Job 18:8
For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walks on a snare.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) He is cast into a net.—Job had compared himself to one hunted by the Almighty (Job 10:16), and Bildad here describes the evil man as snared in a net, but it is one for which he has no one to thank but himself. It is his own pit he falls into; the insinuation being that Job is likewise responsible for his calamities, which are the punishment of his sin. It is to be observed that in this and the following verses the speaker heaps together every word he can find descriptive of the art of snaring.

Job 18:8. He is cast into a net by his own feet — By his own choice, design, and actions. And he walketh upon a snare — Or, as the words may be rendered, runneth to and fro on the toils, and therefore must needs be entangled and destroyed. “The metaphor” says Heath, “is taken from a beast, which the hunters have driven into the toils. He runs hither and thither, striving to find a way out, but the net entangles him more and more, till at length it fastens upon him.”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.For he is cast into a net by his own feet - He is caught in his own tricks, as if he had spread a net or dug a pitfall for another, and had fallen into it himself. The meaning is, that he would bring ruin upon himself while he was plotting the rain of others; see Psalm 9:16, "The wicked is snared by the work of his own hands;" compare the note at Job 5:13. The phrase "by his own feet" here means, that he walks there himself. He is not led or driven by others, but he goes himself into the net. Wild animals are sometimes driven, but he walks along of his own accord into the net, and has no one to blame but himself.

And he walketh upon a snare - Or a pitfall. This was formerly the mode of taking wild beasts. It was done by excavating a place in the earth, and covering it over with turf, leaves, etc. supported in a slender manner; so that the lion, or elephant or tiger that should tread on it, would fall through. These methods of taking wild beasts have been practiced from the earliest times, and are practiced everywhere.

8. he walketh upon—rather, "he lets himself go into the net" [Umbreit]. If the English Version be retained, then understand "snare" to be the pitfall, covered over with branches and earth, which when walked upon give way (Ps 9:15; 35:8). By his own feet; by his own choice, and design, and actions.

He walketh upon a snare; and therefore must needs be entangled and destroyed. For he is cast into a net by his own feet,.... He goes into it of himself, incautious and imprudent; the counsels, schemes, and methods he takes to hurt others, issue in his own ruin; the pit he digs for them, he falls and sinks into himself; and the net which he has spread and hid for others, in it is his own foot taken; and the ways and means he takes to do himself good, to amass riches and advance his family, being illicit ones, prove snares and nets unto him, those leading him into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which bring him to perdition, Psalm 9:15; even the various sins and transgressions he commits are snares unto him, by which he is enticed and drawn in: for in "the transgression of an evil man there is a snare", Proverbs 29:6; these promise him peace, and pleasure, and liberty, but give neither; they are nets in which he is entangled, and cords by which he is held, Psalm 9:15; into which his own feet carry him: some render it, "he goes with a net at his feet" (n), or with his feet in a net; he cannot go where he would, or do as he pleases; he is restrained by the providence of God; as the devils are held in chains, so the feet of wicked men are entangled in a net, that they cannot move and act as they are desirous of:

and he walketh upon a snare: laid for him, and hidden to him, and therefore walks on boldly and unconcerned, not being apprehensive of any danger, though greatly exposed to it; he walks on as on firm and good ground, and in a broad road, but destruction and misery are in his ways; yet he walks on of himself willingly, and with all his strength, pleasing himself in the path he treads, not dreaming of the mischief that awaits him; or "upon a thicket" (o) of thorns and briers, his sins and iniquities with which he is entangled, and out of which he cannot extricate himself, or afflictive providences with which his way is hedged up; though the former sense seems best; Mr. Broughton renders it, "a platted gin".

(n) "nam it cum reti in pedibus suis", Cocceius. (o) "in perplexo", Cocceius.

For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he {f} walketh upon a snare.

(f) Meaning, that the wicked are in continual danger.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8–11. All things hasten on his ruin; the moral order of the world is such that wherever he moves or touches upon it it becomes a snare to seize him. “Snares” do not mean temptations, they are hidden instruments of destruction that seize and hold the hunted creature. His “counsel,” and his own feet (Job 18:8), his evil nature and its outcome, his evil conduct, carry him into these snares—laid for wickedness in the constitution of things.Verse 8. - For he is cast into a net by his own feet. He walks of his own accord into a snare, not necessarily into one that he has himself set for others, as in Psalm 7:15; Psalm 9:15; Psalm 35:8; Psalm 57:6; and Proverbs 26:27; but either into one of his own setting, or into one laid for him by others (see ver. 10). And he walketh upon a snare. A mere repetition of the idea expressed in the preceding hemistich. 1 Then began Bildad the Shuhite, and said:

2 How long will ye hunt for words?!

Attend, and afterwards we will speak.

3 Wherefore are we accounted as beasts,

And narrow-minded in your eyes?

