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1 When Jonah is said in our Bibles to have gone to Tarshish, Jonah 1:3, Josephus understood it that he went to Tarsus in Cilicia, or to the Mediterranean Sea, upon which Tarsus lay; so that he does not appear to have read the text, 1 Kings 22:48, as our copies do, that ships of Tarshish could lie at Ezion-geber, upon the Red Sea. But as to Josephus's assertion, that Jonah's fish was carried by the strength of the current, upon a storm, as far as the Euxine Sea: it is no way impossible. And since the storm might have driven the ship, while Jonah was in it, near to that Euxine Sea; and since in three more days, while he was in the fish's belly, that current might bring him to the Assyrian coast; and since withal that coast could bring him nearer to Nineveh than could any coast of the Mediterranean, it is by no means an improbable determination in Josephus.
2 This ancient piece of religion, of supposing there was great sin where there was great misery, and of casting lots to discover great sinners, not only among the Israelites, but among these heathen mariners, seems a remarkable remains of the ancient tradition which prevailed of old over all mankind, that Providence used to interpose visibly in all human affairs, and never to bring, or at least not long to continue, notorious judgments, but for notorious sins; which the most ancient Book of Job shows to have been the state of mankind for about the former three thousand years of the world, till the days of Job and Moses.
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