Job 31

From Ethan Hardy

A. God sees my ways  so let Him judge me fairly

1 “I made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I entertain thoughts against a virgin?

2 What then would be one’s lot from God above, one’s heritage from the Almighty on high?

3 Is it not misfortune for the unjust, and disaster for those who work iniquity?

a. 4 Does he not see

b. my ways

c. and count all my steps?  5 If I have walked in falsehood, and if my foot has hastened to deceit

d. 6  let him weigh me with honest scales;

c’. “then God will discover my integrity (and) 7 If my steps have strayed

b’.  from the way,

a’. and if my heart has gone after my eyes.”

B. If my hand has sinned and my heart has been enticed by women, this should be judged

a.  If anything has defiled my hands, 8 then let me sow and let another eat, and let my crops be uprooted.

b.  9 If my heart has been enticed by a woman, and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s door,

c. 10 then let my wife turn the millstone for another man, and may other men commit adultery with her.  11 For I would have committed a shameful act, an iniquity to be judged. 12 For it is a fire that devours even to Destruction, and it would uproot all my harvest.

C. I judged the needy fairly

a. (i) 13 “If I have disregarded the right of my male servants or my female servants when they disputed with me,

(ii) 14 then what will I do when God confronts me in judgment; when he intervenes, how will I respond to him? 15 Did not the one who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us in the womb?

b. 16 If I have refused to give the poor what they desired,

c. or caused the eyes of the widow to fail,

d. 17 If I ate my morsel of bread myself, and did not share any of it with orphans

d’. 18 but from my youth I raised the orphan like a father,

c’. and from my mother’s womb I guided her (the widow).

b’. 19 If I have seen anyone about to perish for lack of clothing, or a poor man without a coat,  20  whose heart did not bless me as he warmed himself with the fleece of my sheep,

a’. (i) 21 if I have raised my hand to vote against the orphan, when I saw my support in the gate,

(ii) 22 then let my arm fall from the shoulder, let my arm be broken off at the socket.  23  For the calamity from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his majesty I was powerless.

B’. If my hand has sinned and my heart was enticed by riches, this should be judged

a’.  24 “If I have put my confidence in gold or said to pure gold, ‘You are my security!’ 25 if I have rejoiced because of the extent of my wealth, or because of the great wealth my hand had gained,

b’.  26 if I looked at the sun when it was shining, and the moon advancing as a precious thing,  27  so that my heart was secretly enticed, and my hand threw them a kiss from my mouth,

c’.  28 then this also would be iniquity to be judged, for I would have been false to God above.

A’. I will declare my ways to God if only he would hear me

a. 29 If I have rejoiced over the misfortune of my enemy or exulted because calamity found him –  30 I have not even permitted my mouth to sin by asking for his life through a curse

b. if the members of my household have never said, ‘If only there were someone who has not been satisfied from Job’s meat!’ – 32 But no stranger had to spend the night outside, for I opened my doors to the traveller –

c. 33 if I have covered my transgressions as men do, by hiding iniquity in my heart 34 because I was terrified of the great multitude, and the contempt of families terrified me, so that I remained silent and would not go outdoors

d. 35  “If only I had someone to hear me! Here is my signature – let the Almighty answer me! If only I had an indictment that my accuser had written.

c’. 36 Surely I would wear it proudly on my shoulder, I would bind it on me like a crown;  37  I would give him an accounting of my steps; like a prince I would approach him.

b’. 38  “If my land cried out against me and all its furrows wept together,  39  if I have eaten its produce without paying,

a’.  or caused the death of its owners,  40  then let thorns sprout up in place of wheat, and in place of barley, weeds!”

The words of Job are ended.

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