And the Lord spake unto the fish
Or gave orders to it; he that made it could command it; all creatures are the servants of God, and do his will; what he says is done; he so ordered it by his providence, that this fish should come near the shore, and be so wrought upon by his power, that it could not retain Jonah any longer in its belly. It may be rendered F8, "then the Lord spake" after Jonah had finished his prayer, or put up those ejaculations, the substance of which is contained in the above narrative: and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry [land];
not upon the shore of the Red sea, as some; much less upon the shore of Nineveh, which was not built upon the seashore, but upon the river Tigris; and the fish must have carried him all round Africa, and part of Asia, to have brought him to the banks of the Tigris; which could not have been done in three days' time, nor in much greater. Josephus F9 says it was upon the shore of the Euxine sea; but the nearest part of it to Nineveh was one thousand six hundred miles from Tarsus, which the whale, very slow in swimming, cannot be thought to go in three days; besides, no very large fish swim in the Euxine sea, because of the straits of the Propontis, through which they cannot pass, as Bochart F11 from various writers has proved. It is more likely, as others, that it was on the Syrian shore, or in the bay of Issus, now called the gulf of Lajazzo; or near Alexandria, or Alexandretta, now Scanderoon. But why not on the shore of Palestine? and, indeed, why not near the place from whence they sailed? Huetius F12 and others think it probable that this case of Jonah gave rise to the story of Arion, who was cast into the sea by the mariners, took up by a dolphin, and carried to Corinth. Jonah's deliverance was a type of our Lord's resurrection from the dead on the third day, ( Matthew 12:40 ) ; and a pledge of ours; for, after this instance of divine power, why should it be thought a thing incredible that God should raise the dead?
F8 So (w) is sometimes used, and is so rendered, Psal. lxxviii. 34. Job x. 10. See Noldius, p. 308, 309.
F9 Antiqu. l. 9. c. 10. sect. 2.
F11 Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 5. c. 12. col. 744.
F12 Demonstr. Evangel. prop. 4. p. 294.