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The Prophet from Galilee

Updated: Jun 20

The book of Yonah is a mysterious text. Most people are familiar with the “Bible story” but are not familiar with the actual text, nor the secrets of redemption concealed within its deceptively simple narrative. Every Yom Kippur the book of Yonah is read, focusing on themes of teshuvah (repentance).  The hauntingly beautiful piyyut (liturgical poem) Unetaneh Tokef in the Machzorim for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur says,

וּתְשׁוּבָה וּתְפִלָּה וּצְדָקָה מַעֲבִירִין אֶת רעַ הַגְּזֵרָה

“But Repentance, Prayer, and Charity cancel the evil decree.” Unetaneh Tokef

The book that best exemplifies this principle is the Sefer Yonah, calling out to all peoples to make teshuvah, repentance, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.

A Prophet from Galilee

A Map of the Galilee. Derivative work of Original by Eric Gaba and NordNordWesCC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Many people are surprised to discover that Yonah appears in the Tanakh in the book of 2 Kings,

“He restored the border of Israel from Lebo-hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of HaShem, the G-d of Israel, which he spoke by his servant Yonah the son of Amittai, the prophet, who was from Gath-hepher.” 2 Kings 14:25

According to the incredible book of Kol HaTor, this mission is linked to the Messiah ben Yosef,

“The commandment to expand the borders is the mission of Mashiach ben Yosef as God had told the prophet Jonah, who was on the level of Mashiach ben Yosef, to restore the border of Israel (II Kings 14:25).” Kol HaTor 2.36

We discover in 2 Kings that Yonah is from Gath-Hepher, which is located in the Galilee, about five miles away from the city of Nazareth. Gath-Hepher means “wine press of the digging,” and was in the tribal inheritance of Zebulun (Joshua 19:10-16). The Prophet Isaiah says,

“…In the former time, he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made it glorious, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Those who lived in the land of the shadow of death, on them the light has shined…” Isaiah 9:1-3

The Gospel of Matthew applies this prophecy to Yeshua of Nazareth,

“And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Kfar Nachum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zevulun and Naftali: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, ‘The land of Zevulun, and the land of Naftali, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” Matthew 4:13-16, cf. Matthew 2:21-22

Matthew 21 says Yeshua is the prophet from Galilee,

“When he had come into Jerusalem, all the city was stirred up, saying, ‘Who is this?’ The multitudes said, ‘This is the prophet, Yeshua, from Nazareth of Galilee.” Matthew 21:10-11

The “anti-missionaries” of Yeshua’s day erroneous claimed,

“Search, and see that no prophet has arisen out of Galilee!” John 7:52

This is a stunning statement because Yonah came from the Galilee, but even more so, there is an amazing expectation among the Rabbis about the location from which the Messiah will arise. R’ Saadia Gaon (882 – 942 CE) records a tradition that Mashiach ben Yosef will arise in Galilee,

“[There] will be the appearance in Upper Galilee of a man from among the descendants of Joseph, around whom there will gather individuals from among the Jewish nation. This man will go to Jerusalem after its seizure by the Romans and stay in it for a certain length of time. Then they will be surprised by a man named Armilus, who will wage war against them and conquer the city and subject its inhabitants to massacre, captivity and disgrace. Included among those that will be slain will be that man from among the descendants of Joseph…As a result of what has happened to them, many will desert their faith, only those purified remaining. To these Elijah the prophet will manifest himself, and thus the redemption will come…only a few from among the Jewish nation – not many – will gather about him…also that the man at the head of the Jewish nation will be among the slain and that people will weep over him and bewail him is attested by the Scriptural statement: And they shall look unto Me because they have thrust him through, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son (Zech 12:10)…Next let me say that in either case – I mean whether we do not repent and the events associated with the Messiah descended from Joseph come to pass, or we do repent and are able to dispense with them – the Messiah descended from David will manifest himself to us suddenly. Should there be, however, a Messiah descended from Joseph who would precede him, he would serve as a herald and as one who puts the nation in proper condition and clears the way as Scripture says: “Behold I send my messenger, and he shall clear the way before me (Mal 3:1). Or he might be compared to one who purges with fire those members of the nation who have committed grave sins, or to one who washes with lye those of its constituents who have been guilty of slight infractions, as Scripture remarks immediately thereafter: “For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap.” (Malachi 3:2) Saadia Gaon, Emunot v’Deot, Book of Beliefs and Opinions, translated by Yale University Press, pgs. 301-304

