From the book of Job
31:1-8; 13-23, 35-37
Job’s appeal to the goodness of his life
I have made an agreement with my eyes
and entertained no thoughts against a maiden.
But what is man’s lot from God above,
his inheritance from the Almighty on high?
Is it not calamity for the unrighteous,
and woe for evildoers?
Does he not see my ways,
and number all my steps?
Let God weigh me in the scales of justice;
thus will he know my innocence!
If I have walked in falsehood
and my foot has hastened to deceit;
If my steps have turned out of the way,
and my heart has followed my eyes,
or any stain clings to my hands,
Then may I sow, but another eat of it,
or may my planting be rooted up!
Had I refused justice to my manservant
or to my maid, when they had a claim against me,
What then should I do when God rose up;
what could I answer when he demanded an account?
Did not he who made me in the womb make him?
Did not the same One fashion us before our birth?
If I have denied anything to the poor,
or allowed the eyes of the widow to languish
While I ate my portion alone,
with no share in it for the fatherless,
Though like a father God has reared me from my youth,
guiding me even from my mother’s womb–
If I have seen a wanderer without clothing,
or a poor man without covering,
Whose limbs have not blessed me
when warmed with the fleece of my sheep;
If I have raised my hand against the innocent
because I saw that I had supporters at the gate–
Then may my arm fall from the shoulder,
my forearm be broken at the elbow!
For the dread of God will be upon me,
and his majesty will overpower me.
Oh, that I had one to hear my case,
and that my accuser would write out his indictment!
Surely, I should wear it on my shoulder
or put it on me like a diadem;
Of all my steps I should give him an account;
like a prince I should present myself before him.