Job 31
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  I have covenanted with my eyes Not to gaze on a maiden.

א  בְּרִית כָּרַתִּי לְעֵינָי וּמָה אֶתְבּוֹנֵן עַל־בְּתוּלָה׃

2  What fate is decreed by Hashem above? What lot, by Shaddai in the heights?

ב  וּמֶה חֵלֶק אֱלוֹהַּ מִמָּעַל וְנַחֲלַת שַׁדַּי מִמְּרֹמִים׃

3  Calamity is surely for the iniquitous; Misfortune, for the worker of mischief.

ג  הֲלֹא־אֵיד לְעַוָּל וְנֵכֶר לְפֹעֲלֵי אָוֶן׃

4  Surely He observes my ways, Takes account of my every step.

ד  הֲלֹא־הוּא יִרְאֶה דְרָכָי וְכָל־צְעָדַי יִסְפּוֹר׃

5  Have I walked with worthless men, Or my feet hurried to deceit?

ה  אִם־הָלַכְתִּי עִם־שָׁוְא וַתַּחַשׁ עַל־מִרְמָה רַגְלִי׃

6  Let Him weigh me on the scale of righteousness; Let Hashem ascertain my integrity.

ו  יִשְׁקְלֵנִי בְמֹאזְנֵי־צֶדֶק וְיֵדַע אֱלוֹהַּ תֻּמָּתִי׃

7  If my feet have strayed from their course, My heart followed after my eyes, And a stain sullied my hands,

ז  אִם תִּטֶּה אַשֻּׁרִי מִנִּי הַדָּרֶךְ וְאַחַר עֵינַי הָלַךְ לִבִּי וּבְכַפַּי דָּבַק מֻאוּם׃

