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Job Defends His Righteousness

31 “I have made a covenant with my eyes;
Why then should I [a]look upon a (A)young woman?
For what is the (B)allotment of God from above,
And the inheritance of the Almighty from on high?
Is it not destruction for the wicked,
And disaster for the workers of iniquity?
(C)Does He not see my ways,
And count all my steps?

“If I have walked with falsehood,
Or if my foot has hastened to deceit,
[b]Let me be weighed on honest scales,
That God may know my (D)integrity.
If my step has turned from the way,
Or (E)my heart walked after my eyes,
Or if any spot adheres to my hands,
Then (F)let me sow, and another eat;
Yes, let my harvest be [c]rooted out.

“If my heart has been enticed by a woman,
Or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door,
10 Then let my wife grind for (G)another,
And let others bow down over her.
11 For that would be wickedness;
Yes, (H)it would be iniquity deserving of judgment.
12 For that would be a fire that consumes to destruction,
And would root out all my increase.

13 “If I have (I)despised the cause of my male or female servant
When they complained against me,
14 What then shall I do when (J)God rises up?
When He punishes, how shall I answer Him?
15 (K)Did not He who made me in the womb make them?
Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?

16 “If I have kept the poor from their desire,
Or caused the eyes of the widow to (L)fail,
17 Or eaten my morsel by myself,
So that the fatherless could not eat of it
18 (But from my youth I reared him as a father,
And from my mother’s womb I guided [d]the widow);
19 If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing,
Or any poor man without covering;
20 If his [e]heart has not (M)blessed me,
And if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;
21 If I have raised my hand (N)against the fatherless,
When I saw I had help in the gate;
22 Then let my arm fall from my shoulder,
Let my arm be torn from the socket.
23 For (O)destruction from God is a terror to me,
And because of His magnificence I cannot endure.

24 “If(P) I have made gold my hope,
Or said to fine gold, ‘You are my confidence’;
25 (Q)If I have rejoiced because my wealth was great,
And because my hand had gained much;
26 (R)If I have observed the [f]sun when it shines,
Or the moon moving in brightness,
27 So that my heart has been secretly enticed,
And my mouth has kissed my hand;
28 This also would be an iniquity deserving of judgment,
For I would have denied God who is above.

29 “If(S) I have rejoiced at the destruction of him who hated me,
Or lifted myself up when evil found him
30 (T)(Indeed I have not allowed my mouth to sin
By asking for a curse on his [g]soul);
31 If the men of my tent have not said,
‘Who is there that has not been satisfied with his meat?’
32 (U)(But no sojourner had to lodge in the street,
For I have opened my doors to the [h]traveler);
33 If I have covered my transgressions (V)as[i] Adam,
By hiding my iniquity in my bosom,
34 Because I feared the great (W)multitude,
And dreaded the contempt of families,
So that I kept silence
And did not go out of the door—
35 (X)Oh, that I had one to hear me!
Here is my mark.
Oh, (Y)that the Almighty would answer me,
That my [j]Prosecutor had written a book!
36 Surely I would carry it on my shoulder,
And bind it on me like a crown;
37 I would declare to Him the number of my steps;
Like a prince I would approach Him.

38 “If my land cries out against me,
And its furrows weep together;
39 If (Z)I have eaten its [k]fruit without money,
Or (AA)caused its owners to lose their lives;
40 Then let (AB)thistles grow instead of wheat,
And weeds instead of barley.”

The words of Job are ended.

Elihu Contradicts Job’s Friends

32 So these three men ceased answering Job, because he was (AC)righteous in his own eyes. Then the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the (AD)Buzite, of the family of Ram, was aroused against Job; his wrath was aroused because he (AE)justified himself rather than God. Also against his three friends his wrath was aroused, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.

Now because they were years older than he, Elihu had waited [l]to speak to Job. When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, his wrath was aroused.

So Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, answered and said:

“I am (AF)young in years, and you are very old;
Therefore I was afraid,
And dared not declare my opinion to you.
I said, [m]‘Age should speak,
And multitude of years should teach wisdom.’
But there is a spirit in man,
And (AG)the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.
(AH)Great[n] men are not always wise,
Nor do the aged always understand justice.

