Calvin, Commentary on Jonah, Part 4 
(... continue from part 3)  
Lecture Seventy-fifth.  
Jonah 1:13,14  
Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring [it] to the land; but they  
could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.  
Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O  
LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and  
lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it  
pleased thee.  
    This verse shows that the sailors and the rest were more  
inclined to mercy, when they saw that the holy Prophet was willing  
to undergo the punishment which he had deserved. When therefore, he  
confessed that he was guilty, and refused not to be punished, they  
became anxious to spare his life, though they were heathens, and  
also for the most part barbarians: and as each of them could not but  
be frightened with his immediate danger, the wonder is increased,  
that they had such regard for the life of one who alone was in  
fault, and who had now freely confessed this. But the Lord so turned  
their hearts, that they now saw more clearly how grievous a sin it  
was to flee away from the call of God, and not to yield obedience,  
as we have before observed, to his command. Many think that this is  
a light offense, and readily indulge themselves in it: but it is not  
in the power of men to weigh sins; the balance is deceitful when men  
estimate their sins according to their own judgment. Let us then  
learn to ascribe to God his own honor, - that he alone is Judge, and  
is far above us, and can alone determine how grievous or how slight  
any sin is. But common sense, except when men willfully deceive  
themselves by vain flatteries, clearly teaches this, - that it is no  
light offense when we evade the command of God; for, as we have  
stated, men do thus take away from God his supreme authority; and  
what is left to God, when he governs not the creatures whom he has  
formed, and whom he sustains by his power? The Lord, then, designed  
to show here, that his displeasure could not be otherwise pacified  
than by drowning Jonah in the sea; though, as we shall presently  
see, he had something greater in view. But, in the meantime, this is  
worthy of being observed, - that the Lord intended to make Jonah an  
example, that all may now know that he is not to be trifled with,  
but that he ought to be obeyed as soon as he commands any thing.  
    The word which the Prophet uses has been variously explained by  
interpreters. "Chatar" is properly, to dig; so that some think it to  
be a metaphorical expression, as rowers seem to dig the sea; and  
this sense is not unsuitable. Others carry the metaphor still  
higher, - that the sailors searched out or sought means by which  
they might drive the ship to land. But the other metaphor, as being  
less remote, is more to be approved. The Latins call it to toil,  
when the rowers not only apply gently their oars, but when they make  
a greater effort. The sailors, then, toiled to bring back the ship.  
But for what purpose? To spare the life of the man who had already  
confessed that he was guilty before God, and that the storm, which  
threatened them all with a shipwreck, had arisen through his fault:  
but he says that they could not, for the sea was tempestuous, as we  
have already seen in our yesterday's lecture.  
    I come now to the second verse. "They cried, he says, to  
Jehovah and said, We beseech, Jehovah, let us not perish, we pray,  
on account of the life of this man, and give not", that is, lay not,  
"innocent blood upon us". The Prophet now expresses more fully why  
the sailors toiled so much to return to port, or to reach some  
shore, - they were already persuaded that Jonah was a worshipper of  
the true God, and not only this, but that he was a Prophet, inasmuch  
as he had told them, as we have seen, that he had fled from the  
presence of God, because he feared to execute the command which we  
have noticed. It was therefore pious fear that restrained the  
sailors, knowing, as they did, that Jonah was the servant of the  
true God. They, at the same time, saw, that Jonah was already  
standing for his sin before God's tribunal, and that punishment was  
demanded. This they saw; but yet they wished to preserve his life.  
    Now this place shows, that there is by nature implanted in all  
an abhorrence of cruelty; for however brutal and sanguinary many men  
may be, they yet cannot divest themselves of this feeling, - that  
the effusion of human blood is hateful. Many, at the same time,  
harden themselves; but they apply a searing iron: they cannot shake  
off horror, nay, they feel that they are detested by God and by men,  
when they thus shed innocent blood. Hence it was that the sailors,  
who in other respects hardly retained a drop of humanity, fled as  
suppliants to God, when the case was about the death of man; and  
they said, "'annah Jehovah", 'We beseech Jehovah:' and the  
expression is repeated; which shows that the sailors earnestly  
prayed that the Lord would not impute this as a sin to them.  
