Job 31:1-40

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. He has helped other people who have been in trouble. He is sure that God knows this. He wants to know why God is punishing him.

1 ‘I have made a promise with myself

about how I look at young women.

I will never think that I want to have sex with them.

2 Anyone who does that should expect God to punish them.

Almighty God in heaven above punishes people who do wrong things.

3 He sends trouble to people who do wicked things.

He punishes those people who do evil things.

4 God sees all the things that I do.

He carefully watches how I live my life.

5 He must know that I am an honest man.

I have never tried to deceive people.

6 So he should judge me in a fair way.

He should realize that I am not guilty.

7 God seems to think that I have not lived in the right way.

He may think that I have wanted bad things

when they looked nice to me.

Or perhaps I have done something else that was wrong.

8 If am really guilty of these things,

someone else should eat the crops that I have planted.

They should destroy all the crops in my fields.

9 I have not wanted to love any woman

except my wife.

I have not hidden outside my friend's house

to wait for his wife to be alone.

10 If I had done those things,

my wife should prepare food for another man.

It would be right for other men to have sex with her.

11 I would not have been faithful to my wife.

I would have done a wicked thing

and I would deserve punishment.

12 If I loved another woman,

it would be like a dangerous fire.

It would destroy everything that I have worked hard to get.

13 When my servants complain against me,

I have always been fair to them.

14 If I had been cruel to them,

God would be right to punish me.

When God judges me,

I would have no answer to excuse myself.

15 God made me and he made my servants too.

God brought us all to birth.

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

I have always helped widows

to hope for good things.

17 I have never kept all my food for myself.

I have always shared it with children who have no family.

18 Since I was a young man,

I have helped those children like a father.

All my life I have helped widows too.

19 I have seen people without enough clothes to keep them warm,

or without a coat to wear.

20 Then I would give them clothes.

The wool from my sheep would keep them warm.

And they all thanked me.

21 I have not turned against children who have no family,

even when the city judges agreed with me.

22 God should punish me if these things are not true.

I would accept the punishment that I deserve.

23 I was afraid of the trouble that God might bring to me.

So I could not do these bad things,

because God is so great and powerful.

24 I have not trusted in money or in gold.

I have never thought that they would make me strong.

25 When I was very rich,

I was not proud about it.

I did not think that I had worked hard to deserve it.

26 I have looked at the sun when it shines brightly.

And I have seen the moon when it is very beautiful.

27 But I have never wanted to worship them

or to give them honour.

28 If I had done that,

I would not have been faithful to God in heaven.

I would have deserved punishment for that sin.

29 I do not laugh at my enemies

when they suffer.

If my enemy has troubles,

it does not make me happy.

30 I have not cursed my enemies,

to ask God to kill them.

That would have caused a sin to come from my mouth!

31 None of the people who work in my house have ever said,

“Job has not welcomed strangers into his house.

He has not shared his food with them.”

32 Travellers may come to sleep in my house.

They do not have to sleep outside in the street.

33 I do not try to hide my sins,

as some people do.

34 I am not afraid of what people think about me.

Even if a great crowd of people speak against me,

I do not stay inside my house and keep quiet.

35 I want someone to listen to me!

All the things that I say are true.

Almighty God should give me an answer!

I need to know what I have done that is wrong.

He should write down the reason why I am guilty!

36 Then I would show that paper clearly on my shoulders.

I would be proud to wear it like a crown on my head.

37 I would explain to God everything that I have done.

I would stand in front of him without fear, like a ruler.

38 I have not grown crops on land that does not belong to me.

The land itself would accuse me if that were true.

39 I have always paid for the food

that other people have worked to grow.

I have never cheated the farmers

so that they suffered.

40 If I have ever done any of those things,

then may thorn bushes grow in my fields instead of wheat.

May weeds grow in my fields instead of barley.’

That is the end of the things that Job said.