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Job , CHAPTER 31

1

I made a covenant with my eyes not to gaze upon a virgin.

2

What portion comes from God above, what heritage from the Almighty on high?

3

Is it not calamity for the unrighteous, and woe for evildoers?

4

Does he not see my ways, and number all my steps?

5

If I have walked in falsehood and my foot has hastened to deceit,

6

Let God weigh me in the scales of justice; thus will he know my innocence!

7

If my steps have turned out of the way, and my heart has followed my eyes, or any stain clings to my hands,

8

Then may I sow, but another eat, and may my produce be rooted up!

9

If my heart has been enticed toward a woman, and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s door;

10

Then may my wife grind for another, and may others kneel over her!

11

For that would be heinous, a crime to be condemned,

12

A fire that would consume down to Abaddon till it uprooted all my crops.

13

Had I refused justice to my manservant or to my maidservant, when they had a complaint against me,

14

What then should I do when God rises up? What could I answer when he demands an account?

15

Did not he who made me in the belly make him? Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?

16

If I have denied anything that the poor desired, or allowed the eyes of the widow to languish

17

While I ate my portion alone, with no share in it for the fatherless,

18

Though like a father he has reared me from my youth, guiding me even from my mother’s womb?

19

If I have seen a wanderer without clothing, or a poor man without covering,

20

Whose limbs have not blessed me when warmed with the fleece of my sheep;

21

If I have raised my hand against the innocent because I saw that I had supporters at the gate?

22

Then may my arm fall from the shoulder, my forearm be broken at the elbow!

23

For I dread calamity from God, and his majesty will overpower me.

24

Had I put my trust in gold or called fine gold my security;

25

Or had I rejoiced that my wealth was great, or that my hand had acquired abundance?

26

Had I looked upon the light as it shone, or the moon in the splendor of its progress,

27

And had my heart been secretly enticed to blow them a kiss with my hand,

28

This too would be a crime for condemnation, for I should have denied God above.

29

Had I rejoiced at the destruction of my enemy or exulted when evil came upon him,

30

Even though I had not allowed my mouth to sin by invoking a curse against his life?

31

Had not the men of my tent exclaimed, “Who has not been filled with his meat!”

32

No stranger lodged in the street, for I opened my door to wayfarers?

33

Had I, all too human, hidden my sins and buried my guilt in my bosom

34

Because I feared the great multitude and the scorn of the clans terrified me? then I should have remained silent, and not come out of doors!

35

Oh, that I had one to hear my case: here is my signature: let the Almighty answer me! Let my accuser write out his indictment!

36

Surely, I should wear it on my shoulder or put it on me like a diadem;

37

Of all my steps I should give him an account; like a prince I should present myself before him.

38

If my land has cried out against me till its furrows wept together;

39

If I have eaten its strength without payment and grieved the hearts of its tenants;

40

Then let the thorns grow instead of wheat and stinkweed instead of barley! The words of Job are ended.