The parallels of this passage in Emunot v’Deot (Beliefs & Opinions) and the Gospels are numerous, and beyond the scope of this article to explore. In addition to this statement by the Gaon, the Zohar also says that Mashiach ben David will arise in the Galilee preceded by a Star in the East,

“The glory of his majesty” refers to the Messiah when he shall reveal himself in the land of Galilee; for in this part of the Holy Land the desolation first began, and therefore he will manifest himself there first . . . and when the Messiah shall have manifested himself, a star shall come forth from the East variegated in hue and shining brilliantly…” Zohar, Volume II, Shemot 7b, Soncino Press Edition, pg. 21

The Dove

The name “Yonah ben Amittai” means “Dove son of Truth.” R’ Daniel Krentzman comments on Yonah’s name,

“Yonah’s connection to this aspect of Mashiach ben Yosef may be hinted at in his name: “יונה“, which shares the same gematria (with the concept of “כולל“)  as “סוד“. Also, the gematria of “סוד” when spelled out in miluy form: סמך וו דלת, is equal to that of “Mashiach ben Yosef” (see Kol HaTor 2:98, and 2:148).” R’ Daniel Krentzman, Yonah as MBY [1]

Putting this in simpler terms, the word Yonah (71) is equivalent to the word Sod/Secret plus 1 (this method is called im hakollel, adding 1 for the value of the word itself). The word Sod when spelled out (this method is called milui or filling) is equivalent to 566, the value of the words Mashiach ben Yosef:

משיח בן יוסף = סמך וו דלת < 1+סוד = יונה

Why is Yonah named “Dove”? The Vilna Gaon says,

“The dove is a fitting symbol for the Jewish People and the neshamah, since it is the only bird that does not struggle when it is about to be slaughtered. Like the dove, the Jewish people give up their lives without a struggle in order to sanctify the Name of God.” The Book of Yonah: Journey of the Soul, from the Vilna Gaon’s Aderes Eliyahu, Rabbi Moshe Schapiro, Mesorah Publications, ltd., pg. 10

The commentary of the Gra here has echoes of Isaiah 53, which refers to Mashiach and Israel who are one. The Ohr HaChayim, R’ Chaim ben Attar, when commenting upon the sacrifice of the leper, links the two doves to the two Meshichim,

“We have found that the first Mashiach will be from the tribe of Ephraim who will nevertheless die while revealing himself; he will be followed by the Mashiach descended from David. When the Torah speaks of G-d taking, “two birds which are pure,” these words are similes for the two kinds of Meshichim….the words “to slay the one bird” in this context are an allusion to the death of the first Mashiach… he will die as an atonement for the sins of the people.” Rabbi Chayim ben Attar, Ohr HaChayim, translation by Eliyahu Munk, Volume 5, pg. 1107

The two doves of the sacrifice of the leper link to the two goats of Yom Kippur, over which lots are cast to determine which goat is for HaShem, and which goat is destined for the wilderness. The sailors with Yonah also cast lots, to determine who was responsible for the storm,

“So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Yonah.” Jonah 1:7

Like Yonah, Yosef’s brothers “cast lots” over his coat, (Genesis Rabbah 84:8) as lots were cast over the garment of Yeshua (Psalm 22:18, John 19:24). The sailors then threw Yonah into the sea (which represents nations, Rev 17:15).

