1 tn Heb “to those who remember his precepts to do them.”
1 tn Heb “you, you commanded your precepts, to keep, very much.”
1 tn Heb “the way of your precepts make me understand.”
1 tn Heb “for this reason all the precepts of everything I regard as right.” The phrase “precepts of everything” is odd. It is preferable to take the kaf (כ) on כֹּל (kol, “everything) with the preceding form as a pronominal suffix, “your precepts,” and the lamed (ל) with the following verb as an emphatic particle. See L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 138.
2 tn Heb “good sense [is] to all who do them.” The third masculine plural pronominal suffix must refer back to the “precepts” mentioned in v. 7. In the translation the referent has been specified for clarity. The phrase שֵׂכֶל טוֹב (shekhel tov) also occurs in Prov 3:4; 13:15 and 2 Chr 30:22.
4 tn Although traditionally this word is translated “happy” (cf. KJV, ASV, NAB, NRSV, NLT), such a translation can be misleading because the word means far more than that. It describes the heavenly bliss that comes from knowing one is right with God and following God’s precepts. The “blessed” could be at odds with the world (Ps 1:1-3).
1 sn There follows now a series of rulings called “the decisions” or “the judgments” (הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים, hammishpatim). A precept is stated, and then various cases in which the law is applicable are examined. These rulings are all in harmony with the Decalogue that has just been given and can be grouped into three categories: civil or criminal laws, religious or cultic laws, and moral or humanitarian laws. The civil and criminal laws make up most of chap. 21; the next two chapters mix the other kinds of laws. Among the many studies of this section of the book are F. C. Fensham, “The Role of the Lord in the Legal Sections of the Covenant Code,” VT 26 (1976): 262-74; S. Paul, “Unrecognized Biblical Legal Idioms in Light of Comparative Akkadian Expressions,” RB 86 (1979): 231-39; M. Galston, “The Purpose of the Law According to Maimonides,” JQR 69 (1978): 27-51.
1 sn A new collection of sayings begins here, forming the fourth section of the book of Proverbs. This collection is not like that of 1:1–9:18; here the introductory material is more personal than 1:1-7, and the style differs, showing great similarity to the Instruction of Amenemope in Egypt (especially the thirty precepts of the sages in 22:17–24:22). Verses 17-21 form the introduction, and then the sayings begin in v. 22. After the thirty sayings are given, there are further sayings in 24:23-34. There is much literature on this material: see W. K. Simpson, ed., Literature of Ancient Egypt; ANET 412-425; and A. Cody, “Notes on Proverbs 22:21 and 22:23b,” Bib 61 (1980): 418-26.