Psalm 66:11
Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
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(11) Net.—The Hebrew in Ezekiel 12:13 certainly means “net,” as LXX. and Vulg. here. But Aquila, Symmachus, and Jerome prefer the usual meaning, “stronghold” (2Samuel 5:7, &c), which is more in keeping with the other images of violence and oppression. The fortress, the hard labour, the subjection as by foes riding over the vanquished, the passage through fire and water, all raise a picture of the direst tyranny.

Psalm 66:11-12. Thou broughtest us into the net — Which our enemies had laid for us, and which could never have taken or held us but by thy permission, and the disposal of thy providence, which gave us into their hands. Thou hast caused men — Weak, mortal, and miserable men, as the word signifies, no better nor stronger than ourselves, if thou hadst not given them power over us; to ride over our heads — To trample upon us, and insult over us; to abuse, nay, and make perfect slaves of us. They have said to our souls, Bow down, that we may go over, Isaiah 51:23. We went through fire and water — Through afflictions of different kinds; through various and dangerous trials and calamities. The end of one trouble was the beginning of another; when we got clear of one sort of dangers, we found ourselves involved in dangers of another sort. Such may be the troubles of the best of God’s saints; but he has promised, When thou passest through the waters, through the fire, I will be with thee. Thou broughtest us into a wealthy place — Hebrew, לריוה, larevajah, a well- watered place, and therefore fruitful, like the garden of the Lord, Genesis 13:10. Such was Canaan, both literally, Deuteronomy 8:7-9, and figuratively, as being replenished with divine graces, privileges, and blessings. Thus God brings his people into trouble, that their comforts afterward may be the sweeter, and that their affliction may thus yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness, which will make the poorest place in the world a wealthy place.

66:8-12 The Lord not only preserves our temporal life, but maintains the spiritual life which he has given to believers. By afflictions we are proved, as silver in the fire. The troubles of the church will certainly end well. Through various conflicts and troubles, the slave of Satan escapes from his yoke, and obtains joy and peace in believing: through much tribulation the believer must enter into the kingdom of God.Thou broughtest us into the net - That is, Thou hast suffered or permitted us to be brought into the net; thou hast suffered us to be taken captive, as beasts are caught in a snare. See the notes at Psalm 9:15. The allusion here is to the efforts made by their enemies to take them, as hunters lay gins, or spread nets, to capture wild beasts. The idea here is, that those enemies had been successful; God had suffered them to fall into their hands. If we suppose this psalm to have been composed on the return from the Babylonian captivity, the propriety of this language will be apparent, for it well describes the fact that the nation had been subdued by the Babylonians, and had been led captive into a distant land. Compare Lamentations 1:13.

Thou laidst affliction upon our loins - The loins are mentioned as the seat of strength (compare Deuteronomy 33:11; 1 Kings 12:10; Job 40:16).; and the idea here is, that he had put their strength to the test; he had tried them to see how much they could bear; he had made the test effectual by applying it to the part which was able to bear most. The idea is, that he had called them to endure as much as they were able to endure. He had tried them to the utmost.

11. affliction—literally, "pressure," or, as in Ps 55:3, "oppression," which, laid on the

loins—the seat of strength (De 33:11), enfeebles the frame.

Thou broughtest us into the net which our enemies laid for us, and which could never have taken or held us but by the permission and disposal of thy providence, which gave us into their hands.

Thou broughtest us into the net,.... That is, suffered them to be taken in the net of wicked men, which they laid and spread for them; whereby they were drawn either into bad principles or bad practices, or into ruinous circumstances; though the Lord does not leave his own people there, but breaks the net or snare, sooner or later, and they escape; see Psalm 9:15. Jarchi interprets it of a strait place, as in a prison; and which has often been literally true of the people of God, into which, though they have been cast by Satan, or by men instigated by him, yet, because permitted by the Lord, it is ascribed to him, Revelation 2:10;

thou laidst affliction upon our loins: the Targum renders it "a chain": the word signifies anything that is binding and pressing; it seems to be a metaphor taken from the binding of burdens upon the backs of any creatures. Afflictions often lie heavy upon the saints, are very close upon them, and press them sore, even, as they sometimes think, beyond measure; though the Lord supports them, and will not suffer them to sink under them.

