, Tabernacle

Types of Christ, Adam

Types of Christ, David

Types of Christ, Elijah

Types of Christ, Elisha

Types of Christ, Examples

Types of Christ, Isaac

Types of Christ, Job

Types of Christ and His Resurrection, Jonah

Types of Christ, Joseph

Types of Christ, Melchezidek

Types of Christ, Moses

Types of Christ, the Pillar of Cloud and Fire

Types of Christ, Samson

Types of Christ, the Rock

Types of Christ, the Brazen Serpent

Types of Christ, the Exodus

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