    We hence see that though these men had never known the doctrine  
of the law, they were yet so taught by nature that they knew that  
the blood of man is dear and precious in the sight of God. And as to  
us, we ought not only to imitate these sailors, but to go far beyond  
them: for not only ought the law of nature to prevail among us, but  
also the law of God; for we hear what God had formerly pronounced  
with his own mouth, 'Whosoever sheddeth man's blood, shed shall his  
blood be,' (Gen. 9: 6.) And we know also the reason why God  
undertakes to protect the life of men, and that is, because they  
have been created in his image. Whosoever then uses violence against  
the life of man, destroys, as far as he can the image of the eternal  
God. Since it is so, ought not violence and cruelty to be regarded  
by us with double horror? We ought also to learn another thing from  
this doctrine: God proves by this remarkable testimony what paternal  
feeling he manifests towards us by taking our life under his own  
guardianship and protection; and he even proves that we are really  
the objects of his care, inasmuch as he will execute punishment and  
vengeance when any one unjustly injures us. We then see that this  
doctrine on the one side restrains us, that we may not attempt  
anything against the lives of our brethren; and, on the other side,  
it assures us of the paternal love of God, so that being allured by  
his kindness we may learn to deliver up ourselves wholly to his  
    I now come to the last clause of the verse, "For thou, Jehovah,  
hast done as it has pleased thee". The sailors clearly prove here  
that they did not willingly shed innocent blood. How then can these  
two things agree, - that the blood was innocent, and that they were  
blameless? They adopted this excuse, - that they obeyed God's  
decree, that they did nothing rashly or according to their own  
inclinations, but followed what the Lord had prescribed: though,  
indeed, God had not spoken, yet what he required was really evident;  
for as God demanded an expiation by the death of Jonah, so he  
designed to continue the tempest until he was thrown into the deep.  
These things the sailors now put forward. But we must notice, that  
they did not cast the blame on God, as blasphemers are wont to do,  
who, while they seek to exempt themselves from blame, find fault  
with God, or at least put him in their own place: "Why then," they  
say, "does he sit as a judge to condemn us for that of which he is  
himself the author, since he has so decreed?" At this day there are  
many fanatics who thus speak, who obliterate all the difference  
between good and evil, as if lust were to them the law. They at the  
same time make a covert of God's providence. Jonah wished not that  
such a thing should be thought of the sailors; but as they well  
understood that God governed the world justly, though his counsels  
be secret and cannot be comprehended by us, - as, then, they were  
thus convinced, they thus strengthened themselves; and though they  
gave to God the praise due to his justice, they at the same time  
trembled lest they should be guilty of innocent blood.  
    We now then see how reverently these men spoke of God, and that  
so much religious fear possessed them, that they did not rob God of  
his praise, "Thou Jehovah", they said, "hast done as it has pleased  
thee". Do they here accuse God of tyranny, as though he confounded  
all things without any cause or reason? By no means. They took this  
principle as granted, - that the will of God is right and just, yea,  
that whatever God has decreed is beyond doubt just. Being then thus  
persuaded, they took the will of God as the rule for acting rightly:  
"As thou, Jehovah, hast done as it seemed good to thee, so we are  
blameless." But at the same time it is proper also to add, that the  
sailors do not vainly talk here of the secret providence of God in  
order to impute murder to him, as ungodly men and profane cavilers  
do at this day: but as the Lord made known his purpose to them, they  
show that the storm and the tempest could not be otherwise calmed  
and quieted than by drowning Jonah: they therefore took this  
knowledge of God's purpose as a certain rule to follow. At the same  
time they fled, as I have said, to God, and supplicated his mercy,  
lest in a matter so perplexed and difficult he should involve them  
in the same punishment, as they were constrained to shed innocent  
blood. We now then apprehend the meaning of this passage. Now it  
follows -  
Jonah 1:15  
So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea  
ceased from her raging.  
    Jonah shows here that the tempest arose through his fault; for  
the issue proved this with certainty. The sailors had not only cast  
lots, but after Jonah was thrown into the sea the storm calmed, and  
the sea became still, - this sudden change sufficiently proved that  
Jonah was the only cause why they were so nearly shipwrecked. For if  
the sea had not calmed immediately, but after some interval of time,  
it might have been ascribed to chance: but as the sea instantly  
rested, it could not be otherwise said than that Jonah was condemned  
by the judgment of God. He was indeed cast into the sea by the hands  
of men; but God so presided, that nothing could be ascribed to men,  
but that they executed the judgment which the Lord had openly  
demanded and required from them. This, then, is the import of this  
verse. He now adds -  
Jonah 1:16  
Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice  
unto the LORD, and made vows.  
    Jonah now declares what fruit followed; and first, he says,  
that the sailors feared the true God. He uses here the proper name  
of God, Jehovah; for, as we have already seen, they were addicted to  
their own superstitions, as each of them cried to his own god: but  
it was a false notion; for they went astray after their own  
superstitions. The Prophet now points out the difference, - that  
they began to fear the true God. At the same time it may have been,  
that they afterwards relapsed into their own errors; yet it ought  
not to be overlooked that the Lord constrained them to entertain  
such a fear. The Hebrews, as it has been already said, sometimes  
take fear in a general sense, as meaning worship. It is said in 2  
Kings 17:, of the new inhabitants of the land of Canaan, who had  
been removed from Persia, that they "feared God," that is, that they  
imitated the legal rite in sacrifices while worshipping God. But  
there is an addition in this place, which shows that the meaning is  
more restricted, for it is said to have been a great fear. Then  
Jonah means that the sailors and the passengers were not only  
touched with the fear of God, but that they also had the impression  
that the God of Israel was the supreme King of heaven and earth,  
that he held all things under his hand and government. This fear no  
doubt led them to true knowledge so as to know that they were  
previously deluded, and that whatever the world had invented was  
mere delusion, and that the gods devised by the fancies of men were  
nothing else but mere idols. We now then perceive what Jonah means.  
    But we must here say somewhat more at large of the fear of God.  
When the Scripture speaks of the fear of God, it sometimes means the  
outward worship, and sometimes true piety. When it designates the  
outward worship, it is no great thing; for hypocrites usually  
perform their ceremonies, and thus testify that they worship God:  
but yet, as they obey not God with sincerity of heart, nor bring  
faith and repentance, they do nothing but trifle. But the fear of  
God is often taken for true piety; and then it is called the  
beginning or the chief point of wisdom, or even wisdom itself, as it  
is in Job 29: 28. The fear of God, then, or that pious regard by  
which the faithful willingly submit themselves to God, is the chief  
part of wisdom.  
    But it also often happens that men are touched by servile fear,  
so as to have a desire to satisfy God, while, at the same time, they  
have even a wish to draw him down from his throne. This servile fear  
is full of perverseness; for they, at the same time, champ the  
bridle, as they cannot exempt themselves from his power and  
authority. Such was this fear of which Jonah speaks; for all those  
whom he mentions were not suddenly so changed as to devote  
themselves to the true God: they had not indeed made such a progress  
as this; it was not such real and thorough conversion of the soul as  
changed them into new men. How, then, is it said that they feared?  
even because the Lord extorted from them a confession at the time:  
it may have been that some of them afterwards made a greater  
progress; but I speak now generally of the whole. Because then it is  
said that they feared God, we are not hence to conclude that they  
really repented, so as to become wholly devoted to the God of  
Israel. But yet they were constrained to know and to confess that  
the God of Israel was the only and the true God. How so? because  
that dreadful judgment filled them with terror, so that they  
perceived that he alone was God who had heaven and earth under his  
    We now then see how that fear is to be viewed, of which Jonah  
speaks. If they afterwards made no farther progress, it only served  
to condemn them, that these sailors, having perceived by a sure  
evidence who the only true God was, mingled with the worship of him  
their wicked and ungodly superstitions, as many do even in our day.  
The Papists hold this truth in common with us, - that there is one  
true God, the framer of heaven and earth, yea, they come still  
nearer, and say that the only-begotten Son of God is our Redeemer;  
but yet we see how they contaminate the whole worship of God, and  
turn his truth to a lie; for they blend the worship of God with that  
of idols, so that there is nothing pure among them. But this main  
truth is however of great service, when the Lord stretches forth his  
hand to miserable men; for if there was no conviction of this under  
the Papacy that the word of God is to be believed, and that Christ  
the Son of God is the King and Head of the Church, we must have had  
to employ against them a long circuitous argument; but now an access  
to them is easy: when we bring against them the Law, and the  
Prophets, and the Gospel, they are restrained by some measure of  
reverence, and dare not to reject the authority of the Supreme God.  
