What The Bible Said Jonah's Life Was Like After Being Swallowed By The Whale

Imagine you're going about your day, minding your own business. You decide to take a little midday excursion upon the open water and gear up for a row in your boat. Suddenly, without warning or reason, a massive whale breaches the surface and swallows you whole. Just your luck, right? What now? Well, after three days of traversing the ocean's subterranean kingdom in the belly of one of Mother Nature's sentient submarines, you're spewed back onto dry land along with a second chance at life. Wash off those fish guts and get back to the real world. 

Still, that was a pretty traumatic experience. For three whole days, you lived in the literal belly of the beast with no company except the other oceanic life forms it decided to munch on during your stay, all the while waiting for his stomach acids to dissolve you alive. As it turns out, God has decided to be your therapist. He appears before you and reveals that he sent the whale to swallow and purge you within a few days' time, all in an effort to teach you a lesson about life. This is God working in mysterious — albeit peculiar — ways. Is this starting to sound familiar? Even non-religious people probably know the harrowing Biblical saga of Jonah and the whale (via Learn Religions). 

The story of Jonah and the whale

According to Britannica, the Book of Jonah is a Biblical doctrine that outlines the story of a man who, after being sent to spread the word of God to the city of Nineveh, decides to abandon his duty and escape upon the high seas. Unfortunately for him, God's all seeing eye extends to the open waters, and when he discovers his not-so-loyal subject fleeing the scene, he summons a storm that capsizes his vessel. Just as he is about to drown, Jonah is gobbled up by a whale, and he finds unexpected refuge in its stomach. After three days, the whale brings him to dry land and expels him before the watchful eyes of his creator.

God's message to Jonah was as follows: life is precious, so don't take it for granted. Even those you find despicable deserve salvation (Jonah detested the inhabitants of Nineveh and refused to extend a loving hand to their godless ways), so return to Nineveh and offer ethereal asylum to those who will have it. Given a second chance at life, Jonah graciously heeds the orders of God and does what he is told. He travels to Nineveh and proliferates the Holy paradigm to the best of his abilities, probably reeking of fish guts all the while (per Britannica). 

What happened after Jonah's showdown with the whale?

After the whale left him slathered in sluice upon that barren beach, Jonah became a loyal prophet of God and ultimately did what he initially refused to do. According to Your Bible Question, his noble venture proved a success, and the city of Nineveh was redeemed in the tender light of the Lord. Whoo! But what now? Did everyone live happily ever after? Well, for the most part, but not without a little further malfeasance from angsty little Jonah. 

While little is known of Jonah's life after his prolific trek to Nineveh, Britannica reports that he harbored some lingering resentment for the city's populace even after they submitted to God's will. He grew angry and posted up beyond the city gates to behold its seemingly inevitable destruction. Suddenly, a large plant appeared, providing him with some shade and shelter for the night. He woke to discover that, to his discontent, a large worm had come and devoured the plant while he slept. God then decried (Jonah 4:10-11): "You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night, and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?"