Job 31
Contemporary English Version
Job Continues

I Promised Myself

1I promised myself

never to stare with desire

at a young woman.

2God All-Powerful punishes

men who do that.

3In fact, God sends disaster

on all who sin,

4and he keeps a close watch

on everything I do.

5I am not dishonest or deceitful,

6and I beg God to prove

my innocence.

7If I have disobeyed him

or even wanted to,

8then others can eat my harvest

and uproot my crops.

9If I have desired someone's wife

and chased after her,

10then let some stranger

steal my wife from me.

11If I took someone's wife,

it would be a horrible crime,

12sending me to destruction

and my crops to the flames.+

13When my servants

complained against me,

I was fair to them.

14Otherwise, what answer

would I give to God

when he judges me?

15After all, God is the one

who gave life to each of us

before we were born.

I Have Never Cheated Anyone

16 I have never cheated widows

or others in need,

17and I have always shared

my food with orphans.

18Since the time I was young,

I have cared for orphans

and helped widows.+

19I provided clothes for the poor,

20and I was praised

for supplying woolen garments

to keep them warm.

21If I have ever raised my arm

to threaten an orphan

when the power was mine,

22I hope that arm will fall

from its socket.

23I could not have been abusive;

I was terrified at the thought

that God might punish me.

24 I have never trusted

the power of wealth,

25or taken pride in owning

many possessions.

* 26I have never openly or secretly

27worshiped the sun or moon.

28Such horrible sins

would have deserved

punishment from God.

29I have never laughed

when my enemies

were struck by disaster.

30Neither have I sinned

by asking God

to send down on them

the curse of death.

31No one ever went hungry+

at my house,

32and travelers

were always welcome.

33Many have attempted to hide

their sins from others—

but I refused.

34And the fear of public disgrace

never forced me to keep silent

about what I had done.

Why Doesn't God Listen?

35Why doesn't God All-Powerful

listen and answer?

If God has something against me,

let him speak up

or put it in writing!

36Then I would wear his charges

on my clothes and forehead.

37And with my head held high,

I would tell him everything

I have ever done.

38I have never mistreated

the land I farmed

and made it mourn.+

39Nor have I cheated

my workers

and caused them pain.+

40If I had, I would pray

for weeds instead of wheat

to grow in my fields.

After saying these things,

Job was silent.


31.12 flames: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 12.
31.18 widows: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 18.
31.31 ever went hungry: Or “was ever sexually abused” (see Genesis 19.1-11; Judges 17.22-30). In ancient Israel, the lives of one's guests were sacred and had to be protected at any cost.
31.38 mourn: In biblical times there were strict regulations for proper use of the land, and land that was abused was said to “mourn” and become no longer productive.
31.39 pain: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 39.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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