Job 31
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  I made a covenant with mine eyes; how then should I look upon a maid?

א  בְּרִית כָּרַתִּי לְעֵינָי וּמָה אֶתְבּוֹנֵן עַל בְּתוּלָה.

2  For what would be the portion of God from above, and the heritage of the Almighty from on high?

ב  וּמֶה חֵלֶק אֱלוֹהַּ מִמָּעַל וְנַחֲלַת שַׁדַּי מִמְּרֹמִים.

3  Is it not calamity to the unrighteous, and disaster to the workers of iniquity?

ג  הֲלֹא אֵיד לְעַוָּל וְנֵכֶר לְפֹעֲלֵי אָוֶן.

4  Doth not He see my ways, and count all my steps?

ד  הֲלֹא הוּא יִרְאֶה דְרָכָי וְכָל צְעָדַי יִסְפּוֹר.

5  If I have walked with vanity, and my foot hath hasted to deceit–

ה  אִם הָלַכְתִּי עִם שָׁוְא וַתַּחַשׁ עַל מִרְמָה רַגְלִי.

6  Let me be weighed in a just balance, that God may know mine integrity–

ו  יִשְׁקְלֵנִי בְמֹאזְנֵי צֶדֶק וְיֵדַע אֱלוֹהַּ תֻּמָּתִי.

7  If my step hath turned out of the way, and my heart walked after mine eyes, and if any spot hath cleaved to my hands;

ז  אִם תִּטֶּה אַשֻּׁרִי מִנִּי הַדָּרֶךְ וְאַחַר עֵינַי הָלַךְ לִבִּי וּבְכַפַּי דָּבַק מאוּם.

8  Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let the produce of my field be rooted out.

ח  אֶזְרְעָה וְאַחֵר יֹאכֵל וְצֶאֱצָאַי יְשֹׁרָשׁוּ.

9  If my heart have been enticed unto a woman, and I have lain in wait at my neighbour’s door;

ט  אִם נִפְתָּה לִבִּי עַל אִשָּׁה וְעַל פֶּתַח רֵעִי אָרָבְתִּי.

10  Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her.

י  תִּטְחַן לְאַחֵר אִשְׁתִּי וְעָלֶיהָ יִכְרְעוּן אֲחֵרִין.

11  For that were a heinous crime; yea, it were an iniquity to be punished by the judges.

יא  כִּי הוא (הִיא) זִמָּה והיא (וְהוּא) עָו‍ֹן פְּלִילִים.

12  For it is a fire that consumeth unto destruction, and would root out all mine increase.

יב  כִּי אֵשׁ הִיא עַד אֲבַדּוֹן תֹּאכֵל וּבְכָל תְּבוּאָתִי תְשָׁרֵשׁ.

13  If I did despise the cause of my man-servant, or of my maid-servant, when they contended with me–

יג  אִם אֶמְאַס מִשְׁפַּט עַבְדִּי וַאֲמָתִי בְּרִבָם עִמָּדִי.

14  What then shall I do when God riseth up? And when He remembereth, what shall I answer Him?

יד  וּמָה אֶעֱשֶׂה כִּי יָקוּם אֵל וְכִי יִפְקֹד מָה אֲשִׁיבֶנּוּ.

15  Did not He that made me in the womb make him? And did not One fashion us in the womb?

טו  הֲלֹא בַבֶּטֶן עֹשֵׂנִי עָשָׂהוּ וַיְכֻנֶנּוּ בָּרֶחֶם אֶחָד.

16  If I have withheld aught that the poor desired, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail;

טז  אִם אֶמְנַע מֵחֵפֶץ דַּלִּים וְעֵינֵי אַלְמָנָה אֲכַלֶּה.

17  Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof–

יז  וְאֹכַל פִּתִּי לְבַדִּי וְלֹא אָכַל יָתוֹם מִמֶּנָּה.

18  Nay, from my youth he grew up with me as with a father, and I have been her guide from my mother’s womb.

יח  כִּי מִנְּעוּרַי גְּדֵלַנִי כְאָב וּמִבֶּטֶן אִמִּי אַנְחֶנָּה.

19  If I have seen any wanderer in want of clothing, or that the needy had no covering;

יט  אִם אֶרְאֶה אוֹבֵד מִבְּלִי לְבוּשׁ וְאֵין כְּסוּת לָאֶבְיוֹן.

20  If his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;

כ  אִם לֹא בֵרְכוּנִי חֲלָצָו וּמִגֵּז כְּבָשַׂי יִתְחַמָּם.

21  If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, because I saw my help in the gate;

כא  אִם הֲנִיפוֹתִי עַל יָתוֹם יָדִי כִּי אֶרְאֶה בַשַּׁעַר עֶזְרָתִי.

