31 I promised myself never to stare with desire at a young woman. 2 God All-Powerful punishes men who do that. 3 In fact, God sends disaster on all who sin, 4 and he keeps a close watch on everything I do.
5 I am not dishonest or deceitful, 6 and I beg God to prove my innocence. 7 If I have disobeyed him or even wanted to, 8 then others can eat my harvest and uproot my crops. 9 If I have desired someone’s wife and chased after her, 10 then let some stranger steal my wife from me. 11 If I took someone’s wife, it would be a horrible crime, 12 sending me to destruction and my crops to the flames.[a]
13 When my servants complained against me, I was fair to them. 14 Otherwise, what answer would I give to God when he judges me? 15 After all, God is the one who gave life to each of us before we were born.
I Have Never Cheated Anyone
16 I have never cheated widows or others in need, 17 and I have always shared my food with orphans. 18 Since the time I was young, I have cared for orphans and helped widows.[b] 19 I provided clothes for the poor, 20 and I was praised for supplying woolen garments to keep them warm. 21 If I have ever raised my arm to threaten an orphan when the power was mine, 22 I hope that arm will fall from its socket. 23 I could not have been abusive; I was terrified at the thought that God might punish me. 24 I have never trusted the power of wealth, 25 or taken pride in owning many possessions. 26 I have never openly or secretly 27 worshiped the sun or moon. 28 Such horrible sins would have deserved punishment from God.
29 I have never laughed when my enemies were struck by disaster. 30 Neither have I sinned by asking God to send down on them the curse of death. 31 No one ever went hungry[c] at my house, 32 and travelers were always welcome. 33 Many have attempted to hide their sins from others— but I refused. 34 And the fear of public disgrace never forced me to keep silent about what I had done.
Why Doesn’t God Listen?
35 Why doesn’t God All-Powerful listen and answer? If God has something against me, let him speak up or put it in writing! 36 Then I would wear his charges on my clothes and forehead. 37 And with my head held high, I would tell him everything I have ever done.
38 I have never mistreated the land I farmed and made it mourn.[d] 39 Nor have I cheated my workers and caused them pain.[e] 40 If I had, I would pray for weeds instead of wheat to grow in my fields. After saying these things, Job was silent.
31.12flames: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 12.
31.18widows: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 18.
31.31ever went hungry: Or “was ever sexually abused” (see Genesis 19.1-11; Judges 19.22-30). In ancient Israel, the lives of one’s guests were sacred and had to be protected at any cost.
31.38mourn: 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.
31.39pain: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 39.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade to remove banner ads and unlock new features!
You've successfully created your account! For the ultimate Bible Gateway experience, consider upgrading Bible Gateway Plus to get the most out of your new account. For just a few dollars each month, a Bible Gateway Plus upgrade gives you:
• A complete digital Bible study library integrated with your Bible Gateway account, with no expensive software to install.
• Access to 40+ study & reference books including the NIV Study Bible, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, and the MacArthur Study Bible.
• Special during April only: full access to the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible
• An ad-free Bible Gateway experience.
• A risk-free, 30-day trial—you can cancel any time.