Bible Book List

Job 31 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 31

I made a covenant with my eyes
    not to gaze upon a virgin.
What portion comes from God above,
    what heritage from the Almighty on high?
Is it not calamity for the unrighteous,
    and woe for evildoers?
Does he not see my ways,
    and number all my steps?
If I have walked in falsehood[a]
    and my foot has hastened to deceit,
Let God weigh me in the scales of justice;
    thus will he know my innocence!
If my steps have turned out of the way,
    and my heart has followed my eyes,
    or any stain clings to my hands,
Then may I sow, but another eat,
    and may my produce be rooted up!
If my heart has been enticed toward a woman,
    and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s door;
10 Then may my wife grind for another,
    and may others kneel over her!
11 For that would be heinous,
    a crime to be condemned,
12 A fire that would consume down to Abaddon[b]
    till it uprooted all my crops.
13 Had I refused justice to my manservant
    or to my maidservant, when they had a complaint against me,
14 What then should I do when God rises up?
    What could I answer when he demands an account?
15 Did not he who made me in the belly make him?
    Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?
16 If I have denied anything that the poor desired,
    or allowed the eyes of the widow to languish
17 While I ate my portion alone,
    with no share in it for the fatherless,
18 Though like a father he[c] has reared me from my youth,
    guiding me even from my mother’s womb—
19 If I have seen a wanderer without clothing,
    or a poor man without covering,
20 Whose limbs have not blessed me
    when warmed with the fleece of my sheep;
21 If I have raised my hand against the innocent
    because I saw that I had supporters at the gate—[d]
22 Then may my arm fall from the shoulder,
    my forearm be broken at the elbow!
23 For I dread calamity from God,
    and his majesty will overpower me.
24 Had I put my trust in gold
    or called fine gold my security;
25 Or had I rejoiced that my wealth was great,
    or that my hand had acquired abundance—
26 Had I looked upon the light[e] as it shone,
    or the moon in the splendor of its progress,
27 And had my heart been secretly enticed
    to blow them a kiss with my hand,
28 This too would be a crime for condemnation,
    for I should have denied God above.
29 Had I rejoiced at the destruction of my enemy
    or exulted when evil came upon him,
30 Even though I had not allowed my mouth to sin
    by invoking a curse against his life—
31 Had not the men of my tent exclaimed,
    “Who has not been filled with his meat!”[f]
32 No stranger lodged in the street,
    for I opened my door to wayfarers—
33 [g]Had I, all too human, hidden my sins
    and buried my guilt in my bosom
34 Because I feared the great multitude
    and the scorn of the clans terrified me—
    then I should have remained silent, and not come out of doors!
35 [h]Oh, that I had one to hear my case:
    here is my signature:[i] let the Almighty answer me!
Let my accuser write out his indictment!
36 Surely, I should wear it on my shoulder[j]
    or put it on me like a diadem;
37 Of all my steps I should give him an account;
    like a prince[k] I should present myself before him.
38 If my land has cried out against me
    till its furrows wept together;
39 If I have eaten its strength without payment
    and grieved the hearts of its tenants;
40 Then let the thorns grow instead of wheat
    and stinkweed instead of barley!

The words of Job are ended.


  1. 31:5–34 In a series of purificatory oaths, Job protests his innocence.
  2. 31:12 Abaddon: see note on 26:6.
  3. 31:18 He: presumably God.
  4. 31:21 Gate: cf. notes on 5:4; Ru 4:1.
  5. 31:26–28 Light: of the sun. Job never sinned by worshiping the sun or the moon. Blow them a kiss: an act of idolatrous worship.
  6. 31:31 The members of his extended family will testify to his hospitality.
  7. 31:33–34 Job’s present protest is made, not in spite of hidden sins which he had been unwilling to disclose, but out of genuine innocence. All too human: can also be translated “like Adam.”
  8. 31:35–37 This concluding bravado fits better after v. 40a.
  9. 31:35 My signature: lit., “tau,” the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, shaped like a cross. Job issues a subpoena to God, and challenges him to follow proper legal procedure as well.
  10. 31:36 On my shoulder: i.e., boldly, proudly.
  11. 31:37 Like a prince: not as a frightened criminal.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Job 31 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.


  1. Job 31:12 Hebrew Abaddon
  2. Job 31:33 Or as Adam did
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.

Viewing of
Cross references