Job 31

Job continues to speak

31:1In chapter 31, Job says that he has always lived the right way. He says that he has always spoken true words. He says that he has always been fair. And he has helped other people who have had troubles. He is sure that God knows this. But God may think that it is not right. So he should tell Job about the wrong things that Job has done.

1 ‘I have promised that I will not look at young women in a wrong way.

2 God is angry with men who have thoughts like that.

He will cause bad things to happen to me if I do that.

3 He is angry with people who do any kind of wrong thing.

And bad things will happen to people who do not live the right way.

4 God sees all the things that I do.

And he watches where I go.

5 I have always said things that are true.

And I have always been an honest man.

6 I ask God to be fair when he thinks about me.

He should know that I have never done any wrong things.

7 God may think that I have not lived the right way.

Or he may think that I have not always obeyed him.

Perhaps, in some other way, I have done something that was wrong.

8 If any of these things is true, someone else can dig my fields.

And they can eat the plants that have grown there.

9 I have not decided to have sex with another man's wife.

I have not waited outside her door until she was alone.

10 If I had done those things, my wife should cook food for someone else.

And she should have sex with other men.

But I have not done those things.

11 If I loved the wife of another man, it would be a very bad thing.

I want God to kill me if I ever do something as bad as that.

12 It would be very dangerous if I loved another woman.

It could destroy my whole life as a fire can destroy everything round it.

13 My servants, both men and women, sometimes had problems.

But if they spoke to me about their problems, I always answered them fairly.

14 God might ask me questions about that.

But if I had not listened to them, I could not have answered him honestly.

15 God made me and he made my servants too.

He made us both and we both grew inside our mothers.

16 I have never refused to help people who are poor.

And I have always helped widows.

17 I have never kept my food for myself.

I have always given some of my food to children with no family.

18 Since I was a young man, I have been like a father to children like that.

And I have always been kind to widows too.

19 I have seen people who were too poor to buy clothes.

I have met people who had no coat to wear.

20 So I took wool from my sheep and I made warm clothes for them.

And they thanked me because I was very kind to them.

21 I have not been cruel to children who have no family.

I have not cheated them even when I could have.

22 These things that I say about myself are true.

If they are false, then someone should break my arm.

23 I could never do wrong things because I was afraid of God.

He hates people who do wrong things. And I was afraid that he would kill me.

24 I know that money will not make me happy.

And if I own lots of gold I will still not be a powerful man.

25 I have worked all my life and got a lot of money.

But that has never been the most important thing to me.

26 Sometimes I look at the sun when it shines in the sky.

And sometimes I watch the moon when it shines at night.

27 But I have never believed the sun or the moon to be gods.

Nor have I ever wanted to worship them.

28 That would have been false.

And God would have been angry if I had done something like that.

29 I do not smile if someone beats my enemy in a war.

It does not make me happy when I see my enemy's troubles.

30 I have never wanted to see the death of my enemy.

That would have been a wrong thing for me to do.

31 There are many men who work in my house as my servants.

They know that I always welcome strangers.

32 Travellers are always welcome in my home.

And no stranger has ever slept in the street outside my house.

33 Some people try to hide the wrong things that they have done.

I have never done that.

34 I do not stay inside my house. I do not refuse to speak.

I am not afraid to hear the things that people say about me.

I am an honest man.

And I will speak about the wrong things that I have done.

35 I really need someone to listen to the things that I say.

All the things that I say are true.

God may believe that I have done wrong things.

If he does, then he should write them down.

36 Then I would wear his list on my shoulder.

Or I would put it on my head like a crown.

37 I would tell God everything that I have done.

I would come to speak to him, as a king would come to visit another king.

38 I have not taken land from anyone else.

I have not taken it from other people who owned it.

39 I have paid for the food that I have eaten.

And I have never been so cruel to farmers that they died.

40 But if I have done any of those things, then I want weeds to grow in my fields.

I do not want barley to grow in my fields.

I want very bad weeds to grow there instead.’

Job said no more after this.