“Whoever flatters a neighbor
Is spreading a net for the neighbor’s feet.
In the transgressions of the evil
There is a snare.
But the righteous sing.
The righteous rejoice.
The righteous know the rights of the poor.
The wicked have no such understanding.”
If you flatter your neighbor, you are setting a trap or net for his feet. In the very transgression of the evil deed, there is a snare trap. The righteous sing and rejoice. They know about the rights of the poor, while the wicked have no understanding of the poor.
If sinners entice you,
Do not consent!
If they say.
‘Come with us!
Let us lie in wait for blood!
Let us wantonly ambush the innocent!
Let us swallow them alive and whole!
Like those who go down to the Pit,
We shall find all kinds of costly things.
We shall fill our houses with booty.
Throw in your lot among us!
We will all have one purse.’
Do not walk in their way!
Keep your foot from their paths!
Their feet run to evil.
They hurry to shed blood.
For in vain is a net baited,
While the bird is looking on.
Yet they lie in wait,
To kill themselves.
They set an ambush
For their own lives.
Such is the end
Of all who are greedy for gain.
It takes away the life of its possessors.”
The main parental advice of these proverbs is to stay away from evil people. Do not let sinners entice you! Stay away from those who want to ambush innocent people in order to spill their blood. They seem to think that they can swallow people up like Sheol or the pit, the grave, does. This part appears to not sound enticing, but the kicker enticement was filling up your house with spoils and booty. They would all share together with one purse. Parents should warn their children not to walk in their paths or let their feet walk in their ways. These wicked ones hurry to shed blood. However, they set a net while the birds are watching so that their own ambush will kill them. This is the end for those who are greedy and want to kill others so that they would have their goods.
“They set a net for my steps.
My soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my path.
However, they have fallen into it themselves.”
These enemies or lions have set a net to catch David. His soul was bowed down. After his enemies built a pit to trap him on his path, they and not David fell into the pit that they had built for him. This then has a musical interlude meditative pause at this point in the psalm, Selah..
“To the choirmaster leader, a psalm of David.
I seek refuge!
Do not let me ever be put to shame!
In your righteousness
Incline your ear to me!
Rescue me speedily!
Be a rock of refuge for me!
Be a strong fortress to save me!
You are indeed my rock!
You are indeed my fortress!
For your name’s sake
Take me out of the net
That is hidden for me!
You are my refuge!
Into your hand
I commit my spirit!
You have redeemed me!
Once again, Psalm 31 is a lamenting fairly long psalm for deliverance from the personal enemies of David. There was the usual indication of a choir master leader. David sought refuge in Yahweh. He did not want to be put to shame. He wanted to be delivered quickly from his enemies. He wanted Yahweh to listen to him. His refuge was Yahweh because Yahweh was his rock and fortress. He wanted to be guided by Yahweh so that no net would catch his feet. He committed his heart to the hand of Yahweh, who had redeemed him as his faithful God.