All these trapping mechanisms are mentioned by the biblical authors in figures of speech. Because these devices are often referenced with the same Hebrew or Greek term, we look to the larger context, which may be helpful in determining exactly which type of trapping device is
in view. Whether or not we can identify the specific type of trap, three connotations linger that imbue the figure of speech with meaning: (1) The trap captured those who were not expecting it. (2) Once the animal was trapped there was virtually no chance of escape. (3) Because the trapping mechanism was camouflaged, what at first glance appeared to be harmless resulted in death.
A wide range of sinful choices became effective traps that could harm God’s people; consequently, the Lord offered early warnings about them. For example, the Lord repeatedly warned that the Canaanites and their pagan worship were deadly traps for the Israelites (Josh 23:13; Exod 23:33; 34:12-13; Deut 7:16, 25; Judg 2:3). Unfortunately, the Lord’s warning about such traps often went unheeded and “they worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them” (Ps 106:36). Apart from the choice to engage in false worship, inappropriate words and sinful actions became traps. This image is particularly prominent in the book of Proverbs (6:2-3; 18:7; 20:25; 23:27). Note the trap-laden imagery linked to the warning about following a wayward wife into the sin of adultery: “All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life” (Prov 7:22-23). In the same way, “those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap” (1 Tim 6:9). END OF PART 2