19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect
and preserves one’s life. 1
The rules set down by the Lord 2 are reliable 3
and impart wisdom to the inexperienced. 4
19:8 The Lord’s precepts are fair 5
and make one joyful. 6
The Lord’s commands 7 are pure 8
and give insight for life. 9
1 tn Heb “[it] restores life.” Elsewhere the Hiphil of שׁוּב (shuv, “return”) when used with נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “life”) as object, means to “rescue or preserve one’s life” (Job 33:30; Ps 35:17) or to “revive one’s strength” (emotionally or physically; cf. Ruth 4:15; Lam 1:11, 16, 19). Here the point seems to be that the law preserves the life of the one who studies it by making known God’s will. Those who know God’s will know how to please him and can avoid offending him. See v. 11a.
2 tn Traditionally, “the testimony of the
3 tn God’s covenant contains a clear, reliable witness to his moral character and demands.
4 tn Or “the [morally] naive,” that is, the one who is young and still in the process of learning right from wrong and distinguishing wisdom from folly.
5 tn Or “just.” Perhaps the idea is that they impart a knowledge of what is just and right.
6 tn Heb “[they] make happy [the] heart.” Perhaps the point is that they bring a sense of joyful satisfaction to the one who knows and keeps them, for those who obey God’s law are richly rewarded. See v. 11b.
7 tn Heb “command.” The singular here refers to the law as a whole.
8 tn Because they reflect God’s character, his commands provide a code of moral and ethical purity.
9 tn Heb [they] enlighten [the] eyes.