Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary
Linguist have determined that there are two separate verbs יקש (yqs) and קוש (qws) and this may be true in theory, in practice the Bible writers would probably have understood these two to be one and the same verb, spelled two different ways — old fashioned and new.
The verb יקש (yaqosh) originally meant to lay a bait or lure but came to denote laying a snare to catch animals, and from there to "snare" a person with alluring enticements (1 Samuel 18:21, Psalm 18:5, Jeremiah 5:26). This verb's derivatives are:
- The masculine noun יקוש (yaqosh), meaning bait-layer or fowler (Hosea 9:8).
- The similar masculine noun יקוש (yaqush), also meaning bait-layer or fowler (Proverbs 6:5).
- The masculine noun מוקש (moqesh), meaning either bait (Amos 3:5) or snare (Exodus 10:7, 23:33).
The verb קוש (qush) also means to lay bait or lure, and is doubtlessly related to יקש (yaqosh). BDB Theological Dictionary even deems קוש (qush) the root of יקש (yaqosh). Our verb occurs only once in the Bible, in Isaiah 29:21, whereas the verb יקש (yqs) and its derivatives occur forty times.
Fuerst's Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament reports the origin of this verb to be bent, crooked, and hence a bow, to wind, interwoven, hence a snare, snared, to be caught.
This curious phenomenon — that a verb that happens only once spawns four separate names, which are applied to six or seven men and one brook, but a verb that occurs forty times only produces one name — confirms that the names were invented long before the story was written. That may mean that the stories the way we have them were edited or retold long enough after the events for the language to have evolved. But on the other hand, in our day and age, names are also usually invented long ago.