We then see, that this fear is in itself of no great value, if men  
remain fixed in their own mire; but when it is the Lords purpose  
afterwards to call them, this fear opens for them the door to true  
godliness. So it may have been, as I have said, that some of these  
sailors and passengers had afterwards made better progress. But this  
fear of itself could have done nothing more than to convict them, so  
that no excuse could avail theta before God's tribunal; for a proof  
had been given them, by which they might know that there was no  
other God than He who was then worshipped by the chosen people.  
    He afterwards adds that they sacrificed a sacrifice to Jehovah.  
They were accustomed before to offer sacrifices to their idols; but  
now they testified that they worshipped the God of Israel; for this  
is what sacrifices signify. But it must at the same time be observed  
that they thereby expressed this confession, that God confirmed the  
truth of his word. When, therefore, they perceived that this whole  
affair was ordered by the will of God, they were constrained to bear  
witness that he was the true God: this was the end and design of  
    It may, However, be inquired, whether that sacrifice pleased  
God. It is certain that whenever men bring forward their own  
devices, whatever is otherwise worthy of approbation in what they  
do, it cannot but be corrupted and vitiated by such a mixture; for  
God, as it is well known, allows of no associate. And we must  
remember that which is said in Ezekiel, 'Go ye, sacrifice to the  
devil, and not to me!' God there repudiates all the sacrifices which  
were wont to be offered by the people of Israel, because  
superstitions were blended with them. God then shows that such a  
mixture is so disapproved by him, that he chooses rather that the  
superstitious should wholly give themselves up to the devils than  
that his holy name should be thus profaned. Hence this sacrifice of  
itself was not lawful, nor could it have pleased God; but it was, so  
to speak, by accident and extrinsically that this sacrifice pleased  
God, - because he designed thus to make known his glory. Though,  
then, he repudiated the sailors themselves, yet it was his will that  
this act should bear a testimony to his glory: as, for instance, a  
deed is often vicious with regard to men, and yet in an accidental  
way it tends to set forth the glory of God.  
    And this ought to be carefully borne in mind: there is at this  
day a dispute, yea a fierce contest, about good works: and the  
Sophists ever deceive themselves by false reasoning; for they  
suppose that works morally good are either preparatory to the  
obtaining of grace, or meritorious towards attaining eternal life.  
When they speak of works morally good, they refer only to the  
outward deeds; they regard not the fountain or motive, nor even the  
end. When the heart of man is impure, unquestionably the work which  
thence flows is also ever impure, and is an abomination before God.  
When the end also is wrong, when it is not man's purpose to worship  
God in sincerity of heart, the deed, however splendid it may appear,  
is filth in the presence of God. Hence the Sophists are greatly  
deceived, and are very childish, when they say, that works morally  
good please God, and are preparatory to grace and meritorious of  
salvation. But can this be, that a work does not please God, and yet  
avails to set forth his glory? I answer, that these two things are  
perfectly consistent, and are in no way so contrary that they cannot  
be easily reconciled. For God by accident, as I have said,  
accommodates to his own glory what is in itself vicious; I say, in  
itself, that is, with respect to men. Thus even under the Papacy the  
Christian name serves to the glory of God, for there ever remains  
some remnant. And how has it happened, that at this time the light  
of the Gospel has shone forth, and that true religion has been  
restored at least in many places? Even because the Lord has never  
suffered true religion to be extinguished, though it has been  
corrupted: for baptism under the Papacy, the very name of Christ as  
well as of the Church, and the very form of religion - all these  
have become wholly useless; but they have accidentally, as I have  
said, been of great service. When, therefore, we regard the priests  
as well as the people, we find nothing but a perverted worship of  
God; they presumptuously and indiscriminately add their own  
superstitions and devices to the word of God, and there is nothing  
pure among them. Since then they thus blend together heaven and  
earth, they do nothing but provoke God's wrath against themselves.  
