Bible Stories for Kids : Jonah and the Whale

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Jonah was a prophet, oooh, oooh. But he really never got it, sad but true.

Just kidding! This is a great Veggie Tale but it's also one of the very real bible stories for kids! Jonah was a famous prophet - famous for running from God and reminding us how very selfish we can be.

For this adventure you'll definitely need some rain gear - you will get wet! Ready to dive in with Jonah and the Whale - let's go!


Jonah and the Whale Part 1

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Jonah was a prophet and was giving the word of the Lord to the Israelites.

One day the Lord spoke to Jonah, saying:"Go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it; for its wickedness rises up before me."But Jonah did not wish to preach to the people of Nineveh; for they were the enemies of his land, the land of Israel. He wished Nineveh to die in its sins, and not to turn to God and live. So Jonah tried to run from where go wanted him to go.He went down to Joppa and took a ship for Tarshish which was the opposite direction of Nineveh.

But the Lord saw Jonah on the ship; and sent a great storm upon the sea, so that the ship seemed as though it would beak up and sink. The sailors threw overboard everything on the ship; and when they could do no more, every man prayed to his god to save the ship and themselves. During all of this Jonah was fast asleep, and the ship's captain came to him, and said:"How can you be sleeping in such a time as this? Awake, get up, and call upon your God. Perhaps He will hear you and save our lives."

But the storm continued to rage around the ship; and they said:"There is some man on this ship who has brought upon us this trouble. Let us cast lots and find who it is."Then they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. They said to him, all at once:"Tell us, who are you? From what country do you come? What is your business? To what people do you belong? Why have you brought all this trouble upon us?"

Then Jonah told them the whole story, how he came from the land of Israel, and that he had fled away from the presence of the Lord. And they said to him:"What shall we do to you, so the storm may cease?"

Then said Jonah:"Take me up and throw me into the sea; then the storm will cease and the waters will be calm; for I know that it is because of my actions this storm is upon you."But the men did not want to throw Jonah into the sea. They rowed desperately to bring the ship to the land, but they could not.

Then they cried unto the Lord, and said:"We earnestly pray, O Lord, do not let us die because of this man; and do not hold us accountable for his blood, for you, O Lord, have done as you pleased."At last, when they could do nothing else to save themselves, they threw Jonah into the sea.

At once the storm ceased, and the waves became still. Then the men on the ship feared the Lord greatly. They offered a sacrifice to the Lord, and made promises to serve him.


Jonah and the Whale Part 2

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And the Lord caused a great fish to swallow Jonah; and Jonah was alive within the fish for three days and three nights. In the fish Jonah cried to the Lord thanking him for saving his life and the Lord caused the great fish to vomit up Jonah upon the dry land.

Now the call of the Lord came to Jonah a second time:"Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it what I command you." So Jonah went to the city of Nineveh; and as he entered into it, he called out to the people:"Within forty days Nineveh shall be destroyed."

And he walked through the city all day crying out:"Within forty days Nineveh shall be destroyed."And the people of Nineveh believed the word of the Lord as spoken by Jonah. They turned away from their sins and fasted and sought the Lord, from the greatest of them even to the least.

The king of Nineveh arose from his throne, and laid aside his royal robes, and covered himself with sack-cloth and sat in ashes, as a sign of his sorrow. And the king sent out a command to his people that they should fast, and seek the Lord, and turn from sin.And God saw that the people of Nineveh were sorry for their wickedness, and he forgave them, and did not destroy their city.

But this made Jonah very angry. He did not want the people of Nineveh to be saved, because they were the enemy of his own land; and also he feared that men would call him a false prophet when his word did not come to pass. And Jonah said to the Lord:"O Lord, I knew you would spare this city! That was the reason I tried to run away; for I know that you are a gracious God, full of pity, slow to anger, and rich in mercy. I knew you would save these wicked people! Now, O Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live."

And Jonah went out of the city, and built a little hut on the east side of it, and sat under its roof, to see whether God would keep the word that he had spoken. Then the Lord caused a plant with thick leaves to grow up, and to shade Jonah from the sun; and Jonah was glad, and sat under its shadow. But a worm destroyed the plant; and the next day a hot wind blew, and Jonah suffered from the heat; and again Jonah wished that he might die.

And the Lord said to Jonah:"You had compassion on the plant and were sorry to see it die even though it only lived one day and you did not even make it grow. Why should I not have pity on Nineveh, a great city, where there are more than a hundred thousand people, many little children and also many cattle and animals, all helpless and knowing nothing?"

You can read the story of Jonah and the Whale yourself in the bible, it's in the book of Jonah and is a pretty short read.


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Jonah and the Whale

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What Did You Learn from Jonah and the Whale?

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Wow, Jonah was very, very selfish! He didn't want to go to Nineveh and preach because he knew the people would repent and God would save them. He wanted God to destroy them, every one of them and not save them! He wanted revenge, not forgiveness. You know it's easy to judge Jonah but many times our hearts feel the same way that Jonah's did. We don't want to forgive people that have hurt us, we want to hurt them back or we wish bad things would happen to them.

God tried to teach Jonah a lesson when he grew up the plant to shade him and then let it wither and die. Jonah missed the plant and was sad it died because it made him feel good and protected him from the sun. He cared more about a plant than all of the people, great and small in Nineveh!

God created the people in Nineveh and loved them even though their hearts were full of wickedness. He wanted them to repent and turn to him and he quickly forgave them when they did. All men, and women, and little children, are precious in the sight of the Lord, even if they do not know God.We need to see other people, even our enemies, through God's eyes. We need to show them love and forgiveness even when we don't feel like it, then maybe they will repent and be saved like the people of Nineveh.

If they do, we should rejoice that they are saved and not be mad that they were not punished. Because guess what? There are days when we mess up too. Wouldn't you like to be forgiven when those days come rather than punished and destroyed!?

We sure learned a lot in this adventure with Jonah and the Whale! We hope you enjoyed it!

Jonah and the Whale Fun Facts


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* Blue whales can "talk" to other whales by using sounds that travel up to 700 miles! I guess that's why they don't need cell phones!

* Whales cannot breathe underwater. Most of their dives last about 10-20 minutes and then they have to come up and blow.

* Blue whales eat up to 4 tons of food (krill) every day! That's like eating a female elephant every day!

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