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Job 31 - Job's Defense Continued

“I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I look upon a virgin? What would be my portion from God above, and my heritage from the Almighty[a] on high? Does not calamity befall the unrighteous, and disaster the workers of iniquity? Does he not see my ways, and number all my steps?

“If I have walked with falsehood, and my foot has hurried to deceit— let me be weighed in a just balance, and let God know my integrity!— if my step has turned aside from the way, and my heart has followed my eyes, and if any spot has clung to my hands; then let me sow, and another eat; and let what grows for me be rooted out.

“If my heart has been enticed by a woman, and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s door; 10 then let my wife grind for another, and let other men kneel over her. 11 For that would be a heinous crime; that would be a criminal offense; 12 for that would be a fire consuming down to Abaddon, and it would burn to the root all my harvest.

13 “If I have rejected the cause of my male or female slaves, when they brought a complaint against me; 14 what then shall I do when God rises up? When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him? 15 Did not he who made me in the womb make them? And did not one fashion us in the womb?

16 “If I have withheld anything that the poor desired, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail, 17 or have eaten my morsel alone, and the orphan has not eaten from it— 18 for from my youth I reared the orphan[b] like a father, and from my mother’s womb I guided the widow[c]— 19 if I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, or a poor person without covering, 20 whose loins have not blessed me, and who was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; 21 if I have raised my hand against the orphan, because I saw I had supporters at the gate; 22 then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder, and let my arm be broken from its socket. 23 For I was in terror of calamity from God, and I could not have faced his majesty.

24 “If I have made gold my trust, or called fine gold my confidence; 25 if I have rejoiced because my wealth was great, or because my hand had gotten much; 26 if I have looked at the sun[d] when it shone, or the moon moving in splendor, 27 and my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand; 28 this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges, for I should have been false to God above.

29 “If I have rejoiced at the ruin of those who hated me, or exulted when evil overtook them— 30 I have not let my mouth sin by asking for their lives with a curse— 31 if those of my tent ever said, ‘O that we might be sated with his flesh!’[e]— 32 the stranger has not lodged in the street; I have opened my doors to the traveler— 33 if I have concealed my transgressions as others do,[f] by hiding my iniquity in my bosom, 34 because I stood in great fear of the multitude, and the contempt of families terrified me, so that I kept silence, and did not go out of doors— 35 O that I had one to hear me! (Here is my signature! Let the Almighty[g] answer me!) O that I had the indictment written by my adversary! 36 Surely I would carry it on my shoulder; I would bind it on me like a crown; 37 I would give him an account of all my steps; like a prince I would approach him.

38 “If my land has cried out against me, and its furrows have wept together; 39 if I have eaten its yield without payment, and caused the death of its owners; 40 let thorns grow instead of wheat, and foul weeds instead of barley.”

The words of Job are ended.


a. Job 31:2 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai

b. Job 31:18 Heb him

c. Job 31:18 Heb her

d. Job 31:26 Heb the light

e. Job 31:31 Meaning of Heb uncertain

f. Job 31:33 Or as Adam did

g. Job 31:35 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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