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31 I’ve made a covenant with my eyes;
    how could I look at a virgin?
What is God’s portion for me[a] from above,
    the Almighty’s inheritance from on high?
Isn’t it disaster for the wicked,
    destruction for workers of iniquity?
Doesn’t he see my ways,
    count all my steps?


If I have walked with frauds
        or my feet have hurried to deceit,
    let him weigh me on accurate scales;
        let God know my integrity.
If my step has turned from the way,
        if my heart has followed my eyes
        or a blemish has clung to my hands,
    then let me sow and another reap;
        let my offspring be uprooted.


If my heart has been drawn to a woman
        and I have lurked at my neighbor’s door,
10     then may my wife grind for another
        and others kneel over her;
11     for that’s a crime;
        it’s a punishable offense;
12     indeed, it’s a fire that consumes to the underworld,[b]
        uprooting all my harvest.


13 If I’ve rejected the just cause of my male or female servant
        when they contended with me,
14     what could I do when God rises;
        when he requires an account, what could I answer?
15 Didn’t the one who made me in the belly make them;
    didn’t the same one fashion us in the womb?

The defenseless

16 If I have denied what the poor wanted,
        made a widow’s eyes tired,
17     eaten my morsel alone,
        and not shared any with an orphan
(18     for from my youth I raised the orphan as a father,
        and from my mother’s womb I led the widow);[c]
19     if I ever saw someone dying without clothes, the needy naked;
20     if they haven’t blessed me fervently,[d]
        or if they weren’t warmed by the wool from my sheep;
21     if I have lifted my hand against the orphans,
        when I saw that I had help in the city gate—
22     may my arm fall from my shoulder,
        my forearm be broken at the elbow—
23     for God’s calamity is terror to me;
        I couldn’t endure his splendor.

False worship

24 If I’ve made gold my trust,
        said to fine gold: “My security!”
25     if I’ve rejoiced because my wealth was great,
        when my hand found plenty;
26     if I’ve looked at the sun when it shone,
        the moon, splendid as it moved;
27     and my mind has been secretly enticed,
        and threw a kiss with my hand,
28     that also is a punishable offense,
        because I would then be disloyal to God above.

Others' misfortune

29 If I have rejoiced over my foes’ ruin
        or was excited when evil found them,
30     I didn’t let my mouth sin
        by asking for their life with a curse.
31 Surely those in my tent never said:
    “Who has been filled by Job’s food?”
32 A stranger didn’t spend the night in the street;
    I opened my doors to the road.

Concealing sin

33 If I have hidden my transgressions like Adam,[e]
        concealing my offenses inside me
34     because I feared the large crowd;
        the clan’s contempt frightened me;
    I was quiet and didn’t venture outside.

Sealing the solemn pledge

35 Oh, that I had someone to hear me!
    Here’s my signature;[f]
    let the Almighty respond,
    and let my accuser write an indictment.
36 Surely I would bear it on my shoulder,
    tie it around me like a wreath.
37 I would give him an account of my steps,
    approach him like a prince.

Abuse of the land

38 If my land has cried out against me,
    its rows wept together;
39 if I have eaten its yield without payment
        and caused its owners grief,
40     may briars grow instead of wheat,
        poisonous weeds instead of barley.

Job’s words are complete.


  1. Job 31:2 Heb lacks for me.
  2. Job 31:12 Heb Abaddon
  3. Job 31:18 Heb lacks orphan . . . widow.
  4. Job 31:20 Or his loins
  5. Job 31:33 Or like a human
  6. Job 31:35 Heb tau, the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet