PERHAPS one of the least understood of the Old Testament allegories is that contained in the Book of Jonah. It has long been the subject of much discussion and speculation. Opinion is greatly divided concerning it.
The question which has seemed most to agitate some minds is, as to whether the fish which is alleged to have swallowed Jonah, was a whale or a white shark. Opinion upon this point is divided among believers in the Bible. The better opinion appears to be that it was a white shark rather than a whale, for the reason that it has been satisfactorily demonstrated that the dimensions of the mouth and throat of the white shark are sufficient to allow a man of ordinary size to pass through them, while the dimensions of these organs of the whale are insufficient for that purpose.
While many believers in the Bible are thus speculating, those who deny the divine authenticity of the Scriptures, or who are not believers in them at all, base their opposition to them in no small part upon this allegory, which they often refer to in terms of ridicule as the "fish story."