The Great Fish

“And HaShem appointed a great fish to swallow up Yonah. And Yonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.” Jonah 1:17

When Yonah was thrown into the sea, a large fish swallowed him,

“The verse relates: “Hashem designated a large fish to swallow Yonah, and Yonah remained in the fish’s innards for three days and three nights” (Yonah 2:1). The unusual circumstance of G-d causing a giant fish to engulf Yonah is not without deep significance. We see that when Yaakov gave his blessing to Efrayim and Menashe, the children of Yosef HaTzaddik, he blessed them in connection with the quality of fish; as it says (Bereishis 48:16): “…may they proliferate like fish, within the land”. The Vilna Gaon taught (Kol HaTor 2:33) that the content of this blessing to Yosef’s sons essentially reflected the spiritual qualities of Mashiach ben Yosef, stemming from Yosef HaTzaddik. Thus the aspect of “fish” and its conceptual associations are connected to Mashiach ben Yosef. We thus find an example of this, in the gemara (Berachos 20a), where the progeny of Yosef are described as having the protective spiritual quality of fish. It was therefore appropriate that the fish be the medium that Hashem used to deal with Yonah, the Mashiach ben Yosef of the time; and achieve everything that He did, through it specifically.” R’ Daniel Krentzman, Yonah as MBY [2]

Yonah’s deliverance is symbolic of the resurrection,

“For you threw me into the depths, in the heart of the seas. The flood was all around me. All your waves and your billows passed over me. I said, I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple. The waters surrounded me, even to the soul. The deep was around me. The weeds were wrapped around my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains. The earth barred me in forever: yet have you brought up my life from the pit, HaShem my God. When my soul fainted within me, I remembered HaShem. My prayer came in to you, into your holy temple. Those who regard lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice to you with the voice of thanksgiving. I will pay that which I have vowed. Salvation belongs to HaShem.” HaShem spoke to the fish, and it vomited out Jonah on the dry land.” Jonah 2:3-10

Some elements in the prayer of Yonah seems to echo that of King David,

“For the waves of death surrounded me. The floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The cords of Sheol were around me. The snares of death caught me. In my distress I called on HaShem. Yes, I called to my God. He heard my voice out of his temple. . .He sent from on high and he took me. He drew me out of many waters…” 2 Samuel 22:1-51

R’ Krentzman says,

“Similarly, in reference to Mashiach ben Yosef’s salvation, it says: “הגואל משחת חייכי“, “Who redeems your life from the pit” (Tehillim 103:4); (see Kol HaTor 2:25).” R’ Daniel Krentzman, Yonah as MBY [3]

As the weeds were wrapped around his head, so was the crown of thorns wrapped around the head of Yeshua. The Zohar elaborates on Yonah being a symbol of the Resurrection,

“In the story of Jonah we have a representation of the whole of a man’s career in this world. Jonah descending into the ship is symbolic of man’s soul that descends into this world to enter into his body…just as Jonah ‘went down into the innermost part of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep’. . . So ‘the shipmaster came to him’, to wit, the good prompter, who is the general steersman, ‘and said unto him: What do you mean that you are sleeping? Arise, call upon your God’, etc.; it is not a time to sleep, as they are about to take you up to be tried for all that you have done in this world. Repent of your sins . . . For the fish that swallowed him is, in fact, the grave, and so ‘Jonah was in the belly of the fish’, which is identified with ‘the belly of the underworld’ (Sheol), as is proved by the passage, ‘Out of the belly of the underworld (sheol) cried I’. ‘Three days and three nights’: these are the three days that a man lies in his grave . . .After that the soul ascends while the body is being decomposed in the earth, where it will lie until the time when the Holy One, blessed be He, will awaken the dead. A voice will then resound through the graves, proclaiming: ‘Awake and sing, you that dwell in the dust…’He will destroy death for ever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; and the reproach of his people will he take away from off all the earth’ (Ibid. 25:8). It is of that occasion that it is written: ‘And the Lord spoke unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land’ . . . Thus in the narrative of that fish we find words of healing for the whole world…In a similar way the Land of Israel will in the future first be stirred to new life, and afterwards the earth will cast forth the dead.” Zohar, Volume II, 199a-b, Soncino Press Edition

Mashiach ben Yosef

Yonah HaNavi is linked to Mashiach ben Yosef in Seder Eliyahu Rabbah [4], and as the son of the widow of Tzarfat who was resurrected by Eliyahu HaNavi. Benei Issachar says,

