Lives of the Saints
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of
man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matthew 12:40

And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and
the third day he shall rise again. Matthew 20:19

Jonah does not represent Christ in the tomb in the flesh but he represents Christ in
hades in the Spirit. When Christ gave up the ghost, the spirit separated from the
body, and divinity was united to the spirit and divinity was united to the body.
Christ has two descents:
· spiritual descent to hades "He descended into hades through the cross" –St Basil
divine liturgy.
· Descent in the flesh to the tomb. This took 3 days and 2 nights (He rose on the
third day).

"Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One
to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me
full of joy with thy countenance.Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of
the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us
unto this day. Acts 2:27-29.
There was darkness on all the face of the earth from the sixth hour (12:00 noon) to
the nineth hour (3:00 PM). "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice,
saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou
forsaken me?" Matthew 27:46.
so, this night in which He cried out with a loud voice, was counted for the spirit and
not for the flesh. This calculation is based on the Jewish calendar. A part of the night
is considered one whole night. And a part of the day is considered one whole day. A
day refers to day-time and not to 24 hours.
References: -
1-St Cyril of Jerusalem - he has 40 homilies to the catechumens. One complete
homily is about Jonah and the descent of Christ in the spirit to hell.
2-Basil the Great on the Holy Spirit, he refers to: '' is the descent of Jonah into the
belly of the whale a small thing? And does this mean that the descent of Christ into
hades is a small thing? But it is a very important matter.''