Was the "three days and three nights" in the prophetic book of Jonah a complete span of 72 hours?
Is this "three days and three nights" to be taken literally or close to it or figuratively? Why or Why not?
What do the "reputable sources" (rabbis/sages of old) say?
1 And the Lord appointed a huge fish to swallow up Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.
My question in relation to the three days and three nights is inspired from the previous question and answer Did Esther eat at the first feast she made for the king and Haman?, which give an indication that the quoted verse (in my above post) might not be interpreted at face value, if the "three days, day and night" in the Book of Esther (4:16) is a similar expression:
For example, "The Maharal in his commentary to Megillas Esther says that Esther only fasted for 70 hours (as opposed to 3 full days, 72 hours).... This is hinted in the verse "גַּם-אֲנִי וְנַעֲרֹתַי, אָצוּם כֵּן; וּבְכֵן אָבוֹא אֶל-הַמֶּלֶךְ" (Esther 4:17) "we will fast כן - "כן is Gematria 70 - Esther was saying that she would fast 70, and with those 70 hours she would come to the King."