The waters compassed me about, [even] to the soul
Either when he was first cast into the sea, which almost suffocated him, and just ready to take away his life, could not breathe for them, as is the case of a man drowning; or these were the waters the fish drew into its belly, in such large quantities, that they compassed him about, even to the endangering of his life there. So the Targum,
``the waters surrounded me unto death.''In this Jonah was a type of Christ in his afflictions and sorrows, which were so many and heavy, that he is said to be "exceeding sorrowful", or surrounded with sorrow, "even unto death", ( Matthew 26:38 ) ; see also ( Psalms 69:1 ) ; the depth closed me round about;
the great deep, the waters of the sea, both when he fell into it, and while in the belly of the fish: thus also Christ his antitype came into deep waters, where there was no standing, and where floods of sin, and of ungodly men, and of divine wrath, overflowed him; see ( Psalms 18:4 Psalms 18:5 ) ( 69:2 ) ; the weeds were wrapped about my head;
the sea weeds, of which there are great quantities in it, which grow at the bottom of it, to which Jonah came, and from whence he rose up again, before swallowed by the fish; or these weeds were drawn into the belly of the fish, along with the water which it took in, and were wrapped about the head of the prophet as he lay there; or the fish went down with him into the bottom of the sea, and lay among those weeds; and so they may be said to be wrapped about him, he being there, as follows. The Targum is,
``the sea of Suph being over my head;''the same with the Red sea, which is so called, ( Psalms 106:9 ) ; and elsewhere, and that from the weeds that were in it; and R. Japhet, as Aben Ezra observes, says the sea of Suph is mixed with the sea of Joppa; that is, as a learned man F5 observes, by means of the river Rhinocorura, through which the lake of Sirbon mingles with the great sea; and which lake itself is so called from the weeds in it; yea, was anciently called Suph, and the sea of Suph, or "mare Scirpeum", hence Sirbon: and the same writer thinks that the father of Andromede, said to be devoured by a whale about Joppa, had his name of Cepheus from hence.
F5 Texelius, Phoenix, l. 3. c. 6. p. 242, 243, 244, 228, 229.