Job 41:31

Job 41:31

He maketh the deep to boil F11 like a pot
Which is all in a from through the violent agitation and motion of the waves, caused by its tossing and tumbling about; which better suits with the whale than the crocodile, whose motion in the water is not so vehement;

he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment;
this also seems to make against the crocodile, which is a river fish, and is chiefly in the Nile. Lakes indeed are sometimes called seas, in which crocodiles are found; yea, they are also said to be in the seas, ( Ezekiel 32:2 ) ; and Pliny


F12 speaks of them as common to the land, river, and sea; and the Nile is in the Alcoran F13 called the sea, and its ancient name was "Oceames" with the Egyptians, that is, in Greek, "ocean", as Diodorus Siculus F14 affirms; and so it is thought to be the Egyptian sea in ( Isaiah 11:15 ) . It is observed that they leave a sweet scent behind them; thus Peter Martyr F15, in his account of the voyages of Columbus in the West Indies, says, they sometimes met with crocodiles, which, when they fled or took water, they left a very sweet savour behind them, sweeter than musk or castoreum. But this does not come up to the expression here of making the sea like a pot of ointment; but the sperm of the whale comes much nearer to it, which is of a fat oily nature, and like ointment, and which the whale sometimes throws out in great abundance, so that the sea is covered with it; whole pails full may be taken out of the water; it swims upon the sea like fat; abundance of it is seen in calm weather, so that it makes the sea all foul and slimy F16: and there are a sort of birds called "mallemuck", which fly in great numbers and feed upon it F17. I cannot but remark what the bishop of Bergen observes F18 of the sea serpent, that its excrements float on the water in summertime like fat slime.

F11 "Fervetque----aequor". Virgil. Georgic. l. 1. v. 327.
F12 Nat. Hist. l. 32. c. 11.
F13 Schultens in Job, xiv. 11.
F14 Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 17.
F15 Decad. 3. l. 4.
F16 Voyage to Spitzbergen, p. 148, 149.
F17 Vid. Scheuchzer. ut supra, (vol. 4.) p. 852. & Voyage to Spitzbergen, p. 167.
F18 Pantoppidan's History of Norway, part 2. p. 204.