10 “Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me,
I also will declare my opinion.’
11 Indeed I waited for your words,
I listened to your reasonings, while you searched out what to say.
12 I paid close attention to you;
And surely not one of you convinced Job,
Or answered his words—
13 (AI)Lest you say,
‘We have found wisdom’;
God will vanquish him, not man.
14 Now he has not [o]directed his words against me;
So I will not answer him with your words.

15 “They are dismayed and answer no more;
Words escape them.
16 And I have waited, because they did not speak,
Because they stood still and answered no more.
17 I also will answer my part,
I too will declare my opinion.
18 For I am full of words;
The spirit within me compels me.
19 Indeed my [p]belly is like wine that has no [q]vent;
It is ready to burst like new wineskins.
20 I will speak, that I may find relief;
I must open my lips and answer.
21 Let me not, I pray, show partiality to anyone;
Nor let me flatter any man.
22 For I do not know how to flatter,
Else my Maker would soon take me (AJ)away.

Elihu Contradicts Job

33 “But please, Job, hear my speech,
And listen to all my words.
Now, I open my mouth;
My tongue speaks in my mouth.
My words come from my upright heart;
My lips utter pure knowledge.
(AK)The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
If you can answer me,
Set your words in order before me;
Take your stand.
(AL)Truly I am [r]as your spokesman before God;
I also have been formed out of clay.
(AM)Surely no fear of me will terrify you,
Nor will my hand be heavy on you.

“Surely you have spoken [s]in my hearing,
And I have heard the sound of your words, saying,
‘I(AN) am pure, without transgression;
I am innocent, and there is no iniquity in me.
10 Yet He finds occasions against me,
(AO)He counts me as His enemy;
11 (AP)He puts my feet in the stocks,
He watches all my paths.’

12 “Look, in this you are not righteous.
I will answer you,
For God is greater than man.
13 Why do you (AQ)contend with Him?
For He does not give an accounting of any of His words.
14 (AR)For God may speak in one way, or in another,
Yet man does not perceive it.
15 (AS)In a dream, in a vision of the night,
When deep sleep falls upon men,
While slumbering on their beds,
16 (AT)Then He opens the ears of men,
And seals their instruction.
17 In order to turn man from his deed,
And conceal pride from man,
18 He keeps back his soul from the Pit,
And his life from [t]perishing by the sword.

19 Man is also chastened with pain on his (AU)bed,
And with strong pain in many of his bones,
20 (AV)So that his life abhors (AW)bread,
And his soul [u]succulent food.
21 His flesh wastes away from sight,
And his bones stick out which once were not seen.
22 Yes, his soul draws near the Pit,
And his life to the executioners.

23 “If there is a messenger for him,
A mediator, one among a thousand,
To show man His uprightness,
24 Then He is gracious to him, and says,
‘Deliver him from going down to the Pit;
I have found [v]a ransom’;
25 His flesh shall be young like a child’s,
He shall return to the days of his youth.
26 He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him,
He shall see His face with joy,
For He restores to man His righteousness.
27 Then he looks at men and (AX)says,
‘I have sinned, and perverted what was right,
And it (AY)did not profit me.’
28 He will (AZ)redeem [w]his soul from going down to the Pit,
And his life shall see the light.

29 “Behold, God works all these things,
Twice, in fact, three times with a man,
30 (BA)To bring back his soul from the Pit,
That he may be enlightened with the light of life.

31 “Give ear, Job, listen to me;
Hold your peace, and I will speak.
32 If you have anything to say, answer me;
Speak, for I desire to justify you.
33 If not, (BB)listen to me;
[x]Hold your peace, and I will teach you wisdom.”

Elihu Proclaims God’s Justice

34 Elihu further answered and said:

“Hear my words, you wise men;
Give ear to me, you who have knowledge.
(BC)For the ear tests words
As the palate tastes food.
Let us choose justice for ourselves;
Let us know among ourselves what is good.

