Jonah under cucurbitas
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So too, Jonah beneath his gourd always has an arm behind his head. And therein the Biblical story becomes distorted, for the cucurbitas in Scripture is a parable of God's mercy. A petulant Jonah is disturbed with a merciful God, who has given the gourd for his shade and then has taken it away. God attempts to show him that God after all both gives and takes and Jonah is not to be angry about God saving the great city of Nineveh. In the hands of iconographers however, the relaxation of Jonah beneath the gourd is not for the purpose of showing God's mercy in the salvation of the heathen but rather becomes a figure of eternal repose. Close-up of sarcophagi frontal.