Writings of Porphyry Ivanov. Parables.

About the Prophet Jonah.

There came a voice from heaven unto the prophet Jonah, saying that he had to go unto the city the Lord decided to de­stroy because of the wickedness of its inhabitants, and preach unto it, that neither man nor beast would taste anything — either fed or drank water — for three days and three nights; and that them were covered with sackcloth, both man and beast; and that them would cry mightily unto God and that every one would turn from his evil way and from the violence of his hands, so that they might save themselves. But Jonah decided not to fulfill the will of the Lord; and he rose up to flee from the presence of the Lord.

He found a ship, and went down into it, to go with them from the presence of the Lord. After some time there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.

The mariners were afraid; and they understood that something was wrong here. They found Jonah, who was gone down into the innermost parts of the ship and fast asleep, and asked him whether he was responsible for this evil. And he said unto them, “Take me up and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.” So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea; and the sea ceased from her raging. And Jonah was swallowed up by a great fish; and he was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Then the fish vomited out him upon the dry land near the city, where he had to preach. And Jonah un­der­stood that he had to do what was spoken unto him; and he went unto this city, and preached as he was bidden.

There are two versions of the ending of this parable.

The first version. And the inhabitants of the city believed God; and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them; and they turned unto good deeds. And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil which he said he would do unto them; and he did it not.

The second version. But no one listened unto Jonah. He was upset, and went out of the city; and he sat under a bush, which grew under the walls of the city. It came to pass some time, and suddenly there arose a great storm; and the city was burnt down: there were burnt down all the houses and all the inhabitants of the city, and was burnt down the bush, under which Jonah sat; but he remained alive ¹).

¹)According to the Hadiths, the awaited Mahdi will be moved away from people for some time; and it is clear that Porphyry Ivanov, peace be upon him, wrote in this parable about the Mahdi.

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