“For Job has said, (BD)‘I am righteous,
But (BE)God has taken away my justice;
(BF)Should I lie concerning my right?
My [y]wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’
What man is like Job,
(BG)Who drinks [z]scorn like water,
Who goes in company with the workers of iniquity,
And walks with wicked men?
For (BH)he has said, ‘It profits a man nothing
That he should delight in God.’

10 “Therefore listen to me, you [aa]men of understanding:
(BI)Far be it from God to do wickedness,
And from the Almighty to commit iniquity.
11 (BJ)For He repays man according to his work,
And makes man to find a reward according to his way.
12 Surely God will never do wickedly,
Nor will the Almighty (BK)pervert justice.
13 Who gave Him charge over the earth?
Or who appointed Him over the whole world?
14 If He should set His heart on it,
If He should (BL)gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath,
15 (BM)All flesh would perish together,
And man would return to dust.

16 “If you have understanding, hear this;
Listen to the sound of my words:
17 (BN)Should one who hates justice govern?
Will you (BO)condemn Him who is most just?
18 (BP)Is it fitting to say to a king, ‘You are worthless,’
And to nobles, ‘You are wicked’?
19 Yet He (BQ)is not partial to princes,
Nor does He regard the rich more than the poor;
For (BR)they are all the work of His hands.
20 In a moment they die, (BS)in the middle of the night;
The people are shaken and pass away;
The mighty are taken away without a hand.

21 “For(BT) His eyes are on the ways of man,
And He sees all his steps.
22 (BU)There is no darkness nor shadow of death
Where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.
23 For He need not further consider a man,
That he should go before God in judgment.
24 (BV)He breaks in pieces mighty men without inquiry,
And sets others in their place.
25 Therefore He knows their works;
He overthrows them in the night,
And they are crushed.
26 He strikes them as wicked men
In the open sight of others,
27 Because they (BW)turned back from Him,
And (BX)would not consider any of His ways,
28 So that they (BY)caused the cry of the poor to come to Him;
For He (BZ)hears the cry of the afflicted.
29 When He gives quietness, who then can make trouble?
And when He hides His face, who then can see Him,
Whether it is against a nation or a man alone?—
30 That the hypocrite should not reign,
Lest the people be ensnared.

31 “For has anyone said to God,
‘I have borne chastening;
I will offend no more;
32 Teach me what I do not see;
If I have done iniquity, I will do no more’?
33 Should He repay it according to your terms,
Just because you disavow it?
You must choose, and not I;
Therefore speak what you know.

34 “Men of understanding say to me,
Wise men who listen to me:
35 ‘Job(CA) speaks without knowledge,
His words are without wisdom.’
36 Oh, that Job were tried to the utmost,
Because his answers are like those of wicked men!
37 For he adds (CB)rebellion to his sin;
He claps his hands among us,
And multiplies his words against God.”


  1. Job 31:1 look intently or gaze
  2. Job 31:6 Lit. Let Him weigh me
  3. Job 31:8 uprooted
  4. Job 31:18 Lit. her
  5. Job 31:20 Lit. loins
  6. Job 31:26 Lit. light
  7. Job 31:30 Or life
  8. Job 31:32 So with LXX, Syr., Tg., Vg.; MT road
  9. Job 31:33 Or as men do
  10. Job 31:35 Lit. Accuser
  11. Job 31:39 Lit. strength
  12. Job 32:4 Vg. till Job had spoken
  13. Job 32:7 Lit. Days, i.e., years
  14. Job 32:9 Or Men of many years
  15. Job 32:14 ordered
  16. Job 32:19 bosom
  17. Job 32:19 opening
  18. Job 33:6 Lit. as your mouth
  19. Job 33:8 Lit. in my ears
  20. Job 33:18 Lit. passing
  21. Job 33:20 desirable
  22. Job 33:24 an atonement
  23. Job 33:28 Kt. my
  24. Job 33:33 Keep silent
  25. Job 34:6 Lit. arrow
  26. Job 34:7 derision
  27. Job 34:10 men of heart

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