“It is known that Jonah son of Amittai is Mashiach son of Ephraim.” Benei Issachar, Tishrei 10, 28, cited in The Concealed Light, Dr. Tsvi Sadan, pg. 112

R’ Daniel Krentzman elaborates,

“According to the midrash (Shocher Tov 26:7) Yonah was the son of the widow in Tzarfat, who had died and had Eliyahu HaNavi bring him back to life (see Kings I, chapter 17). This intimate spiritual connection between Yonah and Eliyahu marked the beginning of Yonah’s reception of the spiritual potential to manifest Mashiach ben Yosef in his lifetime; for Eliyahu HaNavi was, and is, among those most connected to the qualities of Mashiach ben Yosef (see Shaar HaGilgulim (הקדמה לב) and Kol HaTor 2:71). In addition to the deep spiritual connection that Yonah and Eliyahu shared, as a result of Eliyahu resurrecting him, Yonah was also his disciple (Pirkei Rabbeinu HaKadosh, Likkutim 3) and is even eventually described as being equal to him (Mishnas R’ Eliezer 8). Elisha, who succeeded Eliyahu and continued his spiritual mission, was a contemporary and teacher of Yonah, who continued, as a result, to be privy to the reception of the spiritual the qualities of Mashiach ben Yosef, from Elisha, who had received them from Eliyahu. This is also the significance of the midrash which says that Elisha “anointed” Yonah (Mishnas R’ Eliezer 8) which expressed that Elisha “anointed” him as “Mashiach ben Yosef”.” R’ Daniel Krentzman, Yonah as MBY [5]

Like Yonah, Yeshua connected to Yochanan HaMatbil (John the Baptist) who was Eliyahu (Matt 11:14). The Jerusalem Talmud records an amazing insight connecting Yonah to the Holy Spirit on the last day of Sukkot,

“Jonah b. Amittai was one of those who came up for the festivals [to Jerusalem], and he came in for the rejoicing of bet ha’shoebah, and the Holy Spirit rested on him.” Jerusalem Talmud, Sukkah I:4, Neusner Edition

Yeshua said on this day of Sukkot,

“Now on the last and greatest day of the feast, Yeshua stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink! He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water.” But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive…” John 7:37-39

Like Yeshua, Yonah warned of Jerusalem’s impending destruction unless the generation repented. Pirkei de-Rebbi Eliezer says,

“G-d sent [Yonah] to destroy Yerushalayim, but when the people did teshuvah, the Holy One, blessed be He, out of His great kindess reconsidered and did not destroy [Yerushalayim. Since his prophecy was not fulfilled] the people called him a false prophet.” Pirkei de-Rebbi Eliezer, Chapter 10, translated by R’ Avraham Finkle, Yeshivath Beth Moshe, pg. 25

Yeshua warned his followers ‘not to go among the Gentiles’ initially (Matthew 10:5), until the time was right (Matt 28:19). When HaShem tells him to bring his message of repentance to Nineveh, the enemies of Israel, he gets on a boat and attempts to flee to Tarshish.

“…HaShem hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Yonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep.” Jonah 1:4-5

The Gospels relate a story that is a direct echo of the book of Yonah,

“On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go over to the other side. Leaving the multitude, they took him with them, even as he was, in the boat. Other small boats were also with him. A big wind storm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so much that the boat was already filled. He himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion, and they woke him up, and told him, “Rabbi, don’t you care that we are dying?!” He awoke, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Peace! Be still! The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, Why are you so afraid? How is it that you have no faith? They were greatly afraid, and said to one another, Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him.” Mark 4:35-41, cf. Matt 8:24-27

Yeshua invited the disciples to go with him to the “Other Side.” In Jewish mysticism, the term Sitra Achra or “Other Side” refers to the realm of spiritual darkness and evil. In fact, when he reaches the destination, he encounters an army (legion) of demons and defeats them. In the generation of Yonah, Nineveh was the seat of spiritual darkness.

