1 tn Heb “a witness of faithfulness.” The genitive functions in an attributive sense: “faithful witness” (so KJV, NRSV); TEV “reliable witness.”
2 tn Heb “a witness of falsehood.” The genitive functions in an attributive sense: “false witness.”
3 sn This saying addresses the problem of legal testimony: A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness does lie – naturally. The first colon uses the verb כָּזַב (kazav, “to lie”) and the second colon uses the noun כָּזָב (kazav, “lie; falsehood”).
4 tn Heb “a witness of truth”; cf. CEV “an honest witness.”
5 tn The noun נְפָשׁוֹת (nÿfashot) often means “souls,” but here “lives” – it functions as a metonymy for life (BDB 659 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ 3.c).
sn The setting of this proverb is the courtroom. One who tells the truth “saves” (מַצִּיל [matsil, “rescues; delivers”]) the lives of those falsely accused.
6 tn The term “brings” does not appear in the Hebrew but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity. Also possible, “is deceitful.”
7 tc Several commentators suggest emending the text from the noun מִרְמָה (mirmah, “deception”) to the participle מְרַמֶּה (mÿrameh, “destroys”). However, this revocalization is not necessary because the MT makes sense as it stands: A false witness destroys lives.