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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 31

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1

2 a 31:2 Verse 1 transposed to follow verse 5. What is the lot prescribed by God above, the portion from the Almighty on high? 3Is not ruin prescribed for the miscreant, disaster for the wrongdoer? 4Yet does not God himself see my ways and take account of my every step?

5 b 31:5 Verse 1 transposed to follow this verse. I swear I have had no dealings with falsehood and have not gone hotfoot after deceit. 1I have taken an oath never to let my eyes linger on a girl. 6Let God weigh me in the scales of justice, and he will know that I am blameless! 7If my steps have wandered from the way, if my heart has followed my eyes, or any dirt has stuck to my hands, 8then may another eat what I sow, and may my crops be uprooted!

9If my heart has been enticed by a woman or I have lurked by my neighbour's door, 10may my wife be another man's slave c 31:10 be … slave: lit. grind corn for another. , and may other men enjoy her. 11For that would have been a heinous act, an offence before the law: 12it would be a consuming and destructive fire raging d 31:12 raging: prob. rdg; Heb. uprooting. among my crops.

13If I ever rejected the plea of my slave or slave-girl when they brought a complaint against me, 14what shall I do if God appears? What shall I answer if he intervenes? 15Did not he who made me in the belly make them? Did not the same God create us in the womb? 16If I have withheld from the poor what they needed or made the widow's eye grow dim with tears; 17if I have eaten my portion of food by myself, and the fatherless child has not shared it with me — 18the boy who said, ‘From my youth he brought me up,’ or the girl who claimed that from her birth I guided her— 19if I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing or a poor man with nothing to cover him; 20if his body had no cause to bless me, because he was not kept warm with a fleece from my flock; 21if I have raised my hand against the innocent e 31:21 innocent: or fatherless. , knowing that those who would side with me were in court f in court: lit. in the gate. : 22then may my shoulder-blade be torn from my shoulder, my arm wrenched out of its socket! 23But the fear of God was heavy upon me g 31:23 the fear … me: prob. rdg; Heb. fear towards me is a disaster from God. ; because of his majesty I could do none of these things.

24If I have put my faith in gold and my trust in the gold of Nubia; 25if I have rejoiced in my great wealth and in the increase of riches in my possession; 26if I ever looked on the sun in splendour or the moon moving in her glory, 27and was led astray in my secret heart and kissed my hand in homage: 28 h 31:28 Verses 38, 39, and part of verse 40 transposed to follow this verse. this would have been an offence before the law, for I should have been unfaithful to God on high.

38If my land has cried out in reproach at me, and its furrows have joined in weeping; 39If I have eaten its produce without payment and left my creditors i 31:39 creditors: or tenants. to languish: 40may thistles spring up instead of wheat, and noxious weeds instead of barley!

29Have I rejoiced at the ruin of anyone who hated me or been filled with glee when misfortune overtook him, 30even though I did not allow my tongue to sin by laying his life under a curse? 31The men of my household j 31:31 household: lit. tent. have indeed said: ‘Who has eaten of his food and not been satisfied?’ 32No stranger has had to spend the night in the street, for I have kept open house for the traveller. 33Have I ever concealed my misdeeds as others do k 31:33 others do: or Adam did. , keeping my guilt hidden within my breast, 3435because I feared the gossip of the town or dreaded the scorn of my fellow-citizens? Let me but call a witness in my defence! Let the Almighty state his case against me! If my accuser had written out his indictment, I should not keep silence and remain indoors. 36No! I should flaunt it on my shoulder and wear it like a crown on my head; 37 l 31:37 Verses 38, 39, and part of verse 40 transposed to follow verse 28. I should plead the whole record of my life and present that in court as my defence.

40Job's speeches are finished.

Notes:

a 31:2 Verse 1 transposed to follow verse 5.

b 31:5 Verse 1 transposed to follow this verse.

c 31:10 be … slave: lit. grind corn for another.

d 31:12 raging: prob. rdg; Heb. uprooting.

e 31:21 innocent: or fatherless.

f in court: lit. in the gate.

g 31:23 the fear … me: prob. rdg; Heb. fear towards me is a disaster from God.

h 31:28 Verses 38, 39, and part of verse 40 transposed to follow this verse.

i 31:39 creditors: or tenants.

j 31:31 household: lit. tent.

k 31:33 others do: or Adam did.

l 31:37 Verses 38, 39, and part of verse 40 transposed to follow verse 28.

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