The Other Side

“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim against it, for their wickedness has come up before me…” Jonah 1:2

There is a 7th century apocalyptic text called Sefer Zerubavel, that links Nineveh with Rome, and reveals the keys to Redemption,

“A wind lifted me up between heaven and earth and carried me to the great city Nineveh, city of blood. . . [HaShem] said to me, ‘Go to the “house of filth” near the market-district,’ and I went just as he had commanded me. He said to me, ‘Turn this way,’ and so I turned. He touched me, and then I saw a man (who was) despicable, broken down and in pain. That despicable man said to me: ‘Zerubbabel!? What business do you have here? Who has brought you here?’ I responded and said: ‘A wind from the Lord lifted me up and carried me to this place.’ He said to me: ‘Do not be afraid, for you have been brought here in order that He might show you (and then you in turn might inform the people of Israel about everything which you see).’ When I heard his words, I was consoled and regained my self-composure. I asked him, ‘Sir, what is the name of this place?’ He said to me, ‘This is mighty Rome, wherein I am imprisoned.’ I said to him, ‘Who then are you? What is your name? What do you seek here? What are you doing in this place?’ He said to me, ‘I am the Messiah of the Lord, the son of Hezekiah confined in prison until the time of the End.’ When I heard this, I was silent, and I hid my face from him. His anger burned within him, and when I looked at him (again), I became frightened. He said to me, ‘Come nearer to me,’ and as he spoke to me my limbs quaked, and he reached out his hand and steadied me. ‘Don’t be frightened,’ he said, ‘and let your mind show no fear.’ He encouraged me, and said: ‘Why did you become silent and hide your face from me?’ I said to him: ‘Because you said, “I am the servant of the Lord, His Messiah, and ‘the light of Israel’ (2 Sam 21:17).”’ Suddenly he appeared like a strong young man, handsome and adorned.” Sefer Zerubavel, translated by John C. Reeves, Trajectories in Near Eastern Apocalyptic, A Postrabbinic Jewish Apocalypse Reader [6]

This remarkable text deserves analysis.

  1. Nineveh, the city of blood Later, this is identified with Greater Rome, where Mashiach is imprisoned. Thus, this forms a connection with Yonah HaNavi who went to Nineveh. This pattern is an important concept in the Geulah: The Redeemer is concealed among the enemies of Israel. Today, the name of Mashiach is slandered as he is perceived to be within or part of Rome, but in truth, he is outside of its gates, waiting for Israel to be ready. All of this is in accordance with the principle, “The hands (the external) are the hands of Esav, the voice (the internal) is the voice of Yaakov.” Like Yosef HaTzaddik, Moshe Rabbeinu and Esther HaMalka, the Mashiach is concealed within the klipa of the enemies of Israel, that is Rome.

  2. A Man, Despicable, Broken Down and in Pain Described in Isaiah 53, the suffering, Leper Messiah, concealed at the Gates of Rome.

  3. The House of Filth A term for a “church” in Rome. The Hebrew words for ‘House of Filth’ are בית התורף, a “term in medieval Jewish literature for a Christian church or cathedral.” [7] In this “house of filth” is a “marble stone in the shape of a maiden” (a statue of Roman idol given who is the mother of Armilus, the False Messiah. Note that this statue is what people call the “virgin Mary” but it is not the Miriam of the New Testament.

  4. Messiah … confined in prison until the time of the End. He is concealed in a church full of idolatry and filth. In the Talmud, it speaks of Yeshu boiling in filth. Most take this to be a negative statement against Yeshua. In fact, it can be seen as just the opposite. He is not literally there, it is his name, sunk in the depths of Rome’s idolatry.

  5. I hid my face from him This seems to be an echo of Isaiah 53:3, “He was despised as one from whom men hide their face.” When Zerubavel hides his face from the Mashiach, who becomes “angry.” Why? Because this delays the Redemption. Very few can behold the truth of the Mashiach concealed in Edom. This is why he says, “Come nearer to me. Why do you hide your face from me?”

  6. Do not be frightened. He reaches out his hand, touches Zerubavel and says, “Do not be frightened.” Yeshua says these exact words in Revelation 1:17.

  7. Suddenly he appeared as a strong young man He had no appearance that we would desire him, but the eyes of Zerubavel were opened to see the spiritual reality: This man is indeed the Mashiach of HaShem.

