Found but 5 times in the Scriptures (the King James Version), once in the Old Testament, yet most significant as illustrating the process of mental, moral and spiritual confusion and enslavement.
Used of physical entanglement, as in the mazes of a labyrinth (bukh, to involve, "be perplexed"). At Moses' command the children of Israel, before crossing the Red Sea, took the wrong way in order to give Pharaoh the impression that they were lost in the wilderness and cause him to say "They are entangled in the land" (Exodus 14:3).
pagideuo, "to entrap," "ensnare," with words, as birds are caught in a snare; compare Ecclesiastes 9:12. The Pharisees sought to "entangle" (the Revised Version (British and American) "ensnare") Jesus in His talk (Matthew 22:15).
`empleko, "to inweave," hence, intertwine and involve. "A god soldier of Jesus Christ," says Paul, does not "entangle himself," i.e. become involved, "in the affairs of this life" (2 Timothy 2:4). Having "escaped the defilements of the world," Christians are not to be "again entangled therein" (2 Peter 2:20).
enecho, "to hold in," hence, to hold captive, as a slave in fetters or under a burden. Having experienced spiritual emancipation, freedom, through Christ from bondage to sin and false religion (Galatians 5:1; compare Galatians 4:8), the Gentiles were not to become "entangled again in a yoke of bondage" by submission to mere legal requirements, as the external rite of circumcision.
With reference to the thoroughness and irresistibleness of God's judgments, we read in Nahum 1:10, "For entangled like thorns" (the King James Version "while they be folden together as thorns"), damp, closely packed and intertwined, "they are consumed utterly as dry stubble" (the King James Version "devoured as stubble fully dry").
Dwight M. Pratt
These files are public domain.