Matthew 12:40
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

New Living Translation
For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.

English Standard Version
For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

New American Standard Bible
for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.

International Standard Version
because just as Jonah was in the stomach of the sea creature for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.

NET Bible
For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For just as Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights, thus The Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Just as Jonah was in the belly of a huge fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.

Jubilee Bible 2000
for as Jonah 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.

King James 2000 Bible
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

American King James Version
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.

American Standard Version
for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For as Jonas was in the whale's belly three days and three nights: so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.

Darby Bible Translation
For even as Jonas was in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights, thus shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.

English Revised Version
for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Webster's Bible Translation
For as Jonah 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.

Weymouth New Testament
For just as Jonah was three days in the sea-monster's belly, so will the Son of Man be three days in the heart of the earth.

World English Bible
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Young's Literal Translation
for, as Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights, so shall the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:38-45 Though Christ is always ready to hear and answer holy desires and prayers, yet those who ask amiss, ask and have not. Signs were granted to those who desired them to confirm their faith, as Abraham and Gideon; but denied to those who demanded them to excuse their unbelief. The resurrection of Christ from the dead by his own power, called here the sign of the prophet Jonah, was the great proof of Christ's being the Messiah. As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale, and then came out again alive, thus Christ would be so long in the grave, and then rise again. The Ninevites would shame the Jews for not repenting; the queen of Sheba, for not believing in Christ. And we have no such cares to hinder us, we come not to Christ upon such uncertainties. This parable represents the case of the Jewish church and nation. It is also applicable to all those who hear the word of God, and are in part reformed, but not truly converted. The unclean spirit leaves for a time, but when he returns, he finds Christ is not there to shut him out; the heart is swept by outward reformation, but garnished by preparation to comply with evil suggestions, and the man becomes a more decided enemy of the truth. Every heart is the residence of unclean spirits, except those which are temples of the Holy Ghost, by faith in Christ.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 40. - Matthew only. For as Jonas (Jonah, Revised Version) was three days and three nights in the whale's belly. Verbally from the LXX. of Jonah 1:17 (2:1). So shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Since, so far as the balance of evidence goes (cf., however, Bishop Westcott, 'Introduction,' p. 344, edit. 1872), the Crucifixion was on Friday and the Resurrection on Sunday, the actual time between them was only one clear day and two parts of days (which might fairly be called three days) and two whole nights. The reckoning, therefore, here is, strictly speaking, inaccurate. The words are perhaps a mere adaptation of the phrase in Jonah, and are here used only to roughly mark the time of our Lord's stay in the grave. Observe, however, that the addition of" nights" tends to emphasize the reality of our Lord's stay there. It was a matter of days and nights; he spent both kinds of earthly time "in the heart of the earth" (cf. Matthew 4:2, note). It will be noticed that the inaccuracy of the wording would, if modern Western habits were alone to be considered, make it most unlikely that the phrase is a later addition; but in view of the early Christian and Jewish method of illustrating events by passages of Scripture which do not apply in all respects, the improbability is not so great as would at first sight appear. However, upon our present information, we must say that the phrase was spoken by our Lord himself, and that although the exact time of his stay in the grave was well known to the early believers, they continued to repeat the saying in the form in which the Lord left it. In the heart of the earth. The form of the expression is derived from Jonah 2:3 (4), "in the heart of the seas" (cf. Exodus 15:8), and would therefore appear to mean some deeper place than the rock-hewn sepulchre. Hence many commentators, beginning with Irenaeus ('Adv. Haer.,' V. 31.) and Tertullian ('De Anima,' Iv.), understand it as directly denoting the place of departed spirits. Ephesians 4:9 ("the lower parts of the earth"), on the contrary, probably refers to the earth as such in contrast to heaven.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly,.... Or "in the belly of a great fish", as is said, Jonah 1:17 for that it was a whale, is not there said, nor is it certain it was; nor from the smallness of its swallow, is it thought probable it should; nor does the word here used, necessarily imply one, but some large fish; nor are there whales in the Phoenician Sea: it might be a kind of a sea dog, called Carcharias, and sometimes Lamia, or Lamina, from its vast swallow; in which whole men; even in coats of mail, have been found. However, be it what it will, Jonas was three days and three nights in the belly of it; which agrees with the account in the above mentioned place, and is the sign Christ speaks of in the foregoing verse; and a very great sign and miracle it was, that being swallowed down by such a fish, he should remain in the belly of it three days and three nights, as one dead; for, without a miracle, he could not have lived an hour; and on the third day, as one raised from the dead, be cast out of it upon the dry land; which was a very eminent type of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, as appears by what follows. The Jews reckon up several wonders or miracles in this case of Jonah's; as that a fish was prepared to swallow him up, and he not drowned in the sea; and that this was prepared for him from the creation of the world; that he should be three days and three nights in the fish's belly, and be alive; and that he should retain his senses and his understanding, so as to be able to pray: they represent him also as if he was in the state of the dead (l), and that the fish itself was dead, and was quickened again. According to Josephus, after he had been carried 250 miles in the Hellespont of the Euxine Sea, he was cast ashore (m).

So shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. That Christ means himself by the "son of man", there is no reason to doubt; and his being laid in a tomb, dug out of a rock, is sufficient to answer this phrase, "the heart of the earth", in distinction from the surface of it; but some difficulty arises about the time of his continuing there, and the prediction here made agreeable to the type: for it was on the sixth day of the week, we commonly call "Friday", towards the close, on the day of the preparation for the sabbath, and when the sabbath drew on, that the body of Christ was laid in the sepulchre; where it lay all the next day, which was the sabbath of the Jews, and what we commonly call "Saturday"; and early on the first of the week, usually called "Sunday", or the Lord's day, he rose from the dead; so that he was but one whole day, and part of two, in the grave. To solve this difficulty, and set the matter in a clear light, let it be observed, that the three days and three nights, mean three natural days, consisting of day and night, or twenty four hours, and are what the Greeks call "night days"; but the Jews have no other way of expressing them, but as here; and with them it is a well known rule, and used on all occasions, as in the computation of their feasts and times of mourning, in the observance of the passover, circumcision, and divers purifications, that , "a part of a day is as the whole" (n): and so, whatever was done before sun setting, or after, if but an hour, or ever so small a time, before or after it, it was reckoned as the whole preceding, or following day; and whether this was in the night part, or day part of the night day, or natural day, it mattered not, it was accounted as the whole night day: by this rule, the case here is easily adjusted; Christ was laid in the grave towards the close of the sixth day, a little before sun setting, and this being a part of the night day preceding, is reckoned as the whole; he continued there the whole night day following, being the seventh day; and rose again early on the first day, which being after sun setting, though it might be even before sun rising, yet being a part of the night day following, is to be esteemed as the whole; and thus the son of man was to be, and was three days and three nights in the grave; and which was very easy to be understood by the Jews; and it is a question whether Jonas was longer in the belly of the fish.

(l) R. David Kimchi & Jarchi, in Jonah i. 17. & ii. 1. Zohar in Exod. fol. 20. 3. & 78. 3.((m) Antiq. 1. 9. c. 18. (n) T. Hieros. Pesach. fol. 31. 2. T. Bab. Moed. Katon, fol. 16. 2. 17. 2. 19. 2. & 20. 2. Bechorot, fol. 20. 2. & 21. 1, Nidda, fol. 33. 1. Maimon. Hilch. Ebel, c. 7. sect. 1, 2, 3. Aben Ezra in Leviticus 12.3.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

40. For as Jonas was—"a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation" (Lu 11:30). For as Jonas was

three days and three nights in the whale's belly—(Jon 1:17).

so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth—This was the second public announcement of His resurrection three days after His death. (For the first, see Joh 2:19). Jonah's case was analogous to this, as being a signal judgment of God; reversed in three days; and followed by a glorious mission to the Gentiles. The expression "in the heart of the earth," suggested by the expression of Jonah with respect to the sea (2:3, in the Septuagint), means simply the grave, but this considered as the most emphatic expression of real and total entombment. The period during which He was to lie in the grave is here expressed in round numbers, according to the Jewish way of speaking, which was to regard any part of a day, however small, included within a period of days, as a full day. (See 1Sa 30:12, 13; Es 4:16; 5:1; Mt 27:63, 64, &c.).

Matthew 12:40 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Sign of Jonah
39But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; 40for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41"The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.…
Cross References
2 Kings 14:25
He was the one who restored the boundaries of Israel from Lebo Hamath to the Dead Sea, in accordance with the word of the LORD, the God of Israel, spoken through his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher.

Jonah 1:17
Now the LORD provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Matthew 8:20
Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."

Matthew 12:8
For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

Matthew 16:21
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Matthew 28:6
He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
Treasury of Scripture

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.

as.

Jonah 1:17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah …

so.

Matthew 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to show to his disciples, how that …

Matthew 17:23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. …

Matthew 27:40,63,64 And saying, You that destroy the temple, and build it in three days, …

John 2:19 Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple, and in three …

in the heart.

Psalm 63:9 But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower …

Jonah 2:2-6 And said, I cried by reason of my affliction to the LORD, and he …

Jump to Previous
Belly Earth Fish Great Heart Huge Jonah Jonas Monster Nights Sea Stomach Three Whale
Jump to Next
Belly Earth Fish Great Heart Huge Jonah Jonas Monster Nights Sea Stomach Three Whale
Links
Matthew 12:40 NIV
Matthew 12:40 NLT
Matthew 12:40 ESV
Matthew 12:40 NASB
Matthew 12:40 KJV

Matthew 12:40 Bible Apps
Matthew 12:40 Bible Suite
Matthew 12:40 Biblia Paralela
Matthew 12:40 Chinese Bible
Matthew 12:40 French Bible
Matthew 12:40 German Bible

Alphabetical: a and as be belly days earth fish For heart huge in Jonah just Man monster nights of sea so Son the three was will

NT Gospels: Matthew 12:40 For as Jonah was three days (Matt. Mat Mt) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
Matthew 12:39
Top of Page
Top of Page