When he raiseth up himself
Not out of the waters, but above the surface of them, so as that his large bulk, his terrible jaws and teeth, are seem;
the mighty are afraid;
not only fishes and other animals, but men, and these the most stouthearted and courageous, as mariners and masters of vessels;
by reason of breakings they purify themselves:
either because of the breaches of the sea made through the lifting up of this creature, threatening the overturning of vessels; or of the breaches of men's hearts through fear, they are thrown into a vomiting, and purging both by stool and urine, which are often the effects of fear, so Ben Gersom; or they acknowledge themselves sinners, or expiate themselves, endeavouring to do it by making confession of sin, declaring repentance for it, praying for forgiveness of it, and promising amendment; which is frequently the case of seafaring men in distress; see ( Jonah 1:4-17 ) .