Jonah's Ship

The Phoenician ship in which Jonah sailed. The first chapter of the book of Jonah gives interesting information about ancient ships. This ship was traveling from Joppa to Tarshish as a merchant ship, for when the storm came, the men "cast forth the wares that were in the ship" (verse 5). Exclusively passenger ships were little known in those days, most traveling, if not all, being done on merchant ships. Passengers, of course, paid a fare for their trips, as did Jonah (verse 3). When the storm arose, the sailors discovered that "Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship" (verse 5). This means he had gone "below deck," into the lower room of the ship. The word "shipmaster" used in verse 6 means the chief of the sailors, or as we would say, the captain of the ship. Verse 13 mentions the use of oars when the ship was in the storm, in a futile effort to bring it to shore. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

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