I made an agreement with my eyes
not to look at a young woman in a way that would make me want her.
What does God above have for us?
How does God All-Powerful repay people from his home high in heaven?*
He sends trouble to the wicked
and disaster to those who do wrong.
God is the one who knows what I do
and sees every step I take.
I have not lied to anyone.
I never tried to cheat people.
If God would use accurate scales,
he would know that I am innocent.
If I ever stepped off the right path,
if my eyes led my heart to do evil,
or if my hands are dirty with sin,
then let others eat what I planted.
Let my crops be pulled up by the roots.
If I have desired another woman
or waited at my neighbor’s door to sin with his wife,
10 then let my wife serve someone else,
and let other men sleep with her.
11 To do such a thing would be shameful,
a sin that must be punished.
12 Such sin is like a fire that burns until it destroys everything.
It would completely ruin my life’s work.
13 If I refused to be fair to my slaves
when they had a complaint against me,
14 then what will I do when I must face God?
What will I say when he asks me to explain what I did?
15 The one who made me in my mother’s womb also made them.
God shaped us all inside our mothers.
16 I have never refused to help the poor.
I always gave widows what they needed.
17 I have never been selfish with my food.
I shared what I had with orphans.
18 All my life I have been like a father to orphans
and have taken care of widows.
19 Whenever I found people suffering because they didn’t have clothes
or saw a poor man with no coat,
20 I always gave them something to wear.
I used the wool from my own sheep to make them warm.
And they thanked me with all their heart.
21 I never threatened an orphan,
even when I knew I had support in court.
22 If I ever did that, may my arm be pulled from its socket
and fall from my shoulder!
23 But I didn’t do any of these bad things.
I fear God’s punishment too much.
His majesty scares me.§
24 I have never trusted in riches.
I never said even to pure gold, ‘You are my hope.’
25 I have been wealthy,
but that didn’t make me proud.
I earned a lot of money,
but that is not what made me happy.
26 I have never worshiped the bright sun
or the beautiful moon.
27 I was never foolish enough
to worship the sun and the moon.
28 This is also a sin that must be punished.
If I had worshiped them, I would have been unfaithful to God All-Powerful.
29 I have never been happy
when my enemies were destroyed.
I have never laughed at my enemies
when bad things happened to them.
30 I have never let my mouth sin by cursing my enemies
and wishing for them to die.
31 The people in my house know that
I have never let anyone go hungry.
32 I always invited strangers into my home
so that they would not have to sleep in the streets.
33 I have not tried to hide my sins as some people do.
I have never hidden my guilt.
34 I was never so afraid of what people might say or of making enemies
that I kept my sins secret and avoided going out.
35 How I wish someone would listen to me!
I will sign my name to all I have said.
Now let God All-Powerful answer me.
Let him make a list of what he thinks I did wrong.
36 I would wear it around my neck.
I would put it on my head like a crown.
37 Then I could explain everything I have done.
I could come to God with my head held high like a prince.
38 I did not use my land in a wrong way.
I never caused it to suffer.
39 I always paid the workers for the food I got from the land.
I never let any of them starve.
40 If I ever did any of these bad things,
let thorns and weeds grow in my fields instead of wheat and barley!”
Job’s words are finished.
* 31:2 Or possibly, “I made an agreement with my eyes not to look with desire at the Virgin or the sacred things that belong to God All-Powerful.” Here, “the Virgin” refers to a goddess worshiped by the Canaanites. 31:6 accurate scales Literally, “scales of righteousness.” As a wordplay, this could mean either “accurate scales” or “scales that show a person is good.” 31:21 Or “I never shook my fist at an orphan who was at the gate asking for help.” § 31:23 His majesty … me Or “I could not stand before his majesty.”