I will search and take them out from thence: by directing their enemies where to find them: so the Targum,
"if they think to be hid in the tops of the towers of castles, thither will I command the searchers, and they shall search them:''
and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea; get into ships, going by sea to distant parts; or make their escape to isles upon the sea afar off, where they may think themselves safe:
thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them; the dragon that is in the sea, Isaiah 27:1; the great whale in the sea, or the leviathan, so Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech; and is that kind of whale which is called the "Zygaena", as Bochart (w) thinks; and which he, from various writers, describes as very monstrous, horrible, and terrible, having five rows of teeth, and very numerous; and which not only devours other large fishes, but men swimming it meets with; and, having such teeth, with great propriety may be said to bite. It appears from hence that there are sea serpents, as well as land ones, to which the allusion is. Erich Pantoppidan, the present bishop of Bergen (x), speaks of a "see ormen", or sea snake, in the northern seas, which he describes as very monstrous and very terrible to seafaring men, being of seven or eight folds, each fold a fathom distant; nay, of the length of a cable, a hundred fathom, or six hundred English feet; yea, of one as thick as a pipe of wine, with twenty five folds. Some such terrible creature is here respected, though figuratively understood, and designs some crafty, powerful, and cruel enemy. The Targum paraphrases it, though hid
"in the isles of the sea, thither will I command the people strong like serpents, and they shall kill them;''
see Psalm 139:9.
(w) Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 5. c. 13. p. 747. (x) Natural History of Norway, par. 2. p. 198, 199, 207.