Job 31

31 I dictated a covenant (an agreement) to my eyes; how then could I look [lustfully] upon a girl?

2 For what portion should I have from God above [if I were lewd], and what heritage from the Almighty on high?

3 Does not calamity [justly] befall the unrighteous, and disaster the workers of iniquity?

4 Does not [God] see my ways and count all my steps?

5 If I have walked with falsehood or vanity, or if my foot has hastened to deceit—

6 Oh, let me be weighed in a just balance and let Him weigh me, that God may know my integrity!

7 If my step has turned out of [God’s] way, and my heart has gone the way my eyes [covetously] invited, and if any spot has stained my hands with guilt,

8 Then let me sow and let another eat; yes, let the produce of my field or my offspring be rooted out.

9 If my heart has been deceived and I made a fool by a woman, or if I have [covetously] laid wait at my neighbor’s door [until his departure],

10 Then let my wife grind [meal, like a bondslave] for another, and let others bow down upon her.

11 For [adultery] is a heinous and chief crime, an iniquity [to demand action by] the judges and punishment.(A)

12 For [uncontrolled passion] is a fire which consumes to Abaddon (to destruction, ruin, and the place of final torment); [that fire once lighted would rage until all is consumed] and would burn to the root all my [life’s] increase.

13 If I have despised and rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant when they contended or brought a complaint against me,

14 What then shall I do when God rises up [to judge]? When He visits [to inquire of me], what shall I answer Him?(B)

15 Did not He Who made me in the womb make [my servant]? And did not One fashion us both in the womb?(C)

16 If I have withheld from the poor and needy what they desired, or have caused the eyes of the widow to look in vain [for relief],

17 Or have eaten my morsel alone and have not shared it with the fatherless—

18 No, but from my youth [the fatherless] grew up with me as a father, and I have been [the widow’s] guide from my mother’s womb—

19 If I have seen anyone perish for want of clothing, or any poor person without covering,

20 If his loins have not blessed me [for clothing them], and if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep,

21 If I have lifted my hand against the fatherless when I saw [that the judges would be favorable and be] my help at the [council] gate,

22 Then let my shoulder fall away from my shoulder blade, and my arm be broken from its socket.

23 For calamity from God was a terror to me, and because of His majesty I could not endure [to face Him] and could do nothing.(D)

24 If I have made gold my trust and hope or have said to fine gold, You are my confidence,

25 If I rejoiced because my wealth was great and because my [powerful] hand [alone] had gotten much,

26 If I beheld [as an object of worship] the sunlight when it shone or the moon walking in its brightness,

27 And my heart has been secretly enticed by them or my mouth has kissed my hand [in homage to them],

28 This also would have been [a heinous and principal] iniquity to demand the judges’ action and punishment, for I would have denied and been false to the God Who is above.(E)

29 If I rejoiced at the destruction of him who hated me or lifted myself up [in malicious triumph] when evil overtook him—

30 No, I have let my mouth sin neither by cursing my enemy nor by praying that he might die—

31 [Just ask] if the men of my tent will not say, Who can find one in need who has not been satisfied with food he gave them?—

32 The temporary resident has not lodged in the street, but I have opened my door to the wayfaring man—

33 If like Adam or like [other] men I have concealed my transgressions, by hiding my iniquity in my bosom

34 Because I feared the great multitude and the contempt of families terrified me so that I kept silence and did not go out of the door—

35 Oh, for a hearing! Oh, for an answer from the Almighty! Let my adversary write out His indictment [and put His vague accusations in tangible form] in a book!

36 Surely I would [proudly] bear it on my shoulder and wind the scroll about my head as a diadem.

37 I would count out to Him the number of my steps [with every detail of my life], approaching His presence as a prince—

38 For if my land has cried out against me and its furrows have complained together with tears [that I have no right to them],

39 If I have eaten its fruits without paying for them or have caused its [rightful] owners to breathe their last,

40 Let thistles grow instead of wheat and cockleburs instead of barley. The [controversial] words of Job [with his friends] are ended.

Cross references

  1. Job 31:11 : Deut. 22:22; John 8:5.
  2. Job 31:14 : Ps. 44:21.
  3. Job 31:15 : Prov. 14:31; 22:2; Mal. 2:10.
  4. Job 31:23 : Isa. 13:6; Joel 1:15.
  5. Job 31:28 : Deut. 4:19; 17:2-7.

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