22  Then let my shoulder fall from the shoulder-blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone.

כב  כְּתֵפִי מִשִּׁכְמָה תִפּוֹל וְאֶזְרֹעִי מִקָּנָה תִשָּׁבֵר.

23  For calamity from God was a terror to me, and by reason of His majesty I could do nothing.

כג  כִּי פַחַד אֵלַי אֵיד אֵל וּמִשְּׂאֵתוֹ לֹא אוּכָל.

24  If I have made gold my hope, and have said to the fine gold: ‘Thou art my confidence’;

כד  אִם שַׂמְתִּי זָהָב כִּסְלִי וְלַכֶּתֶם אָמַרְתִּי מִבְטַחִי.

25  If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because my hand had gotten much;

כה  אִם אֶשְׂמַח כִּי רַב חֵילִי וְכִי כַבִּיר מָצְאָה יָדִי.

26  If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness;

כו  אִם אֶרְאֶה אוֹר כִּי יָהֵל וְיָרֵחַ יָקָר הֹלֵךְ.

27  And my heart hath been secretly enticed, and my mouth hath kissed my hand;

כז  וַיִּפְתְּ בַּסֵּתֶר לִבִּי וַתִּשַּׁק יָדִי לְפִי.

28  This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judges; for I should have lied to God that is above.

כח  גַּם הוּא עָו‍ֹן פְּלִילִי כִּי כִחַשְׁתִּי לָאֵל מִמָּעַל.

29  If I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me, or exulted when evil found him–

כט  אִם אֶשְׂמַח בְּפִיד מְשַׂנְאִי וְהִתְעֹרַרְתִּי כִּי מְצָאוֹ רָע.

30  Yea, I suffered not my mouth to sin by asking his life with a curse.

ל  וְלֹא נָתַתִּי לַחֲטֹא חִכִּי לִשְׁאֹל בְּאָלָה נַפְשׁוֹ.

31  If the men of my tent said not: ‘Who can find one that hath not been satisfied with his meat?’

לא  אִם לֹא אָמְרוּ מְתֵי אָהֳלִי מִי יִתֵּן מִבְּשָׂרוֹ לֹא נִשְׂבָּע.

32  The stranger did not lodge in the street; my doors I opened to the roadside.

לב  בַּחוּץ לֹא יָלִין גֵּר דְּלָתַי לָאֹרַח אֶפְתָּח.

33  If after the manner of men I covered my transgressions, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom–

לג  אִם כִּסִּיתִי כְאָדָם פְּשָׁעָי לִטְמוֹן בְּחֻבִּי עֲו‍ֹנִי.

34  Because I feared the great multitude, and the most contemptible among families terrified me, so that I kept silence, and went not out of the door.

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

35  Oh that I had one to hear me!–Lo, here is my signature, let the Almighty answer me– and that I had the indictment which mine adversary hath written!

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

36  Surely I would carry it upon my shoulder; I would bind it unto me as a crown.

לו  אִם לֹא עַל שִׁכְמִי אֶשָּׂאֶנּוּ אֶעֶנְדֶנּוּ עֲטָרוֹת לִי.

37  I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.

לז  מִסְפַּר צְעָדַי אַגִּידֶנּוּ כְּמוֹ נָגִיד אֲקָרְבֶנּוּ.

38  If my land cry out against me, and the furrows thereof weep together;

לח  אִם עָלַי אַדְמָתִי תִזְעָק וְיַחַד תְּלָמֶיהָ יִבְכָּיוּן.

39  If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the tillers thereof to be disappointed–

לט  אִם כֹּחָהּ אָכַלְתִּי בְלִי כָסֶף וְנֶפֶשׁ בְּעָלֶיהָ הִפָּחְתִּי.

40  Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and noisome weeds instead of barley. The words of Iyov are ended.

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 Job are ended

These words depict Job’s exhaustion. After his very long peroration lamenting his many misfortunes and speculating as to their possible causes, Job suddenly gives up. He no longer has the strength to fight or the energy to protest. Job spends a lot of time and emotional energy trying to make sense of his suffering. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he should have recognized, as King Solomon did, “whom the Lord loveth He corrected” (Proverbs 3:12). In this verse King Solomon acknowledges that suffering is truly a mark of God’s love. Those for whom the Lord has no regard He abandons to the whims of chance. King David also realizes that sometimes suffering is really a gift, when he says “Happy is the man whom Thou instructed, O LORD” (Psalms 94:12). Rabbi Simeon Bar Yochai famously states in the Talmud: “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. 

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Job 31