And he said unto them, I [am] an Hebrew
He does not say a Jew, as the Targum wrongly renders it; for that would have been false, since he was of the tribe of Zebulun, which was in the kingdom of Israel, and not of Judah; nor does he say an Israelite, lest he should be thought to be in the idolatry of that people; but a Hebrew, which was common to both; and, besides, it not only declared what nation he was of, but what religion he professed, and who was his God: and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the
this answers to the other question, what was his occupation or business? he was one that feared the Lord, that served and worshipped him; a prophet of the great God, as Josephus F7 expresses and so Kimchi; the mighty Jehovah, that made the "heavens", and dwells in them; and from whence that storm of wind came, which had so much distressed the ship, and still continued: and who made the "sea", which was now so boisterous and raging, and threatened them with ruin; and "the dry land", where they would be glad to have been at that instant. By this description of God, as the prophet designed to set him forth in his nature and works, so to distinguish him from the gods of Heathens, who had only particular parts of the universe assigned to them, when his Jehovah was Lord of all; but where was the prophet's fear and reverence of God when he fled from him, and disobeyed him? it was not lost, though not in exercise.
F7 Antiqu. l. 9. c. 10. sect. 2.