The common form of bird trap or netting device is familiar from Egyp. illustrations. It was a piece of net mounted to spring up and envelop the bird when it alighted on a tripstick or some other form of trigger (Ps 141:9; Ezek 12:13; Amos 3:5). Note the illustration of sudden contrived disaster and catastrophe to which the victim thoughtlessly and unwarily exposed himself when in search for imagined or illusory advantage.

Another form of trap was the noose carefully set on the “run” of a bird or an animal and designed to tighten around the neck by the creature’s own forward momentum (Job 18:10; 1 Cor 7:35). This form of trapping device seems to be the metaphor behind Proverbs 22:8. Ezekiel 17:20 may refer to a noose falling from above, though it could as likely be a descending net, falling as the victim entangled his feet in some low-lying trigger. Or, perhaps the fowler concealed in ambush pulled a releasing string when the birds ventured under the suspended net (Prov 1:17, 18).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

Any of the methods for taking birds; see Snare; Net; GIN, etc. It is probable that a trap was more particularly a hole in the ground covered with twigs, concealed by leaves and baited with food. Such devices were common in taking the largest animals and may have been used with birds also. Trap is mentioned frequently in connection with snare and in such manner as to indicate that they were different devices: "Know for a certainty that Yahweh your God will no more drive these nations from out of your sight; but they shall be a snare and a trap unto you" (Jos 23:13). Another such reference will be found in Ps 69:22:

"Let their table before them become a snare;

And when they are in peace, let it become a trap."

This is quoted in Ro 11:9: "Let their table be made a snare, and a trap,

And a stumbling block, and a recompense unto them."

An instance where a trap alone is referred to can be found in Jer 5:26: "They set a trap, they catch men." Isa 42:22 uses this expression, "snared in holes." This might mean that a snare was placed in a hole, or that the hole was the snare to lure bird or animal to its death. The former proposition is sustained by Job, who says, "A noose is hid for him in the ground, and a trap for him in the way" (18:10). This translation appears as if it were reversed and should read, "A trap is hid for him in the ground and a noose in the way."

Gene Stratton-Porter