    We now then understand why Jonah says that the sailors and  
passengers offered sacrifices. We must, at the same time, remember  
what I have lately said, that sacrifice was, as it were, a symbol of  
Divine worship: for even from the beginning this notion prevailed  
among all, that sacrifices were to be offered to none but to God;  
and heathens in all ages had no other opinion of sacrifices, but  
that they thus manifested their piety towards their gods. Since then  
sacrifices have been from the beginning offered to God alone, it  
follows, that they at this day are wholly inexcusable who join  
associates to God, and offer their sacrifices to mortals or to  
angels. How can this be borne in Christians, since heathens have  
ever confessed that they regarded those as gods to whom they were  
wont to offer their sacrifices? Now then, since God declares that  
the chief sacrifice to him is invocations as we read in Ps. 1, the  
whole of religion under the Papacy must be perverted, as they pray  
not only to God but even to creatures: for they hesitate not to flee  
to Peter or to Paul, yea, to their own saints, real and fictitious,  
in the same manner as to the only true God. Inasmuch, then, as they  
rob God of this chief right, we see that they tread under foot the  
whole of religion by this sacrilege. Since, then, heathen men  
testified that they worshipped Jehovah, the God of Israel, by their  
external sacrifice, let us learn at this day not to transfer the  
rightful honor of God to creatures; but let this honor of being  
alone prayed to, be wholly and entirely reserved for him; for this,  
as we have said is the chief and the most valuable sacrifice which  
he demands and approves.  
    But Jonah also adds, that the sailors vowed vows to God. This  
is a part of thanksgiving; for we know that the object, not only of  
the holy fathers, but also of the superstitious, in making vows, has  
ever been this - to bind themselves to God, and also to express  
their gratitude, and to make it evident, that they owed to him both  
their life and every favor bestowed on them. This then has in all  
ages been the reason for making, vows. When, therefore the sailors  
vowed a vow to God, they renounced their own idols. They cried  
before to their gods; but now they understand that they had cried in  
vain, and without any benefit, as they had to no purpose uttered  
their cries in the air. Now then they made their vows to the only  
true God; for they knew that their lives were in his hand.  
    And here we may easily learn how foolishly the Sophists of our  
day heap together all passages of Scripture which make any mention  
of vows; for they think that we are to be overwhelmed by that term  
alone, when we condemn their false vows. But no one of us has ever  
denied or does deny, that it is lawful to vows provided it be done  
according to what the Law and the Gospel prescribes. What we hold  
is, - that men are not thoughtlessly to obtrude on God what comes  
uppermost, but that they are to vow what he approves, and also, that  
they regard a right and just end in vowing, even to testify their  
gratitude to God. But in common vows which are made, there are the  
grossest errors, as also in the whole of the Papal worship; for they  
vow this and that to God indiscriminately, and regard not what the  
Lord requires or approves: one, on certain days, abstains from meat;  
another combs not his head: and a third trots away on some  
pilgrimage. All these things, we know, are rejected by God. And  
further, when they vow nothing but what God approves, it is yet done  
for a wrong purpose: for they seek in this way to bind God to  
themselves, and the diabolical conceit of merits ever possesses  
their minds. And, lastly, they consider not what they can do; they  
vow perpetual celibacy when at the same time incontinence burns  
them; and thus we see that, like the giants, they fight with God  
himself; and, in the meantime, they allow themselves an unbridled  
liberty as to whatever they vow.  
    Let us then know, that whenever the Scripture speaks of vows,  
we are to take for granted these two principles, - that vows as they  
appertain to the worship of God, ought not to be taken without any  
discretion, according to men's fancy, but ought to be regulated and  
guided by God's rule, so that men may bring nothing to God, except  
what they know to be approved by his word, - and then, that they are  
to keep in view the right end, even to show by this symbol their  
gratitude to God, to testify that they are preserved by his  
kindness, as was the case with these sailors, who made a vow because  
they thought that none but God was their deliverer; and so they  
testified, that when they came safe to shore, they would make it  
known that the God of Israel had showed mercy to them. It follows -  
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.  
    What the Prophet here briefly relates ought to be carefully  
weighed by us. It is easily passed over, when we read in a few words  
that Jonah was swallowed up by a fish, and that he was there three  
days and three nights: but though Jonah neither amplified or  
illustrated in a rhetorical manner what is overlooked by us, nor  
adopted any display of words, but spoke of the event as though it  
were an ordinary thing, we yet see what the event itself really was:  
Jonah was cast into the sea. He had been previously not only a  
worshipper of the true God, but also a Prophet, and had no doubt  
faithfully discharged his office; for God would not have resolved to  
send him to Nineveh, had he not conferred on him suitable gifts; and  
he knew him to be qualified for undertaking a burden so great and so  
important. As Jonah then had faithfully endeavored to serve God, and  
to devote himself to him through the whole of his past life, now  
that he is cast into the sea as one unworthy of the common light,  
that he is cut off from the society of men, and that he seems  
unworthy of undergoing a common or an ordinary punishment, but is  
exiled, as it were, from the world, so as to be deprived of light  
and air, as parricides, to whom formerly, as it is well-known, this  
punishment was allotted - as then Jonah saw that he was thus dealt  
with, what must have been the state of his mind?  
