This is a good (nth) occasion to experience the big difference between reading Bible only through translations and doing so directly from the Hebrew text.
As happens a lot of time, a list of translated terms like these ones - included in Gen 26:5 - seems to be a list of quite identical words.
Rightly, Siju George asked: “And what is the criterion to distinguish between voice, charge, commandments, statutes & laws [?]”.
Granted, there’s only a little trouble to distinguish between ‘voice’ and ‘laws’. But, what distinguishes ‘charge’ from ‘commandments’? Or, ‘statutes’ from ‘laws’? They seems all identical, really.
Yes, they seems so, but only in translation.
I will never tire of telling people how is important – especially in these instances – to determine the basic concept behind the verbal form/noun, since all these word-classes are – by a large majority – some by-products of peculiar conceptual roots.
So, on the basis of this preface, we may continue to dig (Pro 2:4-6)…
בקלי derived from a conceptual root with the basic meaning of ‘to proclaim, declare’. So, here God speaks about his words, that deserve to be proclaimed to all people.
משמרתי /וישמר derived from a conceptual root with basic meaning of ‘to serve, attend, take care (of)’. So, here God speaks about his elevated services He asks willing men to perform.
מצותי derived from a conceptual root with basic meaning of ‘to put, place, fix’. So, here God speaks about his spiritual fixed points, eternal principles He will never disavow (Mal 3:6).
חקותי derived from a conceptual root with basic meaning of ‘to cut drills’ (> to carve [teeth] > to grind one’s teeth), ‘delineate a form, a limit, a boundary’, to ‘demarcate’. So, here God speaks about his moral/spiritual rules, that demarcate, or ‘cut furrows’ between ‘good’ and ‘evil’, between ‘suitability’ and ‘unsuitability’ (you surely know the powerful symbolical meaning of the ‘furrow’ in ancient times. It is enough here to remember the Romulus-made sulcus ['furrow'] Remus did cross. His crossing of that furrow - a line of demarcation between what was suitable [from Romulus standpoint] to do and what is not – cost him his life).
ותורתי derived from a conceptual root with basic meaning of ‘to cast around, to send all around’. So, here God speaks about his spiritual emanations, or issuings.
Now, after we have ascertained the basic meanings of all the terms in the phrase we expatiate on, we may translate in a like-interlinear mode the passage.
שמע (does) hear
בקלי my proclamations
וישמר and (he) attends/takes care of [‘ministrare’, Latin]
משמרתי my services,
מצותי my (moral) anchors/fixed points
חקותי my (moral) demarcations
ותורתי my (spiritual) emanations, issuings
Or, in a more colloquial form: “as Abraham does hear My proclamations, and he takes care of My services, My anchors, My moral demarcations, My issuings.”
In this translating mode, as you see, the sense that all these terms are much the way the same is disappeared because each term expresses his peculiar meaning, in a clearer manner.
A final assonantic (poetic) gem, and moral of the story: in this passage, from God’s viewpoint, Abraham ‘did hear’ [ŠMO] and ‘took care’ [ŠMR].
What about us? Do we hear IEUE God when speaks through his Word?