Jonah and the Big Fish

This is a simplified version of the Bible story found in Jonah 1:1-2:10, written for children to understand. For the original version, please refer to the Bible passage.

Once upon a time, there was a man named Jonah. God had a message for him to share with the people of Nineveh, but Jonah did not want to listen to God. Instead of going to Nineveh like God asked, Jonah ran away and went to a place called Tarshish.

Jonah found a ship that was sailing to Tarshish and paid for a ticket to get on board. While they were on the sea, a big storm came and the sailors were afraid the ship would sink. They threw all their cargo into the sea to try to make the ship lighter, but Jonah was sleeping in the bottom of the ship. The captain woke him up and told him to pray to his god, but Jonah didn’t pray. Instead, Jonah told the sailors to throw him into the sea. He knew that God was causing the storm because he was running away from Him.

The sailors were surprised by Jonah’s request and asked him many questions. “What have you done to make God so angry with you?” they asked. “Where are you from and who are your people?” Jonah answered, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”

The sailors were very scared, but they knew Jonah was telling the truth. They prayed to God and then threw Jonah into the sea. Right after that, a big fish swallowed Jonah whole! Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights. He prayed to God while he was in the fish and promised to do what God had asked him to do.

God made the fish spit Jonah out onto the shore, and he finally went to Nineveh to share God’s message with the people there. The people listened to Jonah, and they turned away from their bad behavior and started following God.

Biblical Lessons

  • It’s important to listen to God and do what He asks us to do, even if we don’t want to do it.
  • When we disobey God, we can end up in difficult situations, but we can always turn back to God and ask for His help.
  • God is merciful and forgiving, even when we make mistakes.

Related Stories

Noah and the Flood

Crossing the Red Sea

Daniel in the Lion’s Den

Elijah Fed by Ravens

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego