Job 31
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition

1“I have made a covenant with my eyes;
    how then could I look upon a virgin?
2What would be my portion from God above,
    and my heritage from the Almighty[a] on high?
3Does not calamity befall the unrighteous,
    and disaster the workers of iniquity?
4Does he not see my ways,
    and number all my steps?

5“If I have walked with falsehood,
    and my foot has hurried to deceit—
6let me be weighed in a just balance,
    and let God know my integrity!—
7if my step has turned aside from the way,
    and my heart has followed my eyes,
    and if any spot has clung to my hands;
8then let me sow, and another eat;
    and let what grows for me be rooted out.

9“If my heart has been enticed by a woman,
    and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s door;
10then let my wife grind for another,
    and let other men kneel over her.
11For that would be a heinous crime;
    that would be a criminal offense;
12for that would be a fire consuming down to Abaddon,
    and it would burn to the root all my harvest.

13“If I have rejected the cause of my male or female slaves,
    when they brought a complaint against me;
14what then shall I do when God rises up?
    When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him?
15Did not he who made me in the womb make them?
    And did not one fashion us in the womb?

16“If I have withheld anything that the poor desired,
    or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail,
17or have eaten my morsel alone,
    and the orphan has not eaten from it—
18for from my youth I reared the orphan[b] like a father,
    and from my mother’s womb I guided the widow[c]
19if I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing,
    or a poor person without covering,
20whose loins have not blessed me,
    and who was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;
21if I have raised my hand against the orphan,
    because I saw I had supporters at the gate;
22then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder,
    and let my arm be broken from its socket.
23For I was in terror of calamity from God,
    and I could not have faced his majesty.

24“If I have made gold my trust,
    or called fine gold my confidence;
25if I have rejoiced because my wealth was great,
    or because my hand had gotten much;
26if I have looked at the sun[d] when it shone,
    or the moon moving in splendor,
27and my heart has been secretly enticed,
    and my mouth has kissed my hand;
28this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges,
    for I should have been false to God above.

29“If I have rejoiced at the ruin of those who hated me,
    or exulted when evil overtook them—
30I have not let my mouth sin
    by asking for their lives with a curse—
31if those of my tent ever said,
    ‘O that we might be sated with his flesh!’[e]
32the stranger has not lodged in the street;
    I have opened my doors to the traveler—
33if I have concealed my transgressions as others do,[f]
    by hiding my iniquity in my bosom,
34because I stood in great fear of the multitude,
    and the contempt of families terrified me,
    so that I kept silence, and did not go out of doors—
35O that I had one to hear me!
    (Here is my signature! Let the Almighty[g] answer me!)
    O that I had the indictment written by my adversary!
36Surely I would carry it on my shoulder;
    I would bind it on me like a crown;
37I would give him an account of all my steps;
    like a prince I would approach him.

38“If my land has cried out against me,
    and its furrows have wept together;
39if I have eaten its yield without payment,
    and caused the death of its owners;
40let thorns grow instead of wheat,
    and foul weeds instead of barley.”

The words of Job are ended.


  1. Job 31:2 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  2. Job 31:18 Heb him
  3. Job 31:18 Heb her
  4. Job 31:26 Heb the light
  5. Job 31:31 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  6. Job 31:33 Or as Adam did
  7. Job 31:35 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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