but let your heart keep 3 my commandments,
safeguard sound wisdom and discretion. 5
protect it, 7 because it is your life.
and that your lips may guard knowledge.
6:20 My child, guard the commands of your father
and do not forsake the instruction of your mother.
1 sn The chapter begins with an introductory exhortation (1-4), followed by an admonition to be faithful to the
3 tn The verb יִצֹּר (yitsor) is a Qal jussive and the noun לִבֶּךָ (libbekha, “your heart”) functions as the subject: “let your heart keep my commandments.”
4 tn The object of the verb “escape” is either (1) wisdom, knowledge, and understanding in vv. 13-20 or (2) “wisdom and discretion” in the second colon of this verse. Several English versions transpose the terms “wisdom and discretion” from the second colon into the first colon for the sake of clarity and smoothness (e.g., RSV, NRSV, NIV, TEV, CEV).
NIV takes the subject from the second colon and reverses the clauses to clarify that.
5 tn Or: “purpose,” “power of devising.”
6 tn Heb “discipline.”
7 tn The form נִצְּרֶהָ (nitsÿreha, from נָצַר, natsar) has an anomalous doubled letter (see GKC 73 §20.h).
8 tn Heb “keep, protect, guard.”
9 sn This “discretion” is the same word in 1:4; it is wise, prudential consideration, careful planning, or the ability to devise plans with a view to the best way to carry them out. If that ability is retained then temptations to digress will not interfere.
10 tn The Hebrew word could refer (1) to “instruction” by the father (cf. NCV) or (2) the Mosaic law (so most English versions). The chapter seems to be stressing religious obedience, so the referent is probably the law. Besides, the father’s teaching will be what the law demands, and the one who associates with gluttons is not abiding by the law.
11 tn Heb “son,” but the immediate context does not suggest limiting this only to male children.
12 sn The companion of gluttons shames his father and his family because such a life style as he now embraces is both unruly and antisocial.
13 tn Heb “father,” but the immediate context does not suggest limiting this only to the male parent.