Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt,
&c.] Pharaohhophra, or Apries; say a funeral dirge for him; this is ordered, not out of honour and respect to him, or in compassion for his misery and ruin, but to assure him of it: and say unto him, thou art like a young lion of the nations;
for strength and fierceness, for cruelty and tyranny, which he exercised, not in one nation only, but in many; a lively emblem of the beast of Rome, spiritually called Egypt and Sodom, compared to a leopard, bear, and lion, ( Revelation 11:8 ) ( 13:2 ) : and thou art as a whale in the seas;
or rather "like a crocodile" F21, which was common in the rivers of Egypt, but not the whale; which also has not scales, nor does it go upon land, nor is it taken in a net; all which is said of this creature here, and in ( Ezekiel 29:3 Ezekiel 29:4 ) and to the crocodile there is an allusion in the name of Pharaoh, in the Arabic language, as Noldius from Camius observes F23; see ( Ezekiel 29:3 ) : and thou camest forth with thy rivers;
or, "by thy rivers" F24; as the crocodile in the river Nile, by the arms of it, or canals made out of it, sometimes went out from thence to other parts: or, "out of thy rivers" F25 upon the land, as the crocodile does; so the king of Egypt went forth with his armies out of his own land, into other countries, to disturb them, as follows: or rather, "camest forth in thy rivers" F26; as the crocodile puts forth its head out of the water for respiration: and thou troublest the waters with thy feet, and foulest their rivers;
just as the feet of men or beasts, in shallow waters, raise up the mud or clay at the bottom, and so foul them; this best agrees with the crocodile, which has feet; Grotius thinks, for this reason, the sea horse is intended; the meaning is, that Pharaoh with his soldiers entered other nations, made war upon them, and disturbed their peace and tranquillity. The Targum is,
``thou hast been strong among the people, as a whale in the seas, thou hast fought with thine army; and thou hast moved the people with thine auxiliaries, and thou hast wasted their provinces.''