Thursday, November 29, 2018

DIY the prophet Jonah and Whale

       Modern Christians often teach that it was a whale who swallowed Jonah in order to transport him safely between the waters surrounding Tarshish to the port of Joppa. However, the Bible says that he was swallowed by a great fish. Which may have been a whale, presuming that whoever wrote the book of Jonah did not know the difference between fish and swimming mammals.
My finished ornament of Jonah and the giant whale. This ornament is made from cotton batting, dryer lint and toothpicks.
"Now the LORD provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. He said: "In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, 'I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.'  The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, LORD my God, brought my life up from the pit. "When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.  "Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God's love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, 'Salvation comes from the LORD.'" And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: "Go to the city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you." Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. ( A 550 mile journey from the port of Joppa!) Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it." Jonah 1:17 through Jonah 3:3 (NIV)

       Whether or not you believe that he was saved by a swimming mammal or giant fish, this symbol will certainly remind any believer who would like to include the stubborn old prophet, Jonah, on their Jesse Tree this Christmas that he was also recorded to be in the lineage of King David and therefore in the family of Christ as well.

Above is the plastic, green sperm whale my brothers played with when we were kids. Keep in mind, it is important to learn to sculpt three dimensional objects by touch. Examination with both the hands and eyes, will help your brain to relay information back to your hands quicker and with more accuracy. This is for educational purposes mind you. After you have learned to sculpt sample prototypes, you must make your own unique models for profit because of copyright laws.
Supply List:
  • newsprint
  • masking tape
  • white school glue
  • dryer lint (grey)
  • paper mache' pulp
  • plastic sperm whale (toy)
  • small black beads for eyes (two)
  • wire
  • wooden toothpicks
  • few white cotton balls
  • Exacto knife
  • acrylic paints for Jonah's body 
Right, featured: "A Sperm Whale Encounter" by Howard Hall, students may observe the size, and coloration of sperm whales.


Jonah tossed about above the blow hole of a super large whale.
Step-by-Step Instructions:
  1. Touch and examine the model whale carefully. Spend time looking at its properties while running your fingertips over the surface of the whale.
  2. Now crush and mask with tape a similar shape.
  3. Use a knife to dent the surface area for a bead on either side of the whale's head. Glue these beads into place. You many use a small amount of tape to keep the eyes in position while the glue dries.
  4. Mix together the paper pulp according to the directions on the package. 
  5. You may add a bit of glue to your water while you dampen the pulp to give it extra strength.
  6. Let the paper mache' stiffen and dry out before layering glue and dryer lint onto it's surface. Keep your work in a dry, warm area so that it will harden quickly. 
  7. I worked in some white areas with a bit of unraveled cotton on the whale's belly because I preferred the coloration. 
  8. Dig out a hole in the top of the whales head for it's spout. 
  9. Cut wire pieces and roll glue with unraveled cotton between the palms of your hands. 
  10. Twist these wire into curls. Then bind them together to mimic a fountain of water spray. (see photograph)
  11. Glue this water spray into the 1/2 inch hole for it's spout. 
  12. Cover any torn or disturbed areas around the spout with additional grey lint.
  13. Now cut off, with your Exacto knife, the sharp tips of many toothpicks. These will become the teeth of the sperm whale. Glue them in place between the jaws. 
  14. Next you will need to shape a small man from a half piece of toothpick and cotton wading; this is Jonah.
  15. Between your fingertips, wad and roll a bit of cotton and white glue for Jonah's head. Then glue it the end of a broken toothpick and let it dry.
  16. Now twist another bit of batting around the toothpick to resemble a basic body shape. You can glue a second, shorter toothpick to the upper torso to make his arms. Wrap the figure with cotton until it looks like a miniature human. Give him a beard.
  17. After Jonah dries, paint his coat, beard and head with acrylic paints.
  18. Glue Jonah to the wire water spout or to the inside of the whales jaws. 
More Jesse Tree Symbols for Christmas Ornaments:

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