Passage: Job 31, 32 (RSV)

Job 31

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 on high?
3Does not calamity befall the unrighteous, and disaster the workers of iniquity?
4Does not he see my ways, and number all my steps?
5"If I have walked with falsehood, and my foot has hastened to deceit;
6(Let 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 gone after my eyes, and if any spot has cleaved 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 to a woman, and I have lain in wait at my neighbor's door;
10then let my wife grind for another, and let others bow down upon her.
11For that would be a heinous crime; that would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges;
12for that would be a fire which consumes unto Abaddon, and it would burn to the root all my increase.
13"If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant, 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 him? 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 fatherless has not eaten of it
18(for from his youth I reared him as a father, and from his mother's womb I guided him);
19if I have seen any one perish for lack of clothing, or a poor man without covering;
20if his loins have not blessed me, and if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;
21if I have raised my hand against the fatherless, because I saw help in 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 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 him that hated me, or exulted when evil overtook him
30(I have not let my mouth sin by asking for his life with a curse);
31if the men of my tent have not said, `Who is there that has not been filled with his meat?'
32(the sojourner has not lodged in the street; I have opened my doors to the wayfarer);
33if I have concealed my transgressions from men, 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 --
35Oh, that I had one to hear me! (Here is my signature! let the Almighty answer me!) Oh, that I had the indictment written by my adversary!
36Surely I would carry it on my shoulder; I would bind it on me as 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.

Job 32

1So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.
2Then Eli'hu the son of Bar'achel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became angry. He was angry at Job because he justified himself rather than God;
3he was angry also at Job's three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong.
4Now Eli'hu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he.
5And when Eli'hu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he became angry.
6And Eli'hu the son of Bar'achel the Buzite answered: "I am young in years, and you are aged; therefore I was timid and afraid to declare my opinion to you.
7I said, `Let days speak, and many years teach wisdom.'
8But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.
9It is not the old that are wise, nor the aged that understand what is right.
10Therefore I say, `Listen to me; let me also declare my opinion.'
11"Behold, I waited for your words, I listened for your wise sayings, while you searched out what to say.
12I gave you my attention, and, behold, there was none that confuted Job, or that answered his words, among you.
13Beware lest you say, `We have found wisdom; God may vanquish him, not man.'
14He has not directed his words against me, and I will not answer him with your speeches.
15"They are discomfited, they answer no more; they have not a word to say.
16And shall I wait, because they do not speak, because they stand there, and answer no more?
17I also will give my answer; I also will declare my opinion.
18For I am full of words, the spirit within me constrains me.
19Behold, my heart is like wine that has no vent; like new wineskins, it is ready to burst.
20I must speak, that I may find relief; I must open my lips and answer.
21I will not show partiality to any person or use flattery toward any man.
22For I do not know how to flatter, else would my Maker soon put an end to me.

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