The Jonah Sarcophagus: Detail, Jonah is disgorged

Above the neck of the beast, Noah in his ark receives the olive branch from the dove. Noah and Jonah are both figures of Baptism in early Christian typology (Jensen, 154).

In Jonah 2:11 "the Lord spoke to the fish: and it vomited out Jonas upon the dry land." But here Jonah is not on the shore at all. He is disgorged into a sea teeming with creatures. In the detail here we see three fish, a crab, a snail, and a salamander. Jonah reaches out in a gesture of supplication to a fisherman, who has just landed a quite substantial fish. The fisherman and his boy may represent the fishers who "stand over the waters" in Ezekiel's vision of the waters flowing from the Temple:

These waters … shall go into the sea, and shall go out, and the waters shall be healed. And every living creature that creepeth whithersoever the torrent shall come, shall live: and there shall be fishes in abundance after these waters shall come thither, and they shall be healed, and all things shall live to which the torrent shall come. And the fishers shall stand over these waters, from Engaddi even to Engallim there shall be drying of nets: there shall be many sorts of the fishes thereof, as the fishes of the great sea, a very great multitude.

— Ezekiel 47:8b-10.

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Photographed at the Museo Pio Cristiano by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.