I'm told that some midrashim state that the boy revived by Elijah (I Kings Ch. 17) grew up to be the prophet Jonah.

If so, was Jonah aware of this? It makes for an interesting dimension of his character.

1 Answer 1


We find in Yonah's prayer inside the fish:

וַיִּתְפַּלֵּל יוֹנָה אֶל יְהוָה אֱלֹהָיו מִמְּעֵי הַדָּגָה. וַיֹּאמֶר קָרָאתִי מִצָּרָה לִי אֶל יְהוָה וַיַּעֲנֵנִי מִבֶּטֶן שְׁאוֹל שִׁוַּעְתִּי שָׁמַעְתָּ קוֹלִי

And Jonah prayed to the Lord his God, from the belly of the fish. And he said: I called out from my distress to the Lord, and He answered me; from the belly of the grave I cried out, You heard my voice.

Because this first sentence is in past tense, Abarbanel explains Yonah's words based on that midrash as follows:

ענינם רבת צררוני מנעורי הלא בהיותי ילד קטון קפצה עלי מיתה והייתי מוכן להוליכני לקבר ואז בימי אליהו קראתי מצרה לי אל ה׳ ויענני ומבטן שאול שהייתי מוכן לקבר שועתי שמעת קולי רמז לו בזה הנס שנעשה לו בימי אליהו שהחייהו אחרי מותו ועליו אמר כאן קראתי שועתי הכל בלשון עבר לא שקרא ושוע בפעל אבל הוא משל לנס ההוא

Their interpretation is: 'Much have they distressed me from my youth!' For when I was a young boy, death captured me, and I was ready to be buried. Then, in the days of Eliyahu, "I called out from my distress to God and he answered me; from the belly of the grave" - for I was ready for the grave - "I cried out, You heard my voice." He [Yonah] hinted with this to the miracle that happened to him in the time of Eliyahu, that he was brought to life after having died. And of that he says here, "called out", "cried out", all in past tense. Not that he actually called and cried out, but it is metaphorical of that miracle.

Thus, according to this interpretation, Yonah was clearly aware of his miraculous past.

  • 1
    Would you mind adding translations, if possible?
    – HodofHod
    Nov 15, 2011 at 21:05
  • 2
    @HodofHod, added translation as best as I could. Everyone is welcome to improve it.
    – jake
    Nov 15, 2011 at 21:50

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