Biblical Reality #3 (Jonah and the Whale)

This one has been abused by coloring books and Disney. Here's the very very quick, slimed down story of Jonah and the Whale that gives it no justice:

Jonah was a prophet. God spoke to Jonah and told him to go to a city called Nineveh basically tell them that God is pissed at them. For whatever reason, Jonah ran from God. He jumped on a boat and tried to get to a place called Tarshish. The sea was ruthless and the sailors found out that Jonah was running from God. They blamed the bad sea on Jonah and threw him overboard. Then it says that God provided a great fish to swallow Jonah. Jonah was inside the fish for 3 days and 3 nights. Finally, the fish spit Jonah out onto dry land. Jonah did what God commanded and went to the city of Ninevah. The people of Ninevah believed everything Jonah said and repented. There's slightly more to the story, but that's the main idea.

So, was that possible? Here's a few things to think about:

1. The phrase "three days and three nights" in ancient Hebrew usage was an idiomatic expression meaning simply “three days,” and was applicable even if the beginning and ending days of the period were only partial days. Thus it could refer to a period as short as about 38 hours.
2. There is always air in a whale's stomach.
3. As long as the swallowed animal is still alive, the digestion processes doesn't take place.

So, here's the reality. Jonah is swallowed by a whale. He is inside the whale's stomach for at least 38 hours. He cannot move because the lack of space. He can barley breathe because oxygen levels are very low. His skin is bleached and his hair has been dissolved by all the acid. Is smells horrible, so he's probably vomiting constantly. He most likely passed out very soon after being swallowed.

The whale would have vomited Jonah close to shore. The waves would have thrown him to the sand. When he walks into the city of Nineveh, everybody listens to him and begins to repent. Why? He is a skinny, hairless, pure white man who is adamant that God is mad at them. He looks like a guy who got in a fight with God and lost. I would listen too.

Biblical Reality #2 (Noah's Ark)

One day at Crave, Tony Guerrero spoke about apologetics. I loved it and found it extremely interesting. One of my favorite things he talked about was Noah's Ark. Was it possible to fit two of every animal in a boat? Here's the math and some ideas that you may not have thought about...

According to National Geographic, there are 1.75 million known species in the world.

In Genesis 6, God says that He only wants land dwelling, air breathing animals. That gives us a total of 1,200,000 animals.

Here's a break down of the 1,200,000 land dwelling, air breathing animals:

1,200,00 Total

1,038,000 = Insects
10,500 = Reptiles
4,500 = Mammals
10,00 = Birds
57,000 = Worms

We're not going to count the insects because they don't need a crazy amount of room.
That leaves us with Reptiles, Mammals, Birds, and Worms.
Our grand total is: 25,000

We need two of each:
25,000 x 2 = 50,000

Things to keep in mind:
1. An overwhelming majority of these animals are smaller than sheep. Most are about the size of a house cat.
2. We can subtract whales and dolphins because they're not land dwelling.
3. A baby elephant is a lot smaller than an adult elephant.
4. Eggs take up a lot less room than full grown animals.


So, with that said, we have to cram 50,000 animals (which are smaller than sheep) into a big boat. Lets look at the size of the boat (I hope you're still with me):

The Ark is 300 cubits long, by 50 cubits wide, by 30 cubits high

Converted into feet, that's 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, 45 feet high

That's about 1.5 football fields long!

Do the math and you get 1,518,750 cubic feet of space.

Keep with me here!

An average railway car has 2,670 cubic feet of space.

The Ark would be able to hold 569 railway cars.

You can fit 240 sheep into one railway car.

That means you can fit 136,560 sheep into the Ark.

Remember, the Ark only requires space for 50,000 animals (most of which are smaller than sheep).

That's 86,560 more than what's needed!

Things to keep in mind:
1. There where 3 decks. So, that triples the floor space.
2. With the math we used, only 37% of the ark was used for the animals. The rest was for food and supplies.
3. The Ark has a ratio of 6:1 which was later deemed the most stable ratio for ship design by the Navy.
4. They were on the Ark for 371 days. Most animals hibernate.

So, is it mathematically possible to fit two of each land dwelling, air breathing animal on an ark that's as long as 1.5 football fields? I think it is :)