Dictionary of Ichthyology  

Jonah and the fish = Jonah is the character in the Hebrew and Christian bibles who was swallowed by a fish (later changed to a whale). Jonah is on a ship heading to Tarshish, fleeing a mission to proclaim judgment on Nineveh at God's order, when God summons a great storm, and the ship's crew throw Jonah overboard in an attempt at appeasement. A great fish, sent by God, swallows Jonah and he remains in its belly for three days and three nights. He repents for his disobedience and calls upon God for mercy, whereupon God speaks to the fish, which vomits out Jonah safely on dry land.
Jonah in the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo (1471-1484) from Wikimedia Commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sistine_jonah.jpg

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