And as troops of robbers wait for a man
As a gang of highwaymen or footpads lie in wait in a ditch, or under a hedge, or in a cave of a rock or mountain, for a man they know will come by that way, who is full of money, in order to rob him; or, as Saadiah interprets it, as fishermen stand upon the banks of a river, and cast in their hooks to draw out the fish; and to the same purpose is Jarchi's note from R. Meir: [so] the company of priests murder in the way by consent;
not only encourage murderers, and commit murders within the city, but go out in a body together upon the highway, and there commit murders and robberies, and divide the spoil among them; all which they did unanimously, and were well agreed, being brethren in iniquity, as well as in office: or, "in the way of Shechem" F5; as good people passed by Gilead to Shechem, and so to Jerusalem, to worship there at the solemn feasts, they lay in wait for them, and murdered them; because they did not give into the idolatrous worship of the calves at Dan and Bethel: or, "in the manner of Shechem" F6; that is, they murdered men in a deceitful treacherous manner, as the Shechemites were murdered by Simeon and Levi: Joseph Kimchi interprets this of the princes and great men, so the word "cohanim" is sometimes used; but the context seems to carry it to the priests: for they commit lewdness;
or "enormity"; the most enormous crimes, and that purposely, with deliberation devising and contriving them.
F5 (hmkv) "Sichemam versus", Gussetius, Schmidt; approved by Reinbeck. De Accent. Heb. p. 442. "qua itur Sichem", Tigurine version; "qua via ad Shechemum [factum] occidunt", Junius & Tremellius; "quae ducit ad Sichermum", Piscator. So Abendana.
F6 "Sicemice", so some in Drusius.