Job Asserts His Integrity
1“I have made a covenant (agreement) with my eyes;
How then could I gaze [lustfully] at a virgin?
“For what is the portion I would have from God above,
And what heritage from the Almighty on high?
“Does not tragedy fall [justly] on the unjust
And disaster to those who work wickedness?
“Does not God see my ways
And count all my steps?
“If I have walked with falsehood,
Or if my foot has chased after deceit,
Oh, let Him weigh me with accurate scales,
And let God know my integrity.
“If my step has turned away from the way [of God],
Or if my heart has [covetously] followed my eyes,
Or if any spot [of guilt] has stained my hands,
Then let me plant and [let] another eat [from the results of my labor],
And let my crops be uprooted and ruined.
“If my heart has been enticed and I was made a fool by a woman,
Or if I have [covetously] lurked at my neighbor’s door [until his departure],
Let my wife grind [meal, like a bond slave] for another [man],
And let others [a]kneel down over her.
“For adultery is a heinous and lustful crime;
Moreover, it would be a sin punishable by the judges.
“For it is a fire which consumes to Abaddon (destruction, ruin, final torment);
And [illicit passion] would burn and rage and uproot all my [life’s] increase [destroying everything].
“If I have despised and rejected the claim of my male or female servants
When they filed a complaint against me,
What then could I do when God arises [to judge me]?
When He calls me to account, what will I answer Him?
“Did not He who made me in the womb make my servant,
And did not the same One fashion us both in the womb?
“If I have withheld from the poor what they desired,
Or have caused the eyes of the widow to look in vain [for relief],
Or have eaten my morsel [of food] alone,
And did not share it with the orphan
(But from my youth the orphan grew up with me as with a father,
And from my mother’s womb I have been the widow’s guide),
If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing,
Or any poor person without covering,
If his loins have not thanked and blessed me [for clothing them],
And if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep,
If I have lifted my hand against the orphan,
Because I saw [that the judges would be] my help at the [council] gate,
Then let my shoulder fall away from its socket,
And my arm be broken off at the elbow.
“For tragedy from God is a terror to me,
And because of His majesty and exaltation I can do nothing [nor endure facing Him].
“If I have put my trust and confidence in gold,
Or have declared fine gold my hope and assurance,
If I gloated and rejoiced because my wealth was great,
And because my [powerful] hand [alone] had obtained so much,
If I beheld the sun [as an object of worship] when it shone
Or the moon going in its splendor,
And my heart became secretly enticed [by them],
And my hand threw a kiss from my mouth [in respect to them],
This also would have been [a heinous] sin calling for judgment,
For I would have denied God above.
“Have I rejoiced at the destruction of the enemy [who hated me],
Or exulted [in malicious triumph] when evil overtook him?
“No, I have not allowed my mouth to sin
By cursing my enemy and asking for his life.
“I assure you, the men of my tent have said,
‘Who can find one [in need] who has not been satisfied with his meat’?
“The stranger has not lodged in the street,
Because I have opened my door to the traveler.
“Have I concealed my transgressions like Adam or like other men,
By hiding my wickedness in my bosom,
Because I feared the great multitude,
And the contempt of families terrified me,
So that I kept silence and did not acknowledge my sin and did not go out of the door?
“Oh, that I had one to listen to me!
Look, here is my signature (mark);
Let the Almighty answer me!
Let my adversary write out His indictment [and put His vague accusations in tangible form].
“Surely I would [proudly] bear it on my shoulder,
And bind the scroll around my head like a crown.
“I would count out to Him the number of my steps [with every detail of my life],
Approaching His presence as if I were a prince.
“For if my land has cried out against me,
And its furrows weep together;
If I have eaten its fruits without paying for them,
Or have caused its [rightful] owners to lose their lives,
Let thorns grow instead of wheat,
And stinkweed and cockleburs instead of barley.”
So the words of Job [with his friends] are finished.