Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Three Days And Three Nights -- From Abstract to Concrete

"In The Beginning" 1993 Kim Jae Im -- Korea

I find the following discussion of the three days and nights fascinating. In all the reading I have done on Jonah and the sign of Jonah this breaks new ground. I quote this to add to the conversation of any who reads this blog. More after you read. JWS

"In the creation narrative things take three days to emerge from ideal existence to activity, from natural habitat to habitation by its inhabitant, so to speak. Thus, light is spoken forth on the first day (Gen 1:3-5) but does not become active until the fourth, through the creation of the luminaries (vv.14-19). The precondition of the winged creatures' appearance on the fifth day (vv. 20-21) is the stretching out of the firmament on day two (vv. 6-8). And, to complete the double and parallel triad, the dry land (day three, vv. 9-10) awaits its quadripeds and bipeds on the sixthe (vv.24-25). In short, for all creatures to emerge in days four through six, there is a requisite three-day hatching or incubation period.
One can detect a distant but eery parallel in Jonah's own "incubation," if that is the right term. One might say that Jonah's three days in the belly of the fish is nothing short of an emergence from darkness (the ship's hold) and watery chaos (shades of Genesis 1:2) and return to dry land." The Honeymoon Is Over: Jonah's Argument with God -- T. A. Perry pg. 216

The "Sign of Jonah" that Jesus promises in Matthew takes on a crisp crackle in my ear when I pass it by the notion of Dr. Perry. The movement from Ideal existence to activity, from theory if you will to practice. Jesus couldn't have known for sure, in his humanity, what would happen on the other side of his cry, "it is finished!" What was finished could have been a wonderful but naive notion of a better world or his last breath or just one more entry into Sheol the place of the silent dead. However, three days is the time to get it right from the drawing boards to the showroom and into the
street. "Why are you seeking the living among the dead?" A good question that we
should perhaps answer. The sign of Jonah indeed! JWS

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