Bible Definitions by Easton:
Frequently used in its proper sense, for fastening a tent (Ex. 35:18; 39:40), yoking animals to a cart (Isa. 5:18), binding prisoners (Judg. 15:13; Ps. 2:3; 129:4), and measuring ground (2 Sam. 8;2; Ps. 78:55). Figuratively, death is spoken of as the giving way of the tent-cord (Job 4:21. "Is not their tent-cord plucked up?" R.V.). To gird one's self with a cord was a token of sorrow and humiliation. To stretch a line over a city meant to level it with the ground (Lam. 2:8). The "cords of sin" are the consequences or fruits of sin (Prov. 5:22). A "threefold cord" is a symbol of union (Eccl. 4:12). The "cords of a man" (Hos. 11:4) means that men employ, in inducing each other, methods such as are suitable to men, and not "cords" such as oxen are led by. Isaiah (5:18) says, "Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope." This verse is thus given in the Chaldee paraphrase: "Woe to those who begin to sin by little and little, drawing sin by cords of vanity: these sins grow and increase till they are strong and are like a cart rope." This may be the true meaning. The wicked at first draw sin with a slender cord; but by-and-by their sins increase, and they are drawn after them by a cart rope. Henderson in his commentary says: "The meaning is that the persons described were not satisfied with ordinary modes of provoking the Deity, and the consequent ordinary approach of his vengeance, but, as it were, yoked themselves in the harness of iniquity, and, putting forth all their strength, drew down upon themselves, with accelerated speed, the load of punishment which their sins deserved."
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