Job's speeches are long, and certainly are a trial of patience to the three, and the heaviest trial to Bildad, whose turn now comes on, because he is at pains throughout to be brief. Hence the reproach of endless babbling with which he begins here, as at Job 8:2, when he at last has an opportunity of speaking; in connection with which it must, however, not be forgotten that Job also, Job 16:3, satirically calls upon them to cease. He is indeed more entitled than his opponents to the entreaty not to weary him with long speeches. The question, Job 18:2, if קנצי six derived from קץ, furnishes no sense, unless perhaps it is, with Ralbag, explained: how long do you make close upon close in order, when you seem to have come to an end, to begin continually anew? For to give the thought: how long do you make no end of speaking, it must have been לא עד־אנה, as the lxx (μέχρι τίνος ου ̓ παύσῃ:) involuntarily inserts the negative. And what should the plur. mean by this rendering? The form קנצי equals קצּי would not cause doubt; for though קצּים does not occur elsewhere in the Old Testament, it is nevertheless sufficient that it is good Aramaic (קצּין), and that another Hebr. plural, as קצי, קצוי, קצוות, would have been hardly in accordance with the usage of the language. But the plural would not be suitable here generally, the over-delicate explanation of Ralbag perhaps excepted. Since the book of Job abounds in Arabisms, and in Arabic qanaṣa (as synon. of ṣâd) signifies venari, venando capere, and qanṣun (maqnaṣun) cassis, rete venatorium; since, further, שׂים קנצים (comp. שׂים ארב, Jeremiah 9:7) is an incontrovertible reading, and all the difficulties in connection with the reference to קץ lying in the עד־אנה for עד־אנה לא and in the plur. vanish, we translate with Castell., Schultens, J. D. Mich., and most modern expositors: how long (here not different from Job 8:2; Job 19:2) will ye lay snares (construction, as also by the other rendering, like Job 24:5; Job 36:16, according to Ges. 116, 1) for words; which, however, is not equivalent to hunt for words in order to contradict, but in order to talk on continually.

(Note: In post-bibl. Hebrew, קנצים has become common in the signification, proofs, arguments, as e.g., a Karaitic poet says, ויחוד שׁמך בקנצים הקימותי, the oneness of thy name have I upheld with proofs; vid., Pinsker, Likute Kadmoniot. Zur Gesch. des Karaismus und der karischen Literatur, 1860, S. קסו.)

Job is the person addressed, for Bildad agrees with the two others. It is remarkable, however, that he addresses Job with "you." Some say that he thinks of Job as one of a number; Ewald observes that the controversy becomes more wide and general; and Schlottm. conjectures that Bildad fixes his eye on individuals of his hearers, on whose countenances he believed he saw a certain inclination to side with Job. This conjecture we will leave to itself; but the remark which Schlottm. also makes, that Bildad regards Job as a type of a whole class, is correct, only one must also add, this address in the plur. is a reply to Job's sarcasm by a similar one. As Job has told the friends that they act as if they were mankind in general, and all wisdom were concentrated in them, so Bildad has taken it amiss that Job connects himself with the whole of the truly upright, righteous, and pure; and he addresses him in the plural, because he, the unit, has puffed himself up as such a collective whole. This wrangler - he means - with such a train behind him, cannot accomplish anything: Oh that you would understand (הבין, as e.g., Job 42:3, not causative, as Job 6:24), i.e., come to your senses, and afterward we will speak, i.e., it is only then possible to walk in the way of understanding. That is not now possible, when he, as one who plays the part of their many, treats them, the three who are agreed in opposition to him, as totally void of understanding, and each one of them unwise, in expressions like Job 17:4, Job 17:10. Looking to Psalm 49:13, 21, one might be tempted to regard נטמינוּ (on the vowel instead of , vid., Ges. 75, rem. 7) as an interchange of consonants from נדמינו: be silent, make an end, ye profligati; but the supposition of this interchange of consonants would be arbitrary. On the other hand, there is no suitable thought in "why are we accounted unclean?" (Vulg. sorduimus), from טמה equals טמא, Leviticus 11:43 (Ges. 75, vi.); the complaint would have no right connection, except it were a very slight one, with Job 17:9. On the contrary, if we suppose a verb טמה in the signification opplere, obturare, which is peculiar to this consonant-combination in the whole range of the Semitic languages (comp. א־טם, Arab. 'ṭm, obstruere, Aram. טמּם, טמטם, Arab. ṭmm, e.g., Talm.: transgression stoppeth up, מטמטמת, man's heart), and after which this טמה has been explained by the Jewish expositors (Raschi: נחשׁבנו טמומים), and is interpreted by סתם (Parchon: נסתמה דעתנו), we gain a sense which corresponds both with previous reproaches of Job and the parallelism, and we decide in its favour with the majority of modern expositors. With the interrogative Wherefore, Bildad appeals to Job's conscience. These invectives proceed from an impassioned self-delusion towards the truth, which he wards off from himself, but cannot however alter.

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