Bible Society of South Africa

Bible Reading Plan – Day 269

Bible text(s)

1I have made a solemn promise

never to look with lust at a woman.

2What does Almighty God do to us?

How does he repay human deeds?

3He sends disaster and ruin

to those who do wrong.

4God knows everything I do;

he sees every step I take.

5I swear I have never acted wickedly

and never tried to deceive others.

6Let God weigh me on honest scales,

and he will see how innocent I am.

7If I have turned from the right path

or let myself be attracted to evil,

if my hands are stained with sin,

8then let my crops be destroyed,

or let others eat the food I grow.

9If I have been attracted to my neighbour's wife,

and waited, hidden, outside her door,

10then let my wife cook another man's food

and sleep in another man's bed.

11Such wickedness should be punished by death.

12It would be like a destructive, hellish fire,

consuming everything I have.

13When any of my servants complained against me,

I would listen and treat them fairly.

14If I did not, how could I then face God?

What could I say when God came to judge me?

15The same God who created me

created my servants also.

16I have never refused to help the poor;

never have I let widows live in despair

17or let orphans go hungry while I ate.

18All my life I have taken care of them.

19When I found someone in need,

too poor to buy clothes,

20I would give him clothing made of wool

that had come from my own flock of sheep.

Then he would praise me with all his heart.

21If I have ever cheated an orphan,

knowing I could win in court,

22then may my arms be broken;

may they be torn from my shoulders.

23Because I fear God's punishment,

I could never do such a thing.

24I have never trusted in riches

25or taken pride in my wealth.

26I have never worshipped the sun in its brightness

or the moon in all its beauty.

27I have not been led astray to honour them

by kissing my hand in reverence to them.

28Such a sin should be punished by death;

it denies Almighty God.

29I have never been glad when my enemies suffered,

or pleased when they met with disaster;

30I never sinned by praying for their death.

31All those who work for me know

that I have always welcomed strangers.

32I invited travellers into my home

and never let them sleep in the streets.

33Others try to hide their sins,

but I have never concealed mine.

34I have never feared what people would say;

I have never kept quiet or stayed indoors

because I feared their scorn.

35Will no one listen to what I am saying?

I swear that every word is true.

Let Almighty God answer me.

If the charges my opponent brings against me

were written down so that I could see them,

36I would wear them proudly on my shoulder

and place them on my head like a crown.

37I would tell God everything I have done,

and hold my head high in his presence.

38If I have stolen the land I farm

and taken it from its rightful owners —

39if I have eaten the food that grew there

but let the farmers that grew it starve —

40then instead of wheat and barley,

may weeds and thistles grow.

The words of Job are ended.

Elihu's Speech


1Because Job was convinced of his own innocence, the three men gave up trying to answer him. 2But a bystander named Elihu could not control his anger any longer, because Job was justifying himself and blaming God. (Elihu was the son of Barakel, a descendant of Buz, and belonged to the clan of Ram.) 3He was also angry with Job's three friends. They could find no way to answer Job, and this made it appear that God was in the wrong. 4Because Elihu was the youngest one there, he had waited until everyone finished speaking. 5When he saw that the three men could not answer Job, he was angry 6and began to speak.


I am young, and you are old,

so I was afraid to tell you what I think.

7I told myself that you ought to speak,

that you older men should share your wisdom.

8But it is the Spirit of Almighty God

that comes to human beings and gives them wisdom.

9It is not growing old that makes people wise

or helps them to know what is right.

10So now I want you to listen to me;

let me tell you what I think.

11I listened patiently while you were speaking

and waited while you searched for wise phrases.

12I paid close attention and heard you fail;

you have not disproved what Job has said.

13How can you claim you have discovered wisdom?

God must answer Job, for you have failed.

14Job was speaking to you, not to me,

but I would never answer as you did.

15Words have failed them, Job;

they have no answer for you.

16Shall I go on waiting when they are silent?

They stand there with nothing more to say.

17No, I will give my own answer now

and tell you what I think.

18I can hardly wait to speak.

I can't hold back the words.

19If I don't get a chance to speak,

I will burst like a wineskin full of new wine.

20I can't stand it; I have to speak.

21I will not take sides in this debate;

I am not going to flatter anyone.

22I don't know how to flatter,

and God would quickly punish me if I did.

1And now, Job, listen carefully

to all that I have to say.

2I am ready to say what's on my mind.

3All my words are sincere,

and I am speaking the truth.

4God's Spirit made me and gave me life.

5Answer me if you can. Prepare your arguments.

6You and I are the same in God's sight,

both of us were formed from clay.

7So you have no reason to fear me;

I will not overpower you.

8Now this is what I heard you say:

9“I am not guilty; I have done nothing wrong.

I am innocent and free from sin.

10But God finds excuses for attacking me

and treats me like an enemy.

11He binds chains on my feet;

he watches every move I make.”

12But I tell you, Job, you are wrong.

God is greater than any human being.

13Why do you accuse God

of never answering our complaints?

14Although God speaks again and again,

no one pays attention to what he says.

15At night when people are asleep,

God speaks in dreams and visions.

16He makes them listen to what he says,

and they are frightened at his warnings.

17God speaks to make them stop their sinning

and to save them from becoming proud.

18He will not let them be destroyed;

he saves them from death itself.

19God corrects people by sending sickness

and filling their bodies with pain.

20Those who are sick lose their appetites,

and even the finest food looks revolting.

21Their bodies waste away to nothing;

you can see all their bones;

22they are about to go to the world of the dead.

23Perhaps an angel may come to their aid —

one of God's thousands of angels,

who remind us of our duty.

24In mercy the angel will say, “Release them!

They are not to go down to the world of the dead.

Here is the ransom to set them free.”

25Their bodies will grow young and strong again;

26when they pray, God will answer;

they will worship God with joy;

God will set things right for them again.

27Each one will say in public, “I have sinned.

I have not done right, but God spared me.

28He kept me from going to the world of the dead,

and I am still alive.”

29God does all this again and again;

30he saves a person's life,

and gives him the joy of living.

31Now, Job, listen to what I am saying;

be quiet and let me speak.

32But if you have something to say, let me hear it;

I would gladly admit you are in the right.

33But if not, be quiet and listen to me,

and I will teach you how to be wise.

Job 31:1-33:33GNBOpen in Bible reader
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