Light to the Nations

“He said to them, I am a Hebrew, and I fear HaShem, the God of heaven, who has made the sea and the dry land.” Jonah 1:9

R’ Krentzman says,

“Yonah, after receiving his instruction to rebuke the city Ninveh, realizes that the people of Ninveh may repent and as a result, effect heavenly accusation and retribution against the Jewish, who have failed to repent from their evil ways. Because of his intense love for the Jewish people Yonah did not wish to be the medium through which such retribution would befall them. He therefore refuses to fulfill Hashem’s command and instead charters a ship to sail to the land of Tarshish. When a miraculous storm threatens to sink the ship, the sailors aboard ask Yonah: “Where do you come from? What is your land? And of what people are you?” Yonah replied: “עברי אנכי“, “I am a Hebrew”… (Yonah 1:8-9). It is not by chance that Yonah’s reply is similar to that of Yosef HaTzaddik, who, in identifying with Eretz Yisrael and the children of Yaakov, said: “כי גנב גנבתי מארץ העברים“, “I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews…” (Bereishis 40:15). This comes to hint at Yonah’s manifestation of the spiritual qualities of Yosef as a respective Mashiach ben Yosef of his generation.” R’ Daniel Krentzman, Yonah as MBY [8]

One mission of Yonah HaNavi was to bring the message of repentance to the nations. By reason of a kol v’chomer, if the nations, even the Ninevites, repent, how much more should Israel repent. The Kol HaTor explains,

“Admonish to repent – not only Israel, but also the other nations, in the line of the prophet Jonah, who was the Mashiach ben Yosef in his generation, as is written: (Isa. 2:4) “He will admonish many peoples.” Kol HaTor 2.75

R’ Krentzman comments,

“The Vilna Gaon teaches (Kol HaTor 2:75) that one of the missions of a respective Mashiach ben Yosef is to be a: “מוכיח לתשובה“, that is, to give rebuke and spur the masses to repent. This furthers the goal of tikun olam by having people remove themselves from tumah and sin and return to serving Hashem and doing good in the world; eventually to the extent that the rectification can be done for the sin of Adam and Chava, in Gan Eden. Therefore many Mashiach ben Yosefs were involved in giving rebuke and encouraging repentance throughout Jewish history. This form of “rebuke” of Mashiach ben Yosef is not limited to the Jewish people alone but can also apply to the nations of the world.” R’ Daniel Krentzman, Yonah as MBY [9]

Like Yonah before him, the nations will listen to the message of Mashiach ben Yosef, as Midrash Rabbah explains,

“R. Tanhuma said: The king Messiah will come for no other purpose than to teach the nations of the earth thirty precepts, such as those of the Booth, the Palm-Branch and the Tefillin. But all the children of Israel will be taught precepts of Torah by the Holy One Himself, blessed be He, for it is said ‘All your children shall be taught by the L-rd’ (Isa. 59:13). Why not by the Messiah? Because of the Messiah it is said ‘Unto him shall the nations seek.’ Midrash Tehillim, Psalm 21, translated by Rabbi William Braude, Yale University Press, pg. 292

The Man from the Sea

In the apocalyptic text of 4th Ezra, it speaks of the Mashiach, who, like Yonah HaNavi, rises out of the sea,

“After seven days I dreamed a dream in the night, and behold a wind arose from the sea and stirred up all of its waves. And I looked, and behold this wind made something like the figure of a man come up out of the heart of the sea. And I looked, and behold, that man flew with the clouds of heaven and wherever he turned his face to look, everything under his gaze trembled, and whenever his voice issued from his mouth, all who heard his voice melted as wax melts in a fire…..After this I looked and behold, an innumerable multitude of men were gathered together from the four winds of heaven to make war against the man who came up out of the sea. . . all who had gathered together against him, to wage war with him, were much afraid, yet dared to fight. And behold, when he saw the onrush of the approaching multitude, he neither lifted his hand no held any spear or weapon of war, but I saw only how he sent forth from his mouth as it were a stream of fire, and from his lips a flaming breath, and from his tongue he shot forth a storm of sparks….and fell on the onrushing multitude which was prepared to fight and burned them all up, so that suddenly nothing was seen of the innumerable multitude but only the dust of ashes and the smell of smoke…After this I saw the same man come down from the mountain and call to him another multitude was was peaceable. Then many people came to him, some of whom were joyful and some sorrowful, some of them were bound, and some were bringing others as offerings…” 4th Ezra, Chapter 13, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by James Charlesworth, pg. 553-554

