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"For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law" (Prov. 4:2)—The Hebrew word here translated "doctrine" is "lekach," which has the basic meaning of "what is received," and so came to denote "learning, teaching" (Brown, Driver, Briggs: Hebrew Lexicon, p. 544), while the term "torah," though it is the regular Hebrew word for "law," has the primary sense of "direction" or "instruction" (ibid., p. 435). Moffatt suggests the rendering: "I give you good counsel, turn not from my teaching;" and Kent: "Because I give you sound learning; do not forsake my teaching;" while Smith's translation is almost identical with that of Kent.
"When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened" (Prov. 4:12)—The Hebrew word here translated "straitened," means "bound, cramped, restricted, impeded" (see Brown, etc., op. cit.). Moffatt paraphrases the phrase as follows: "When you walk, you will never be hindered;" and Smith suggests: "When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;" while the Greek Version makes use of a word which means literally "closed or shut together," thus suggesting that the walker will not be forced to take short or awkward steps.
"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain" (Ex. 20:7)—The words "in vain," which are found twice in this verse, represent the Hebrew "la-shave," meaning literally "for emptiness, vanity, nothingness, worthlessness" (Brown, etc., op. cit., p. 996); while the verb rendered "take" means also "to lift up, bear, carry" (ibid.). Thus a literal translation would be: "Thou shalt not bear the name of the Lord your God for naught;" a rendering which is of not a little interest in view of the words of the prophet Jeremiah: "O Lord, ... we are called by thy name" (Jer. 14:9). Smith translates: "You must not invoke the name of the Lord your God to evil intent;" and Moffatt: "You shall not use the name of the Eternal, your God, profanely;" while the margin of the Revised Version suggests: "for vanity or falsehood" instead of "in vain."
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