Job 18:9
The gin shall take him by the heel, and the robber shall prevail against him.
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Job 18:9-10. The gin shall take him by the heel — That is, take fast hold on him, so as to keep him in those distresses. And the robber shall prevail against him — Hebrew, צמים, tsammim, the horrible or terrible man, the huntsman that laid the snare for him shall come upon him, when he is insnared, take and spoil or kill him. The snare is laid for him in the ground — Where he did not discern nor expect it. The former snare he laid for himself, but this was laid for him by another.

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.The gin - Another method of taking wild beasts. It was a snare so made as to spring suddenly on an animal, securing him by the neck or feet. We use a trap for the same purpose. The Hebrew word (פח pach) may denote anything of this kind - a snare, net, noose, etc. with which birds or wild animals are taken.

By the heel - By the foot.

And the robber shall prevail - He shall be overpowered by the highwayman; or the plunderer shall make a sudden descent upon him, and strip him of his all. The meaning is, that destruction would suddenly overtake him. There can be no doubt that Bildad meant to apply all this to Job.

9. robber—rather answering to "gin" in the parallel clause, "the noose shall hold him fast" [Umbreit]. Shall take the by the heel, i.e. take fast hold of him, so as to keep him in those distresses; and when he is insnared the robber shall come upon him, and take, and spoil, or kill him. Or,

the horrible or terrible man; the huntsman, that laid the snare for him. A metaphor from those who hunt for wild beasts, who first lay snares for them, and then seize upon them in the snares.

The gin shall take him by the heel,.... And hold him fast, so that he shall not be able to get away, especially out of such as are set by God himself; for God has his nets, and snares, and gins for wicked men, and such plenty of them, that he even is said to rain them on them; yea, he himself is a gin and a snare unto them, and out of his hands there is no escaping, wherefore it is a terrible thing to fall into them, see Ezekiel 12:13;

and the robber shall prevail against him; either robbers literally taken, such as the Sabeans and Chaldeans, to whom Bildad may have reference, who prevailed against Job, and plundered him of his substance; and such as these, as the word signifies, are "thirsty ones" (p), who thirst after the wealth and riches of men, and after their blood for the sake thereof, bloodthirsty ones; Mr. Broughton renders it, "the savage", barbarous, wild, and uncivilized, that lived in desert places, and were like wild beasts, let their hair grow long, to make them look more terrible and formidable, which some take to be the signification of the word, and render it "horrid" (q) or terrible; see Gill on Job 5:5; or else the devil may be meant, who is like a roaring lion, terrible and frightful, and who, as he was a murderer from the beginning, so a thief and robber, that comes to kill and destroy, and whom God suffers to prevail over the children of disobedience, and in whom he works powerfully, being the strong man armed, that has possession of them and their goods, and keeps them in peace; and who has his snares, which he lays suited to the tempers and dispositions of men, and in which they are taken alive, as beasts of prey, and are detained by him at his pleasure, 2 Timothy 2:26.

(p) "sitibundos", Montanus; "sitibundus", Tigurine version. (q) "Horridus", Junius & Tremellius, Cocceius, Schmidt.

The gin shall take him by the heel, and the robber shall prevail against him.
9. the robber shall prevail] Rather, the trap layeth hold of him, as all the verbs in this passage should be put in the present tense. The word is that occurring ch. Job 5:5. The world of God is one network of snares for the wicked man, he walks upon snares, in the field and in the way alike. The idea that the world is a moral constitution is very prominent in the Old Testament, a mere physical constitution of things is an idea unknown to it.

Verse 9. - The gin shall take him by the heel, and the robber (rather, the man-trap) shall prevail against him. Fifty years ago man-traps were commonly set at night in gardens and orchards in this country, which held intending thieves until the proprietor came and took them before a magistrate in the morning. (On the employment of such traps in antiquity, see Herod., 2:121. § 2.) Job 18:9 8 For he is driven into the net by his own feet,

And he walketh over a snare.

9 The trap holdeth his heel fast,

The noose bindeth him.

10 His snare lieth hidden in the earth,

His nets upon the path;

11 Terrors affright him on every side,

And scare him at every step.

The Pual שׁלּח signifies not merely to be betrayed into, but driven into, like the Piel, Job 30:12, to drive away, and as it is to be translated in the similar passage in the song of Deborah, Judges 5:15 : "And as Issachar, Barak was driven (i.e., with desire for fighting) behind him down into the valley (the place of meeting under Mount Tabor);" בּרגליו, which there signifies, according to Judges 4:10; Judges 8:5, "upon his feet equals close behind him," is here intended of the intermediate cause: by his own feet he is hurried into the net, i.e., against his will, and yet with his own feet he runs into destruction. The same thing is said in Job 18:8; the way on which he complacently wanders up and down (which the Hithp. signifies here) is שׂבכה, lattice-work, here a snare (Arab. schabacah, a net, from שׂבך, schabaca, to intertwine, weave), and consequently will suddenly break in and bring him to ruin. This fact of delivering himself over to destruction is established in apocopated futt. (Job 18:9) used as praes., and without the voluntative signification in accordance with the poetic licence: a trap catches a heel (poetic brevity for: the trap catches his heel), a noose seizes upon him, עליו (but with the accompanying notion of overpowering him, which the translation "bind" is intended to express). Such is the meaning of צמּים here, which is not plur., but sing., from צמם (Arab. ḍmm), to tie, and it unites in itself the meanings of snare-layer (Job 5:5) and of snare; the form (as אבּיר, אדּיר) corresponds more to the former, but does not, however, exclude the latter, as תּנּין and לפּיד (λαμπάς) show.

The continuation in Job 18:10 of the figure of the fowler affirms that that issue of his life (Job 18:9) has been preparing long beforehand; the prosperity of the evil-doer from the beginning tends towards ruin. Instead of חבלו we have the pointing חבלו, as it would be in Arab. in a similar sense hhabluhu (from hhabl, a cord, a net). The nearer destruction is now to him, the stronger is the hold which his foreboding has over him, since, as Job 18:11 adds, terrible thoughts (בּלּהות) and terrible apparitions fill him with dismay, and haunt him, following upon his feet. לרגליו, close behind him, as Genesis 30:30; 1 Samuel 25:42; Isaiah 41:2; Habakkuk 3:5. The best authorized pointing of the verb is והפיצהוּ, with Segol (Ges. 104, 2, c), Chateph-Segol, and Kibbutz. Except in Habakkuk 3:14, where the prophet includes himself with his people, הפיץ, diffundere, dissipare (vid., Job 37:11; Job 40:11), never has a person as its obj. elsewhere. It would also probably not be used, but for the idea that the spectres of terror pursue him at every step, and are now here, now there, and his person is as it were multiplied.

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