Thou broughtest us into the {g} net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.

(g) The condition of the Church is here described, which is to be led by God's providence into troubles, to be subject under tyrants, and to enter into many dangers.

11. Thou broughtest us into the net] God had deliberately brought them into the power of their enemies, to punish them for their sins. Cp. for the figure Job 19:6. Some commentators render into the dungeon, a figure for the loss of freedom (Isaiah 42:22), but the usage of the word is not in favour of this rendering.

thou laidst &c.] Thou layedst a crushing load upon our loins, bowing us down under its weight.

Verse 11. - Thou broughtest us into the net. Professor Cheyne translates "into the dungeon." But m'tsudah has nowhere else this meaning. It is always either "a net" or "a stronghold." Thou laidst affliction upon oar loins; or, a sore burden (Revised Version). The meaning is, "Thou crushedst us down under a heavy weight of oppression." Psalm 66:11The character of the event by which the truth has been verified that the God who redeemed Israel out of Egypt still ever possesses and exercises to the full His ancient sovereign power, is seen from this reiterated call to the peoples to share in Israel's Gloria. God has averted the peril of death and overthrow from His people: He has put their soul in life (בּחיּים, like בּישׁע in Psalm 12:6), i.e., in the realm of life; He has not abandoned their foot to tottering unto overthrow (mowT the substantive, as in Psalm 121:3; cf. the reversed construction in Psalm 55:23). For God has cast His people as it were into a smelting-furnace or fining-pot in order to purify and to prove them by suffering; - this is a favourite figure with Isaiah and Jeremiah, but is also found in Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:3. Ezekiel 19:9 is decisive concerning the meaning of מצוּדה, where הביא במצודות signifies "to bring into the holds or prisons;" besides, the figure of the fowling-net (although this is also called מצוּדה as well as מצודה) has no footing here in the context. מצוּדה (vid., Psalm 18:3) signifies specula, and that both a natural and an artificial watch-post on a mountain; here it is the mountain-hold or prison of the enemy, as a figure of the total loss of freedom. The laying on of a heavy burden mentioned by the side of it in Psalm 66:11 also accords well with this. מוּעקה, a being oppressed, the pressure of a burden, is a Hophal formation, like מטּה, a being spread out, Isaiah 8:8; cf. the similar masculine forms in Psalm 69:3; Isaiah 8:13; Isaiah 14:6; Isaiah 29:3. The loins are mentioned because when carrying heavy loads, which one has to stoop down in order to take up, the lower spinal region is called into exercise. אנושׁ is frequently (Psalm 9:20., Psalm 10:18; Psalm 56:2, Isaiah 51:12; 2 Chronicles 14:10) the word used for tyrants as being wretched mortals, perishable creatures, in contrast with their all the more revolting, imperious, and self-deified demeanour. God so ordered it, that "wretched men" rode upon Israel's head. Or is it to be interpreted: He caused them to pass over Israel (cf. Psalm 129:3; Isaiah 51:23)? It can scarcely mean this, since it would then be in dorso nostro, which the Latin versions capriciously substitute. The preposition ל instead of על is used with reference to the phrase ישׁב ל: sitting upon Israel's head, God caused them to ride along, so that Israel was not able to raise its head freely, but was most ignominiously wounded in its self-esteem. Fire and water are, as in Isaiah 43:2, a figure of vicissitudes and perils of the most extreme character. Israel was nigh to being burnt up and drowned, but God led it forth לרויה, to an abundant fulness, to abundance and superabundance of prosperity. The lxx, which renders εἰς ἀναψυχήν (Jerome absolutely: in refrigerium), has read לרוחה; Symmachus, εἰς εὐρυχωρίαν, probably reading לרחבה (Psalm 119:45; Psalm 18:20). Both give a stronger antithesis. But the state of straitness or oppression was indeed also a state of privation.
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