Job 31
Job Continues
I Promised Myself
1I promised myself
never to stare with desire
at a young woman.
2God All-Powerful punishes
men who do that.
3In fact, God sends disaster
on all who sin,
4and he keeps a close watch
on everything I do.
5I am not dishonest or deceitful,
6and I beg God to prove
my innocence.
7If I have disobeyed him
or even wanted to,
8then others can eat my harvest
and uproot my crops.
9If I have desired someone's wife
and chased after her,
10then let some stranger
steal my wife from me.
11If I took someone's wife,
it would be a horrible crime,
12sending me to destruction
and my crops to the flames.#31.12 flames: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 12.
13When my servants
complained against me,
I was fair to them.
14Otherwise, what answer
would I give to God
when he judges me?
15After all, God is the one
who gave life to each of us
before we were born.
I Have Never Cheated Anyone
16 # Tb 4.7-11,16. I have never cheated widows
or others in need,
17and I have always shared
my food with orphans.
18Since the time I was young,
I have cared for orphans
and helped widows.#31.18 widows: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 18.
19I provided clothes for the poor,
20and I was praised
for supplying woolen garments
to keep them warm.
21If I have ever raised my arm
to threaten an orphan
when the power was mine,
22I hope that arm will fall
from its socket.
23I could not have been abusive;
I was terrified at the thought
that God might punish me.
24 # Si 31.5-10. I have never trusted
the power of wealth,
25or taken pride in owning
many possessions.
* 26I have never openly or secretly
27worshiped the sun or moon.
28Such horrible sins
would have deserved
punishment from God.
29I have never laughed
when my enemies
were struck by disaster.
30Neither have I sinned
by asking God
to send down on them
the curse of death.
31No one ever went hungry#31.31 ever went hungry: Or “was ever sexually abused” (see Genesis 19.1-11; Judges 17.22-30). In ancient Israel, the lives of one's guests were sacred and had to be protected at any cost.
at my house,
32and travelers
were always welcome.
33Many have attempted to hide
their sins from others—
but I refused.
34And the fear of public disgrace
never forced me to keep silent
about what I had done.
Why Doesn't God Listen?
35Why doesn't God All-Powerful
listen and answer?
If God has something against me,
let him speak up
or put it in writing!
36Then I would wear his charges
on my clothes and forehead.
37And with my head held high,
I would tell him everything
I have ever done.
38I have never mistreated
the land I farmed
and made it mourn.#31.38 mourn: In biblical times there were strict regulations for proper use of the land, and land that was abused was said to “mourn” and become no longer productive.
39Nor have I cheated
my workers
and caused them pain.#31.39 pain: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 39.
40If I had, I would pray
for weeds instead of wheat
to grow in my fields.
After saying these things,
Job was silent.

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