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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 31

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2But what is man's lot from God above, his inheritance from the Almighty on high? 3Is it not calamity for the unrighteous, and woe for evildoers? 4Does he not see my ways, and number all my steps? n Jb 14, 16; 34, 21; Ps 139, 3; Prv 5, 21 . 6Let God weigh me in the scales of justice; thus will he know my innocence! o Jb 23, 10 . 5If I have walked in falsehood* and my foot has hastened to deceit; 7If my steps have turned out of the way, and my heart has followed my eyes, or any stain clings to my hands, 8Then may I sow, but another eat of it, or may my planting be rooted up! 38If my land has cried out against me till its very furrows complained; 39If I have eaten its produce without payment and grieved the hearts of its tenants; 40Then let the thistles grow instead of wheat and noxious weeds instead of barley! 1If I have made an agreement with my eyes* and entertained any thoughts against a maiden; 9If my heart has been enticed toward a woman, and I have lain in wait at my neighbor's door; 10Then may my wife grind for another, and may others cohabit with her! 11For that would be heinous, a crime to be condemned; p Ex 20, 14; Lv 20, 10; Dt 22, 22 . 12A fire that should burn down to the abyss till it consumed all my possessions to the roots. q Sir 9, 8f . 13Had I refused justice to my manservant or to my maid, when they had a claim against me, 14What then should I do when God rose up; what could I answer when he demanded an account? 15Did not he who made me in the womb make him? Did not the same One fashion us before our birth? 16If I have denied anything to the poor, r 16–23: Jb 29, 12–16 . or allowed the eyes of the widow to languish 17While I ate my portion alone, with no share in it for the fatherless, 18Though like a father God has reared me from my youth, guiding me even from my mother's womb— 19If I have seen a wanderer without clothing, or a poor man without covering, 20Whose limbs have not blessed me when warmed with the fleece of my sheep; 21If I have raised my hand against the innocent because I saw that I had supporters at the gate—* 22Then may my arm fall from the shoulder, my forearm be broken at the elbow! 23For the dread of God will be upon me, and his majesty will overpower me. 24Had I put my trust in gold or called fine gold my security; 25Or had I rejoiced that my wealth was great, or that my hand had acquired abundance— 26Had I looked upon the sun as it shone, s 26f: Dt 4, 19 . or the moon in the splendor of its progress,* 27And had my heart been secretly enticed to waft them a kiss with my hand; 28This too would be a crime for condemnation, for I should have denied God above. t Dt 17, 2–7 . 29Had I rejoiced at the destruction of my enemy or exulted when evil fell upon him, u Prv 24, 17 . 30Even though I had not suffered my mouth to sin by uttering a curse against his life— 31Had not the men of my tent exclaimed, “Who has not been fed with his meat!”* 32Because no stranger lodged in the street, but I opened my door to wayfarers— 33Had I, out of human weakness, hidden my sins and buried my guilt in my bosom* 34Because I feared the noisy multitude and the scorn of the tribes terrified me— then I should have remained silent, and not come out of doors! 35Oh, that I had one to hear my case, and that my accuser would write out his indictment! v Jb 19, 23; 23, 3–7 . 36Surely, I should wear it on my shoulder* or put it on me like a diadem; 37Of all my steps I should give him an account; like a prince* I should present myself before him. This is my final plea; let the Almighty answer me! The words of Job are ended.

Notes:

n: Jb 14, 16; 34, 21; Ps 139, 3; Prv 5, 21 .

o: Jb 23, 10 .

p: Ex 20, 14; Lv 20, 10; Dt 22, 22 .

q: Sir 9, 8f .

r: 16–23: Jb 29, 12–16 .

s: 26f: Dt 4, 19 .

t: Dt 17, 2–7 .

u: Prv 24, 17 .

v: Jb 19, 23; 23, 3–7 .

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