|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:5-10 Bildad describes the miserable condition of a wicked man; in which there is much certain truth, if we consider that a sinful condition is a sad condition, and that sin will be men's ruin, if they do not repent. Though Bildad thought the application of it to Job was easy, yet it was not safe nor just. It is common for angry disputants to rank their opponents among God's enemies, and to draw wrong conclusions from important truths. The destruction of the wicked is foretold. That destruction is represented under the similitude of a beast or bird caught in a snare, or a malefactor taken into custody. Satan, as he was a murderer, so he was a robber, from the beginning. He, the tempter, lays snares for sinners wherever they go. If he makes them sinful like himself, he will make them miserable like himself. Satan hunts for the precious life. In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare for himself, and God is preparing for his destruction. See here how the sinner runs himself into the snare.
Verse 10. - The snare is laid for him in the ground, and a trap for him in the way; or, the noose is hid for him in the ground (see the Revised Version). Six different kinds of traps or snares are mentioned, "the speaker heaping together every word that he can find descriptive of the art of snaring." The art had been well studied by the Egyptians long before the age of Job, and a great variety of contrivances for capturing both beasts and birds are represented on the very early monuments (Wilkinson, in the authors' Herodotus,' vol. it. pp. 77, 78). We may conclude from this passage that it had also been brought to an advanced stage of excellence in Syria and Arabia.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The snare is laid for him in the ground,.... Or "hidden" (r) there; for, as Solomon says, "in vain the net is spread in sight of any bird", Proverbs 1:17; and in vain it is to lay a snare publicly in the sight or creature, it will not then come near it, but shun and avoid it; and therefore it is laid underground, or hid in the earth, or in some private place, where the creature it is designed for may be thought to come, or into which it is decoyed; or "the cord" (s), that which is fastened to the snare or net, and which the fowler holds in his hand, and pulls with; as he finds occasion and opportunity offers; but this is hid as much as possible, that it may not be seen:
and a trap for him in the way; in which he is used to walk, by the roadside, or in it; Mr. Broughton renders it, "a pitfall on the wayside", such as is dug for beasts to fall into and be taken. The whole of this is designed to show how suddenly and secretly wicked men are taken in nets, and snares, and gins, either of their own or others laying, and, while they are crying "Peace, peace, sudden destruction comes upon them"; see Ecclesiastes 9:12.
(r) "absconditus", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, &c. (s) "funis ejus", Montanus, Tigurine version, Mercerus, Drusius, Cocceius, Schmidt.
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