This word is frequently used in its proper sense, for fastening a tent (Exodus 35:18; 39:40), yoking animals to a cart (Isaiah 5:18), binding prisoners (Judges 15:13; Psalm 2:3; 129:4), and measuring ground (2 Samuel 8:2; Psalm 78:55).
TO GIRD ONE’S SELF WITH A CORD was a token of sorrow and humiliation.
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.
This verse is thus given in the Chaldee paraphrase:
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.”