Sir: David Ould writes (Letters, 22 December) that Jonah and the whale may be credible. Perhaps he is unaware that whale is a mistranslation for fish and that the story is meant to be humourous.
Jonah refused to go to Nineveh and had to be taken there in a giant fish. The goddess of Nineveh was Ishtar, whose symbol was a big fish. The symbolism would have been as obvious to Jonah's first readers as if we read a story of someone who refused to go to Wales and ended up being carried there in a giant dragon.
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