Tikkun Olam

R’ Krentzman describes the tachlit, the purpose, of mission of Mashiach ben Yosef,

“This is because…the need for the mission of Mashiach ben Yosef came about as a result of the sin of Adam. In theory, had Adam not sinned and brought about tremendous spiritual damage to himself and the world, there would not have been a need for the tikun olam efforts of Mashiach ben Yosef, in every subsequent generation. Mashiach ben Yosef thus comes to rectify that damage and return mankind to the state of Adam before the sin.” R’ Daniel Krentzman, Yonah as MBY [10]

Returning to the Dove, the Zohar says,

“Who has seen the brilliant radiance of that Torah scroll, all luminous light? Its letters, flames of fire in four colors of the supernal world….No one can endure them except the Messiah. ..a crown of pure gold – splendid, precious, hidden invisible now; inlaid and embedded with all kinds of gems – destined to be placed on the head of King Messiah when he ascends that tower…At the moment he begins to read, another aperture will open, from which will emerge the dove sent by Noah in days of the Flood, as is written: ‘He sent out the dove’ (Gen 8:8) – the renowned one, which the ancients did not mention and whose identity they did not know (ולא מלילו בה קדמאי ולא ידעו מה היא); but from here she went forth and fulfilled her mission. . . no one knew where she had gone – but she returned to her place…And she will take the crown in her mouth and place it upon the head of King Messiah.” Zohar 3:164b, Rav Metivta, translated by Daniel C. Matt, Pritzker Edition, Volume 9, pg. 83

In the footnote, Daniel C. Matt points out the parallels of this passage with the immersion of Yeshua in the water, with the Dove descending upon him. After this anointing of the Spirit, Yeshua began to call out, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near,”

“An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Yonah. For just as Yonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Yonah, and behold, something greater than Yonah is here.” Matthew 12:39-41

As we approach Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, let us heed these words, the Voice of Rebuke, that we may be inscribed in the Book of Life, in the merits of Yeshua. As the Machzor says,

וּתְשׁוּבָה וּתְפִלָּה וּצְדָקָה מַעֲבִירִין אֶת רעַ הַגְּזֵרָה

“But Repentance, Prayer, and Charity cancel the evil decree.” Unetaneh Tokef


Mirror Images



From Gath-Hepher in Galilee (5 miles from Nazareth)

2 Kings 14:25

From Nazareth in Galilee

John 8:34

 Named Yonah ben Amittai (Dove the Son of Truth)

Jonah 1:1

Is connected to the “Dove” Is the “Truth”

John 14:6

Mashiach ben Yosef

Kol HaTor, Tanna Debe Eliyahu

Likened to Yonah HaNavi

Matt 12:39-41, 16:4, Luke 11:29-32

Fell asleep in a boat during a storm Jonah 1:4-6

Fell asleep in a boat during a storm Mark 4:35-41, Matt 8:24-27

Sailors were frightened of death

Jonah 1:6

Disciples were frightened of death

Matt 8:25

Sacrificed himself to save the sailors “If I die, you will live.”

