Matthew 12:40
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.

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

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

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.

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.

Contemporary English Version
He was in the stomach of a big fish for three days and nights, just as the Son of Man will be deep in the earth for three days and nights.

Good News Translation
In the same way that Jonah spent three days and nights in the big fish, so will the Son of Man spend three days and nights in the depths 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.

New Heart English Bible
For 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.

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.

New American Standard 1977
for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

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.
Study Bible
The Sign of Jonah
39Jesus replied, “A wicked and adulterous generation demands a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41The men of Nineveh will stand at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now One greater than Jonah is here.…
Cross References
2 Kings 14:25
This Jeroboam restored the boundary of Israel from Lebo-hamath to the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word the LORD, the God of Israel, had spoken through His servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath-hepher.

Jonah 1:17
Now the LORD had appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah spent three days and three nights in the stomach of the fish.

Matthew 8:20
Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens, and birds of the air 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 show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and scribes, 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, 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 was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

so.

Matthew 16:21
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

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

Matthew 27:40,63,64
And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross…

in the heart.

Psalm 63:9
But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.

Jonah 2:2-6
And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice…







Lexicon
For
γὰρ (gar)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1063: For. A primary particle; properly, assigning a reason.

just as
ὥσπερ (hōsper)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 5618: Just as, as, even as. From hos and per; just as, i.e. Exactly like.

Jonah
Ἰωνᾶς (Iōnas)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2495: (Hebrew), Jonah, the Hebrew prophet. Of Hebrew origin; Jonas, the name of two Israelites.

was
ἦν (ēn)
Verb - Imperfect Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

three
τρεῖς (treis)
Adjective - Accusative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 5140: Three. Or neuter tria a primary number; 'three'.

days
ἡμέρας (hēmeras)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 2250: A day, the period from sunrise to sunset.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

three
τρεῖς (treis)
Adjective - Accusative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 5140: Three. Or neuter tria a primary number; 'three'.

nights
νύκτας (nyktas)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 3571: The night, night-time. A primary word; 'night'.

in
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

the
τῇ (tē)
Article - Dative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

belly
κοιλίᾳ (koilia)
Noun - Dative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 2836: From koilos; a cavity, i.e. the abdomen; by implication, the matrix; figuratively, the heart.

of the
τοῦ (tou)
Article - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

great fish,
κήτους (kētous)
Noun - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 2785: A sea monster, huge sea fish, whale. Probably from the base of chasma; a huge fish.

so
οὕτως (houtōs)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3779: Thus, so, in this manner. Or (referring to what precedes or follows).

the
(ho)
Article - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

Son
Υἱὸς (Huios)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5207: A son, descendent. Apparently a primary word; a 'son', used very widely of immediate, remote or figuratively, kinship.

of Man
ἀνθρώπου (anthrōpou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 444: A man, one of the human race. From aner and ops; man-faced, i.e. A human being.

will be
ἔσται (estai)
Verb - Future Indicative Middle - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

three
τρεῖς (treis)
Adjective - Accusative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 5140: Three. Or neuter tria a primary number; 'three'.

days
ἡμέρας (hēmeras)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 2250: A day, the period from sunrise to sunset.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

three
τρεῖς (treis)
Adjective - Accusative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 5140: Three. Or neuter tria a primary number; 'three'.

nights
νύκτας (nyktas)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 3571: The night, night-time. A primary word; 'night'.

in
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

the
τῇ (tē)
Article - Dative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

heart
καρδίᾳ (kardia)
Noun - Dative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 2588: Prolonged from a primary kar; the heart, i.e. the thoughts or feelings; also the middle.

of the
τῆς (tēs)
Article - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

earth.
γῆς (gēs)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1093: Contracted from a primary word; soil; by extension a region, or the solid part or the whole of the terrene globe.
(40) As Jonas was three days and three nights.--To understand the words rightly, we have to remember the prominence which our Lord gives to the history of Jonah, and to the repentance of the men of Nineveh, in this and in the parallel passage of Luke 11:29, and in answer to another demand for a sign in Matthew 16:4. In the other passages "the sign of the prophet Jonas" appears with a vague mysteriousness, unexplained. Not a few critics have accordingly inferred from this difference that the explanation given by St. Matthew was an addition to the words actually spoken by our Lord, and that "the sign of the prophet Jonas" was sufficiently fulfilled by His preaching repentance to the wicked and adulterous generation as Jonah had done to the Ninevites. Against this view, however, it may be urged:--(1) That Jonah's work as a preacher was not a "sign" in any sense, and that nothing in his history had this character, except the two narratives of the whale (Jonah 1:17) and the gourd (Jonah 4:6-10). Any reference to the latter is, of course, out of the question; and it remains therefore, in any case, that we must look to the former as that to which our Lord alluded. (2) That the very difficulty presented by the prediction of "three days and three nights" as compared with the six-and-thirty hours (two nights and one day) of the actual history of the Resurrection, is against the probability of the verse having been inserted as a prophecy after the event. (3) That if we believe that our Lord had a distinct prevision of His resurrection, and foretold it, sometimes plainly and sometimes in dark sayings--and of this the Gospels leave no room for doubt (Matthew 16:21; Matthew 26:32; John 2:19)--then the history of Jonah presented an analogy which it was natural that He should notice. It does not necessarily follow that this use of the history as a prophetic symbol of the Resurrection requires us to accept it in the very letter of its details. It was enough, for the purposes of the illustration, that it was familiar and generally accepted. The purely chronological difficulty is explained by the common mode of speech among the Jews, according to which, any part of a day, though it were but a single hour, was for legal purposes considered as a whole. An instance of this mode of speech is found in 1Samuel 30:12-13, and it is possible that in the history of Jonah itself the measurement of time is to be taken with the same laxity.

Some incidental facts are worth noticing: (1) that the word translated "whale" may stand vaguely for any kind of sea-monster; (2) that "the heart of the earth," standing parallel as it does to "the heart of the seas," the "belly of hell"--i.e., Sheol and Hades--in Jonah 2:2-3, means more than the rock-hewn sepulchre, and implies the descent into Hades, the world of the dead, which was popularly believed to be far below the surface of the earth; (3) that the parable has left its mark on Christian art, partly in the constant use of Jonah as a type of our Lord's resurrection, and partly in that of the jaws of a great whale-like monster as the symbol of Hades; (4) that the special character of the psalm in Jonah 2, corresponding as it does so closely (Jonah 2:6) with Psalm 16:10-11, may well be thought to have prompted our Lord's reference to it.

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. 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.
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