New International Reader's Version

Job 31

1“I made an agreement with my eyes.
    I promised not to look at a young woman with impure thoughts.
What do we receive from God above?
    What do we get from the Mighty One in heaven?
Sinful people are destroyed.
    Trouble comes to those who do what is wrong.
Doesn’t God see how I live?
    Doesn’t he count every step I take?

“I haven’t told any lies.
    My feet haven’t hurried to cheat others.
So let God weigh me in honest scales.
    Then he’ll know I haven’t done anything wrong.
Suppose my steps have turned away from the right path.
    Suppose my heart has wanted what my eyes have seen.
    Or suppose my hands have become ‘unclean.’
Then may others eat what I’ve planted.
    May my crops be pulled up by the roots.

“Suppose my heart has been tempted by a woman.
    Or suppose I’ve prowled around my neighbor’s home.
10 Then may my wife grind another man’s grain.
    May other men sleep with her.
11 Wanting another woman would have been an evil thing.
    It would have been a sin that should be judged.
12 It’s like a fire that burns down to the grave.
    It would have caused my crops to be pulled up by the roots.

13 “Suppose I haven’t treated any of my male and female servants fairly
    when they’ve brought charges against me.
14 Then what will I do when God opposes me?
    What answer will I give him
    when he asks me to explain myself?
15 Didn’t he who made me make my servants also?
    Didn’t the same God form us inside our mothers?

16 “I haven’t said no to what poor people have wanted.
    I haven’t let widows lose their hope.
17 I haven’t kept my bread to myself.
    I’ve shared it with children whose fathers had died.
18 From the time I was young, I’ve helped those widows.
    I’ve raised those children as a father would.
19 Suppose I’ve seen people dying
    because they didn’t have enough clothes.
I’ve seen needy people
    who didn’t have enough to keep warm.
20 And they didn’t give me their blessing
    when I warmed them with wool from my sheep.
21 Suppose I’ve raised my hand
    against children whose fathers have died.
And I did it because I knew
    I had power in the courts.
22 Then let my arm fall from my shoulder.
    Let it be broken off at the joint.
23 I was afraid God would destroy me.
    His glory terrifies me.
    So I’d never do things like that.

24 “Suppose I’ve put my trust in gold.
    I’ve said to pure gold, ‘You make me feel secure.’
25 And I’m happy because I’m so wealthy.
    I’m glad because my hands have earned so much.
26 Suppose I’ve worshiped the sun in all its glory.
    I’ve bowed down to the moon in all its beauty.
27 My heart has been secretly tempted.
    My hand has thrown kisses to the sun and moon.
28 Then these things would have been sins that should be judged.
    And I wouldn’t have been faithful to God in heaven.

29 “I wasn’t happy when hard times came to my enemies.
    I didn’t enjoy seeing the trouble they had.
30 I didn’t allow my mouth to sin
    by asking for bad things to happen to them.
31 The workers in my house always said,
    ‘Job always gives plenty of food to everyone.’
32 No stranger ever had to spend the night in the street.
    My door was always open to travelers.
33 I didn’t hide my sin as other people do.
    I didn’t hide my guilt in my heart.
34 I was never afraid of the crowd.
    I never worried that my relatives might hate me.
    I didn’t have to keep quiet or stay inside.

35 “I wish someone would listen to me!
    I’m signing my name to everything I’ve said.
I hope the Mighty One will give me his answer.
    I hope the one who brings charges against me will write them down.
36 I’ll wear them on my shoulder.
    I’ll put them on my head like a crown.
37 I’ll give that person a report of every step I take.
    I’ll present it to him like I would to a ruler.

38 “Suppose my land cries out against me.
    And all its soil is wet with tears.
39 Suppose I’ve used up its crops without paying for them.
    Or I’ve broken the spirit of its renters.
40 Then let thorns grow instead of wheat.
    Let stinkweed come up instead of barley.”

The words of Job end here.