Jonah 1:12

Sacrificed himself to save the world John 3:16

Sea was calmed

Jonah 1:15

Sea was calmed

Matt 8:26

The Dove does not struggle when it is being sacrificed

Vilna Gaon, Aderes Eliyahu

Like a lamb he was led to the slaughter

Isaiah 53:7, Matt 26:63, Mark 14:61, 15:5, Luke 23:9, John 19:9, 1 Peter 2:23

Lots were cast

Jonah 1:7

Lots were cast

Psalm 22:18, John 19:24

Was in the belly of the fish (symbolizing Sheol) 3 days, 3 nights

Jonah 1:17, 2:2

Was in the belly of Sheol 3 days, 3 nights

Matt 12:40

Weeds were wrapped around his head

Jonah 2:5

Crown of thorns wrapped around his head

Matt 27:29, Mar 15:17, John 19:5

Is brought up from the pit

Jonah 2:6

Is brought up from the pit

Matt 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20

Nineveh = Rome

Sefer Zerubavel


Conceals the Mashiach, Sanhedrin 98

Is the Voice of Rebuke

Jonah 3:7

Is the Voice of Rebuke

Matt 4:17

The nations listen to him and make teshuvah

Jonah 1:16, Jonah 3:10

The nations listen to him and make teshuvah

Luke 24:47

The Holy Spirit descended upon him on the Last Day of Sukkot

Jerusalem Talmud, Sukkah 1:55a

Last Day of Sukkot and the Holy Spirit

John 7:37-39

Foretold Jerusalem’s destruction

Pirkei De-Rebbi Eliezer 10

Foretold Jerusalem’s destruction

Matthew 24:2, Mark 13:2

Was called a “False Prophet”

Pirkei deRabbi Eliezer 10

Was called a “False Prophet”Resurrected,

“Behold your son lives.”

1 Kings 17:23, Pirkei De-Rabbi Eliezer 33

 “He is not here, he is alive.”Matthew 28:6



  1. R’ Daniel Krentzman, Ari Goldwag, Geulah Perspectives, Yonah as MBY

  2. Ibid.

  3. Ibid.

  4. “Did you not ask the widow of Zarephath for hallah, the dough offering due to a priest, Saying .“Make me of the dough offering a little cake first, and bring it forth unto me, and afterword make thee [a cake] for thee and for thy son.” (1 Kings 17:13)? Elijah replied: The son [I was referring to] was Messiah the son of Joseph.” Footnote: The prophet Jonah was, said to have been the son of the widow of Zarephath…was also an incarnation of Messiah son of [the Tribe of] Joseph, who was to precede Messiah son of David.” Tanna Debe Eliyyahu, Seder Eliyyahu Rabbah, Jewish Publication Society, pg. 217

  5. R’ Daniel Krentzman, Ari Goldwag, Geulah Perspectives, Yonah as MBY

  6. Sefer Zerubavel, translated by John C. Reeves

  7. Trajectories in Near Eastern Apocalyptic, A Postrabbinic Jewish Apocalypse Reader, John C. Reeves, Society of Biblical Literature, pg. 52: “Jellinek has the correct reading “” . . . as Yassif points out, the former is a term in medieval Jewish literature for a Christian church or cathedral. See also Dan, Sippur ,38; Moshe Idel, Messianic Mystics, 347, n.9; Biale, “Counter-History,” 139.”

  8. R’ Daniel Krentzman, Yonah as MBY

  9. Ibid.

  10. Ibid.

  11. The Talmud makes a strange remark,

“Rabbi Yochanan related: One time we were travelling by ship and we saw this fish which had raised its head out of the water. His eyes resembled two moons and he nafitz (spouted out) water from his two nostrils like the two rivers of Sura.” Bava Batra 74a

Rebbe Nachman comments,

“We saw this fish’ – This is the tzaddik who is called a fish, as is known (MeOrey Or, dag) ‘he naFitZ (spouted out) water from his two nostrils’ – This alludes to the two Messiahs, whom the gentiles will seek out and be drawn to. As is written (Isaiah 2:2), “All the nations shall flow unto him.” And this is: ‘the two rivers of Sura’ – SuRa alludes to the gentiles, on account of their idolatry,as in (Exodus 32:8, “SaRu (they strayed) quickly from the path.” [The gentiles] are embodied in two nations: Esav and Yishmael. And through these two Messiahs – who are the two nostrils, corresponding to “The breath of our noses, the Mashiach of God” (Lamentations 4:20) – [the gentiles] will be redeemed, and they will be drawn to them to learn the word of God.” Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Likutey Moharan 16:1, Breslov Research Institute, Volume II, pg. 373

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