1 tn There is disagreement over the meaning of the term translated “upward.” The verse is usually taken to mean that “upward” is a reference to physical life and well-being (cf. NCV), and “going down to Sheol” is a reference to physical death, that is, the grave, because the concept of immortality is said not to appear in the book of Proverbs. The proverb then would mean that the wise live long and healthy lives. But W. McKane argues (correctly) that “upwards” in contrast to Sheol, does not fit the ways of describing the worldly pattern of conduct and that it is only intelligible if taken as a reference to immortality (Proverbs [OTL], 480). The translations “upwards” and “downwards” are not found in the LXX. This has led some commentators to speculate that these terms were not found in the original, but were added later, after the idea of immortality became prominent. However, this is mere speculation.
2 tn Heb “to the wise [man],” because the form is masculine.
3 tn The term לְמַעַן (lema’an, “in order to”) introduces a purpose clause; the path leads upward in order to turn the wise away from Sheol.
4 tn Heb “to turn from Sheol downward”; cf. NAB “the nether world below.”