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31 I have made a solemn promise
    never to look with lust at a woman.

What does Almighty God do to us?
    How does he repay human deeds?
He sends disaster and ruin
    to those who do wrong.
God knows everything I do;
    he sees every step I take.

I swear I have never acted wickedly
    and never tried to deceive others.
Let God weigh me on honest scales,
    and he will see how innocent I am.
If I have turned from the right path
    or let myself be attracted to evil,
    if my hands are stained with sin,
    then let my crops be destroyed,
    or let others eat the food I grow.

If I have been attracted to my neighbor's wife,
    and waited, hidden, outside her door,
10     then let my wife cook another man's food
    and sleep in another man's bed.
11 Such wickedness should be punished by death.
12 It would be like a destructive, hellish fire,
    consuming everything I have.

13 When any of my servants complained against me,
    I would listen and treat them fairly.
14 If I did not, how could I then face God?
    What could I say when God came to judge me?
15 The same God who created me
    created my servants also.

16 (A)I have never refused to help the poor;
    never have I let widows live in despair
17     or let orphans go hungry while I ate.
18 All my life I have taken care of them.[a]

19 When I found someone in need,
    too poor to buy clothes,
20     I would give him clothing made of wool
    that had come from my own flock of sheep.
Then he would praise me with all his heart.

21 If I have ever cheated an orphan,
    knowing I could win in court,
22     then may my arms be broken;
    may they be torn from my shoulders.
23 Because I fear God's punishment,
    I could never do such a thing.

24 (B)I have never trusted in riches
25     or taken pride in my wealth.
26 I have never worshiped the sun in its brightness
    or the moon in all its beauty.
27 I have not been led astray to honor them
    by kissing my hand in reverence to them.
28 Such a sin should be punished by death;
    it denies Almighty God.

29 I have never been glad when my enemies suffered,
    or pleased when they met with disaster;
30     I never sinned by praying for their death.
31 All those who work for me know
    that I have always welcomed strangers.
32 I invited travelers into my home
    and never let them sleep in the streets.

33 Others try to hide their sins,
    but I have never concealed mine.
34 I have never feared what people would say;
    I have never kept quiet or stayed indoors
    because I feared their scorn.

35 Will no one listen to what I am saying?
I swear that every word is true.
Let Almighty God answer me.

If the charges my opponent brings against me
    were written down so that I could see them,
36 I would wear them proudly on my shoulder
    and place them on my head like a crown.
37 I would tell God everything I have done,
    and hold my head high in his presence.

38 If I have stolen the land I farm
    and taken it from its rightful owners—
39     if I have eaten the food that grew there
    but let the farmers that grew it starve—
40     then instead of wheat and barley,
    may weeds and thistles grow.

The words of Job are ended.

Footnotes

  1. Job 31:18 All my life … them; Hebrew unclear.

31 “I made a covenant with my eyes(A)
    not to look lustfully at a young woman.(B)
For what is our lot(C) from God above,
    our heritage from the Almighty on high?(D)
Is it not ruin(E) for the wicked,
    disaster(F) for those who do wrong?(G)
Does he not see my ways(H)
    and count my every step?(I)

“If I have walked with falsehood
    or my foot has hurried after deceit(J)
let God weigh me(K) in honest scales(L)
    and he will know that I am blameless(M)
if my steps have turned from the path,(N)
    if my heart has been led by my eyes,
    or if my hands(O) have been defiled,(P)
then may others eat what I have sown,(Q)
    and may my crops be uprooted.(R)

“If my heart has been enticed(S) by a woman,(T)
    or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door,
10 then may my wife grind(U) another man’s grain,
    and may other men sleep with her.(V)
11 For that would have been wicked,(W)
    a sin to be judged.(X)
12 It is a fire(Y) that burns to Destruction[a];(Z)
    it would have uprooted my harvest.(AA)

13 “If I have denied justice to any of my servants,(AB)
    whether male or female,
    when they had a grievance against me,(AC)
14 what will I do when God confronts me?(AD)
    What will I answer when called to account?(AE)
15 Did not he who made me in the womb make them?(AF)
    Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?(AG)

16 “If I have denied the desires of the poor(AH)
    or let the eyes of the widow(AI) grow weary,(AJ)
17 if I have kept my bread to myself,
    not sharing it with the fatherless(AK)
18 but from my youth I reared them as a father would,
    and from my birth I guided the widow(AL)
19 if I have seen anyone perishing for lack of clothing,(AM)
    or the needy(AN) without garments,
20 and their hearts did not bless me(AO)
    for warming them with the fleece(AP) from my sheep,
21 if I have raised my hand against the fatherless,(AQ)
    knowing that I had influence in court,(AR)
22 then let my arm fall from the shoulder,
    let it be broken off at the joint.(AS)
23 For I dreaded destruction from God,(AT)
    and for fear of his splendor(AU) I could not do such things.(AV)

24 “If I have put my trust in gold(AW)
    or said to pure gold, ‘You are my security,’(AX)
25 if I have rejoiced over my great wealth,(AY)
    the fortune my hands had gained,(AZ)
26 if I have regarded the sun(BA) in its radiance
    or the moon(BB) moving in splendor,
27 so that my heart was secretly enticed(BC)
    and my hand offered them a kiss of homage,(BD)
28 then these also would be sins to be judged,(BE)
    for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.(BF)

29 “If I have rejoiced at my enemy’s misfortune(BG)
    or gloated over the trouble that came to him(BH)
30 I have not allowed my mouth to sin
    by invoking a curse against their life(BI)
31 if those of my household have never said,
    ‘Who has not been filled with Job’s meat?’(BJ)
32 but no stranger had to spend the night in the street,
    for my door was always open to the traveler(BK)
33 if I have concealed(BL) my sin as people do,[b]
    by hiding(BM) my guilt in my heart
34 because I so feared the crowd(BN)
    and so dreaded the contempt of the clans
    that I kept silent(BO) and would not go outside—

35 (“Oh, that I had someone to hear me!(BP)
    I sign now my defense—let the Almighty answer me;
    let my accuser(BQ) put his indictment in writing.
36 Surely I would wear it on my shoulder,(BR)
    I would put it on like a crown.(BS)
37 I would give him an account of my every step;(BT)
    I would present it to him as to a ruler.(BU))—

38 “if my land cries out against me(BV)
    and all its furrows are wet(BW) with tears,
39 if I have devoured its yield without payment(BX)
    or broken the spirit of its tenants,(BY)
40 then let briers(BZ) come up instead of wheat
    and stinkweed(CA) instead of barley.”

The words of Job are ended.(CB)

Footnotes

  1. Job 31:12 Hebrew Abaddon
  2. Job 31:33 Or as Adam did

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