The largest known inhabitant of the sea, Job 7:12, put by our translators for a Hebrew word including all the huge marine monsters, as in Genesis 1:21. In Ezekiel 32:2, referring to Egypt and the Nile, it doubtless means the crocodile; as also in Psalms 74:13; Isaiah 27:1; 51:9; Ezekiel 29:3, where it is translated "dragon." The "great fish" that swallowed Jonah cannot be named with certainty. The Greek word in Matthew 12:40 being also indeterminate. Whales, however, were anciently found in the Mediterranean, and sharks of the largest size.
These dictionary topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859. Public Domain, copy freely.
Rand, W. W. "Entry for 'WHALE'". "American Tract Society Bible Dictionary".