The good [man] is perished out of the earth
Here the prophet expresses in plain words what he had before delivered in figurative terms. The "good" or "godly" man, as in ( Psalms 12:1 ) ; is one that has received the grace of God, and blessings of grace from him, and lives a godly life and conversation; who has the good work of grace begun in him and is found in the performance of good works, and does his duty both to God and man from godly principles; and particularly is kind and merciful to the poor and needy, and those in distress. The complaint is, that there were few, or scarce any, of this character in the earth, in the land of Israel, where there used to be great numbers of them, but now they were all dead and gone; for this is to be understood, not of the perishing of their graces or comforts, much less of their perishing in their sins, or perishing eternally, but of their corporeal death: and [there is] none upright among men;
that are upright in heart and life; that have right spirits renewed in them, are Israelites indeed, in whom there is no guile; and walk uprightly, according to the rule of the divine word, truly honest, faithful men; very few such were to be found, scarce any; see ( Psalms 12:1 ) ( Isaiah 57:1 ) ; they all lie in wait for blood;
for the substance, wealth, and riches of men, which is as their blood and life; is their livelihood, that on which they live; this they wait for an opportunity to get from them, and, when it offers, greedily seize it; and stick not even to shed blood, and take away life, for the sake of gain: they hunt every man his brother with a net;
as men lay nets for fish, and fowl, and beasts, and hunt them till they have got them into them; so these men laid snares, not for strangers only, but for their own brethren, to entangle them in, and cheat and defraud them of their substance; and this they would do, even to the destruction of them, as some F19 render it; for the word also signifies "anathema", destruction, as well as a "net". So the Targum.
``betray or deliver his brother to destruction.''
F19 (Mrx) "ad necem", Tigurine version; "anathema, caedes", Drusius; "ad occasuinem", ibid.