8  May I sow, but another reap, May the growth of my field be uprooted!

ח  אֶזְרְעָה וְאַחֵר יֹאכֵל וְצֶאֱצָאַי יְשֹׁרָשׁוּ׃

9  If my heart was ravished by the wife of my neighbor, And I lay in wait at his door,

ט  אִם־נִפְתָּה לִבִּי עַל־אִשָּׁה וְעַל־פֶּתַח רֵעִי אָרָבְתִּי׃

10  May my wife grind for another, May others kneel over her!

י  תִּטְחַן לְאַחֵר אִשְׁתִּי וְעָלֶיהָ יִכְרְעוּן אֲחֵרִין׃

11  For that would have been debauchery, A criminal offense,

יא  כִּי־הוא [הִיא] זִמָּה והיא [וְהוּא] עָוֺן פְּלִילִים׃

12  A fire burning down to Abaddon, Consuming the roots of all my increase.

יב  כִּי אֵשׁ הִיא עַד־אֲבַדּוֹן תֹּאכֵל וּבְכָל־תְּבוּאָתִי תְשָׁרֵשׁ׃

13  Did I ever brush aside the case of my servants, man or maid, When they made a complaint against me?

יג  אִם־אֶמְאַס מִשְׁפַּט עַבְדִּי וַאֲמָתִי בְּרִבָם עִמָּדִי׃

14  What then should I do when Hashem arises; When He calls me to account, what should I answer Him?

יד  וּמָה אֶעֱשֶׂה כִּי־יָקוּם אֵל וְכִי־יִפְקֹד מָה אֲשִׁיבֶנּוּ׃

15  Did not He who made me in my mother’s belly make him? Did not One form us both in the womb?

טו  הֲ‍לֹא־בַבֶּטֶן עֹשֵׂנִי עָשָׂהוּ וַיְכֻנֶנּוּ בָּרֶחֶם אֶחָד׃

16  Did I deny the poor their needs, Or let a widow pine away,

טז  אִם־אֶמְנַע מֵחֵפֶץ דַּלִּים וְעֵינֵי אַלְמָנָה אֲכַלֶּה׃

17  By eating my food alone, The fatherless not eating of it also?

יז  וְאֹכַל פִּתִּי לְבַדִּי וְלֹא־אָכַל יָתוֹם מִמֶּנָּה׃

18  Why, from my youth he grew up with me as though I were his father; Since I left my mother’s womb I was her guide.

יח  כִּי מִנְּעוּרַי גְּדֵלַנִי כְאָב וּמִבֶּטֶן אִמִּי אַנְחֶנָּה׃

19  I never saw an unclad wretch, A needy man without clothing,

יט  אִם־אֶרְאֶה אוֹבֵד מִבְּלִי לְבוּשׁ וְאֵין כְּסוּת לָאֶבְיוֹן׃

20  Whose loins did not bless me As he warmed himself with the shearings of my sheep.

כ  אִם־לֹא בֵרֲכוּנִי חלצו [חֲלָצָיו] וּמִגֵּז כְּבָשַׂי יִתְחַמָּם׃

21  If I raised my hand against the fatherless, Looking to my supporters in the gate,

כא  אִם־הֲנִיפוֹתִי עַל־יָתוֹם יָדִי כִּי־אֶרְאֶה בַשַּׁעַר עֶזְרָתִי׃

22  May my arm drop off my shoulder; My forearm break off at the elbow.

כב  כְּתֵפִי מִשִּׁכְמָה תִפּוֹל וְאֶזְרֹעִי מִקָּנָה תִשָּׁבֵר׃

23  For I am in dread of Hashem-sent calamity; I cannot bear His threat.

כג  כִּי פַחַד אֵלַי אֵיד אֵל וּמִשְּׂאֵתוֹ לֹא אוּכָל׃

24  Did I put my reliance on gold, Or regard fine gold as my bulwark?

כד  אִם־שַׂמְתִּי זָהָב כִּסְלִי וְלַכֶּתֶם אָמַרְתִּי מִבְטַחִי׃

25  Did I rejoice in my great wealth, In having attained plenty?

כה  אִם־אֶשְׂמַח כִּי־רַב חֵילִי וְכִי־כַבִּיר מָצְאָה יָדִי׃

26  If ever I saw the light shining, The moon on its course in full glory,

כו  אִם־אֶרְאֶה אוֹר כִּי יָהֵל וְיָרֵחַ יָקָר הֹלֵךְ׃

27  And I secretly succumbed, And my hand touched my mouth in a kiss,

כז  וַיִּפְתְּ בַּסֵּתֶר לִבִּי וַתִּשַּׁק יָדִי לְפִי׃

28  That, too, would have been a criminal offense, For I would have denied Hashem above.

כח  גַּם־הוּא עָוֺן פְּלִילִי כִּי־כִחַשְׁתִּי לָאֵל מִמָּעַל׃

29  Did I rejoice over my enemy’s misfortune? Did I thrill because evil befell him?

כט  אִם־אֶשְׂמַח בְּפִיד מְשַׂנְאִי וְהִתְעֹרַרְתִּי כִּי־מְצָאוֹ רָע׃

30  I never let my mouth sin By wishing his death in a curse.

ל  וְלֹא־נָתַתִּי לַחֲטֹא חִכִּי לִשְׁאֹל בְּאָלָה נַפְשׁוֹ׃

31  (Indeed, the men of my clan said, “We would consume his flesh insatiably!”)

לא  אִם־לֹא אָמְרוּ מְתֵי אָהֳלִי מִי־יִתֵּן מִבְּשָׂרוֹ לֹא נִשְׂבָּע׃

32  No sojourner spent the night in the open; I opened my doors to the road.

לב  בַּחוּץ לֹא־יָלִין גֵּר דְּלָתַי לָאֹרַח אֶפְתָּח׃

33  Did I hide my transgressions like Adam, Bury my wrongdoing in my bosom,

לג  אִם־כִּסִּיתִי כְאָדָם פְּשָׁעָי לִטְמוֹן בְּחֻבִּי עֲוֺנִי׃

34  That I should [now] fear the great multitude, And am shattered by the contempt of families, So that I keep silent and do not step outdoors?

לד  כִּי אֶעֱרוֹץ הָמוֹן רַבָּה וּבוּז־מִשְׁפָּחוֹת יְחִתֵּנִי וָאֶדֹּם לֹא־אֵצֵא פָתַח׃

35  O that I had someone to give me a hearing; O that Shaddai would reply to my writ, Or my accuser draw up a true bill!

לה  מִי יִתֶּן־לִי שֹׁמֵעַ לִי הֶן־תָּוִי שַׁדַּי יַעֲנֵנִי וְסֵפֶר כָּתַב אִישׁ רִיבִי׃

36  I would carry it on my shoulder; Tie it around me for a wreath.

לו  אִם־לֹא עַל־שִׁכְמִי אֶשָּׂאֶנּוּ אֶעֶנְדֶנּוּ עֲטָרוֹת לִי׃

37  I would give him an account of my steps, Offer it as to a commander.

לז  מִסְפַּר צְעָדַי אַגִּידֶנּוּ כְּמוֹ־נָגִיד אֲקָרֲבֶנּוּ׃

38  If my land cries out against me, Its furrows weep together;

לח  אִם־עָלַי אַדְמָתִי תִזְעָק וְיַחַד תְּלָמֶיהָ יִבְכָּיוּן׃

39  If I have eaten its produce without payment, And made its [rightful] owners despair,

לט  אִם־כֹּחָהּ אָכַלְתִּי בְלִי־כָסֶף וְנֶפֶשׁ בְּעָלֶיהָ הִפָּחְתִּי׃

40  May nettles grow there instead of wheat; Instead of barley, stinkweed! The words of Iyov are at an end.

TA-khat khi-TAH yay-TZAY KHO-akh v’-TA-khat s’-o-RAH vo-SHAH TA-mu div-RAY i-YOV

מ  תַּחַת חִטָּה יֵצֵא חוֹחַ וְתַחַת־שְׂעֹרָה בָאְשָׁה תַּמּוּ דִּבְרֵי אִיּוֹב׃

31:40   The words of Iyov are at an end

These words depict Iyov’s exhaustion. After his long peroration lamenting his many misfortunes and speculating as to their possible causes, Iyov suddenly gives up. He no longer has the strength to fight or the energy to protest. Iyov spends a lot of time and emotional energy trying to make sense of his suffering. Due to his intense suffering, it was difficult for Iyov to recognize, as King Shlomo did, the truth that “For whom Hashem loves, He rebukes” (Proverbs 3:12). Often, suffering is brought upon a person as a mark of God’s love, while He abandons those for whom He has no regard to the whims of chance. King David also realizes that sometimes suffering is really a gift, when he says “Happy is the man whom You discipline, Hashem,” (Psalms 94:12). This idea is also reflected in a well-known statement by Rabbi Simeon Bar Yochai (Berachot 5a): “Three gifts were given by God through suffering; Torah, the land of Israel, and the world to come.” The righteous are able to perceive that suffering paves the way to bearing the greatest gifts of God to His people.Comment

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Job 30
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Job 31

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