    Now that he tells us that he was three whole days in the inside  
of the fish, it is certain that the Lord had so awakened him that he  
must have endured continual uneasiness. He was asleep before he was  
swallowed by the fish; but the Lord drew him, as it were, by force  
to his tribunal, and he must have suffered a continual execution. He  
must have every moment entertained such thoughts as these, "Why does  
he now thus deal with thee? God does not indeed slay thee at once,  
but intends to expose thee to innumerable deaths." We see what Job  
says, that when he died he would be at rest and free from all evils,  
(Job 14: 6.) Jonah no doubt continually boiled with grief, because  
he knew that God was opposed to and displeased with him: he  
doubtless said to himself, "Thou hast to do, not with men, but with  
God himself, who now pursues thee, because thou hast become a  
fugitive from his presence." As Jonah then must have necessarily  
thus thought within himself of God's wrath, his case must have been  
harder than hundred deaths, as it had been with Job and with many  
others, who made it their chief petition that they might die. Now as  
he was not slain but languished in continual torments, it is certain  
that no one of us can comprehend, much less convey in words what  
must have come into the mind of Jonah during these three days. But I  
cannot now discuss what remains; I must therefore defer it to the  
next lecture.  
Grant, Almighty God, that as thou settest before us this day thy  
holy Prophet as an awful example of thy wrath against all who are  
rebellious and disobedient to thee, - O grant, that we may learn so  
to subject all our thoughts and affections to thy word, that we may  
not reject any thing that pleases thee, but so learn both to live  
and to die to thee, that we may ever regard thy will, and undertake  
nothing but what thou hast testified is approved by thee, so that we  
may fight under thy banners, and through life obey thy word, until  
at length we reach that blessed rest which has been obtained for us  
by the blood of thy only begotten Son, and is laid up for us in  
heaven through the hope of his Gospel. Amen.  
    In yesterday's lecture we began to explain the last verse of  
the first chapter, in which Jonah said, that "a fish was prepared by  
the Lord". We stated that it could not have been otherwise but that  
Jonah, when he was in the inside of the fish, must have felt the  
most grievous agonies, as though he had been doomed to perpetual  
death, as long as he was deprived of the enjoyment of God's favor:  
and this fact will be further explained when his song comes under  
our consideration.  
    But now there is a question to be considered and that is  
whether God created a fish to receive Jonah. The expression, that  
God prepared a fish seems indeed to mean this; for if the fish had  
already been swimming in the sea, the Prophet might have adopted  
another mode of speaking and said, that the Lord caused the fish to  
meet him or that God had sent a fish; for so the Scripture usually  
speaks: but a fish is said to have been prepared. This doubt may be  
thus removed, - that though God may not have created the fish, he  
had yet prepared him for this purpose; for we know that it was not  
according to the course of nature that the fish swallowed Jonah, and  
also, that he was preserved uninjured in his inside for three days  
and three nights. I therefore refer what is said here, that a fish  
was prepared, to the preservation of Jonah: for it is certain that  
there are some fishes which can swallow men whole and entire. And  
William Rondelet, who has written a book on the fishes of the sea,  
concludes that in all probability it must have been the Lamia. He  
himself saw that fish, and he says that it has a belly so capacious  
and, mouth so wide, that it can easily swallow up a man; and he says  
that a man in armour has sometimes been found in the inside of the  
Lamia. Therefore, as I have said, either a whale, or a Lamia, or a  
fish unknown to us, may be able to swallow up a man whole and  
entire; but he who is thus devoured cannot live in the inside of a  
fish. Hence Jonah, that he might mark it out as a miracle, says that  
the fish was prepared by the Lord; for he was received into the  
inside of the fish as though it were into an hospital; and though he  
had no rest there, yet he was as safe as to his body, as though he  
were walking on land. Since then the Lord, contrary to the order of  
nature, preserved there his Prophet, it is no wonder that he says  
that the fish was prepared by the Lord. I come now to the second  
Calvin, Commentary on Jonah, Part 4 
(continued in part 5...) 
file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-05: cvjon-04.txt