Spewed Out by God
I have always loved the imagery of a big fish “spewing” (polite word) Jonah onto the beach. This is a great story for kids and teenagers, they love it, and it’s a powerful image for God’s displeasure—as described in Revelation 3:16: “I spit you out of my mouth!” A more accurate translation of the Hebrew word is: “vomit up,” which is a much more powerful—albeit graphic—image. However, the Hebrew word itself is less impressive. It is, “ko,” and pronounced like it looks. I like the Hebrew word for breath better, “ruach,” pronounced with a hard “r” and a guttural “ch” like you’re trying to conjure up some spit… I know gross. But that’s the image here… grossly accurate. Jonah is vomited up, in part, because he wants God to be lukewarm. He gives thanks for God’s grace extended to him but is angry when it’s extended to the Ninevites.