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Job 31-32 English Standard Version (ESV)

Job's Final Appeal

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

“If I have walked with falsehood
    and my foot has hastened 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 gone after my eyes,
    and if any spot has stuck to my hands,
then let me sow, and another eat,
    and let what grows for me[a] be rooted out.

“If my heart has been enticed toward a woman,
    and I have lain in wait at my neighbor's door,
10 then let my wife grind for another,
    and let others bow down on her.
11 For that would be a heinous crime;
    that would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges;
12 for that would be a fire that consumes as far as Abaddon,
    and it would burn to the root all my increase.

13 “If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant,
    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 him?
    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 fatherless has not eaten of it
18 (for from my youth the fatherless[b] grew up with me as with 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 the needy without covering,
20 if his body has not blessed me,[d]
    and if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep,
21 if I have raised my hand against the fatherless,
    because I saw my help in 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 abundant
    or because my hand had found much,
26 if I have looked at the sun[e] 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 would have been false to God above.

29 “If I have rejoiced at the ruin of him who hated me,
    or exulted when evil overtook him
30 (I have not let my mouth sin
    by asking for his life with a curse),
31 if the men of my tent have not said,
    ‘Who is there that has not been filled with his meat?’
32 (the sojourner 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 heart,
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 Oh, that I had one to hear me!
    (Here is my signature! Let the Almighty answer me!)
    Oh, that I had the indictment written by my adversary!
36 Surely I would carry it on my shoulder;
    I would bind it on me as 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 made its owners breathe their last,
40 let thorns grow instead of wheat,
    and foul weeds instead of barley.”

The words of Job are ended.

Elihu Rebukes Job's Three Friends

32 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God. He burned with anger also at Job's three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong. Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he. And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he burned with anger.

And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said:

“I am young in years,
    and you are aged;
therefore I was timid and afraid
    to declare my opinion to you.
I said, ‘Let days speak,
    and many years teach wisdom.’
But it is the spirit in man,
    the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.
It is not the old[g] who are wise,
    nor the aged who understand what is right.
10 Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me;
    let me also declare my opinion.’

11 “Behold, I waited for your words,
    I listened for your wise sayings,
    while you searched out what to say.
12 I gave you my attention,
    and, behold, there was none among you who refuted Job
    or who answered his words.
13 Beware lest you say, ‘We have found wisdom;
    God may vanquish him, not a man.’
14 He has not directed his words against me,
    and I will not answer him with your speeches.

15 “They are dismayed; they answer no more;
    they have not a word to say.
16 And shall I wait, because they do not speak,
    because they stand there, and answer no more?
17 I also will answer with my share;
    I also will declare my opinion.
18 For I am full of words;
    the spirit within me constrains me.
19 Behold, my belly is like wine that has no vent;
    like new wineskins ready to burst.
20 I must speak, that I may find relief;
    I must open my lips and answer.
21 I will not show partiality to any man
    or use flattery toward any person.
22 For I do not know how to flatter,
    else my Maker would soon take me away.

Footnotes:

  1. Job 31:8 Or let my descendants
  2. Job 31:18 Hebrew he
  3. Job 31:18 Hebrew her
  4. Job 31:20 Hebrew if his loins have not blessed me
  5. Job 31:26 Hebrew the light
  6. Job 31:33 Or as Adam did
  7. Job 32:9 Hebrew many [in years]
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Job 31-32 New International Version (NIV)

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

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

“If my heart has been enticed by a woman,
    or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door,
10 then may my wife grind another man’s grain,
    and may other men sleep with her.
11 For that would have been wicked,
    a sin to be judged.
12 It is a fire that burns to Destruction[a];
    it would have uprooted my harvest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The words of Job are ended.

Elihu

32 So these three men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God. He was also angry with the three friends, because they had found no way to refute Job, and yet had condemned him.[c] Now Elihu had waited before speaking to Job because they were older than he. But when he saw that the three men had nothing more to say, his anger was aroused.

So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said:

“I am young in years,
    and you are old;
that is why I was fearful,
    not daring to tell you what I know.
I thought, ‘Age should speak;
    advanced years should teach wisdom.’
But it is the spirit[d] in a person,
    the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.
It is not only the old[e] who are wise,
    not only the aged who understand what is right.

10 “Therefore I say: Listen to me;
    I too will tell you what I know.
11 I waited while you spoke,
    I listened to your reasoning;
while you were searching for words,
12     I gave you my full attention.
But not one of you has proved Job wrong;
    none of you has answered his arguments.
13 Do not say, ‘We have found wisdom;
    let God, not a man, refute him.’
14 But Job has not marshaled his words against me,
    and I will not answer him with your arguments.

15 “They are dismayed and have no more to say;
    words have failed them.
16 Must I wait, now that they are silent,
    now that they stand there with no reply?
17 I too will have my say;
    I too will tell what I know.
18 For I am full of words,
    and the spirit within me compels me;
19 inside I am like bottled-up wine,
    like new wineskins ready to burst.
20 I must speak and find relief;
    I must open my lips and reply.
21 I will show no partiality,
    nor will I flatter anyone;
22 for if I were skilled in flattery,
    my Maker would soon take me away.

Footnotes:

  1. Job 31:12 Hebrew Abaddon
  2. Job 31:33 Or as Adam did
  3. Job 32:3 Masoretic Text; an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition Job, and so had condemned God
  4. Job 32:8 Or Spirit; also in verse 18
  5. Job 32:9 Or many; or great
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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