The nets of the enemy (Hab 1:14-1:17)

“You have made people

Like the fish of the sea,

Like crawling things

That have no ruler.

The enemy brings

All of them up

With a hook.

He drags them out,

With his net.

He gathers them

In his seine.

Thus,

He rejoices.

He exults.

Therefore,

He sacrifices

To his net.

He makes sacrifices

To his seine.

His portion is lavish

By them.

His food is rich.

Is he then to keep on

Emptying his net?

Will he keep destroying nations

Without mercy?”

This enemy would keep devouring the people.  Yahweh has made people like fish in the sea, since they have no ruler, much like crawling things.  Thus, this enemy has a hook with a net.  He has dragged the people out of the sea, as if they were fish in a net.  He has gathered them in his seine, which is a great big net.  Thus, this enemy is happy and exulted about his big catch of humans, much like a proud fisherman.  Then, this enemy would sacrifice offerings to his big nets, because they have contributed to his lavish life style with rich food.  He has become wealthy by catching all these humans in his big fish nets.  Thus, he kept emptying his nets and catching more humans in them.  He continued to destroy nations and countries without any mercy for anyone.  His evil ways just went on and on.

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The devastating fire in Zion (Lam 1:13-1:13)

Mem

“From on high.

He sent fire.

It went deep

Into my bones.

He spread

A net

For my feet.

He turned me back.

He has left me

Stunned.

I am faint

All day long.”

Yahweh sent a fire into the bones of the people of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is no longer a simple city, but a personification of the devastation. Yahweh spread a net for their feet. He turned them back so that they were stunned and faint all day long. This was a very personal lament from the city itself. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Mem. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

Watch out for women (Eccl 7:26-7:29)

“I found that the woman,

Who is a trap,

Is more bitter than death.

Her heart is snares.

Her hear is nets.

Her hands are fetters.

‘One who pleases God escapes her.

But the sinner is taken by her.’

See!

This is what I found,

Says Qoheleth,

Adding one thing to another

To find the sum.

My mind has sought this repeatedly,

But I have not found it.

‘One man among a thousand

I found.

But a woman among all these

I have not found.’

See!

This alone I found.

God made human beings straightforward.

However they have devised many schemes.”

In this anti-feminine diatribe, Qoheleth believed that women were a trap, more bitter than death. Female hearts were like a snare and a net, while their hands were like chains. If you were pleasing to God, you escaped from this woman. However, the sinner could be taken by her. Qoheleth could find only one good man among 1,000, but he could not find even one good person among the women. He had found out that God made humans straight forward, but humans just devised many schemes.

Let their own nets trap them (Ps 35:7-35:8)

“Without cause

They hid their net for me.

Without cause

They dug a pit for my life.

Let ruin come upon them unawares!

Let the net that they hid

Ensnare them!

Let them fall in!

Let it be to their ruin!”

David noted that these things were done to him without a good cause. They hid a net to trap him. They dug a pit to put an end to his life. David wanted them to get caught in their own nets. He wanted them to fall into the pits that they had dug out to get him. This was to be their ruin. Clearly David was vindictive here because he believed that he was right because they did not have a good cause against him.