The path of life leads upward for the wise to keep him from going down to the grave.
The path of life leads upward for the wise That he may keep away from Sheol below.
The path of the wise leads to life above; they leave the grave behind.
Life ascends to the heights for the thoughtful--it's a clean about-face from descent into hell.
Acting wisely is the way of life, guiding a man away from the underworld.
For the wise the path of life leads upward, in order to avoid Sheol below.
The way of life winds upward for the wise, That he may turn away from hell below.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
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.”