Job 31:33 Berean Study Bible

if I have covered my transgressions like Adam by hiding my guilt in my heart,

New International Version

if I have concealed my sin as people do, by hiding my guilt in my heart

Which translation is more accurate?

  • KJV and YLT both translate as 'Adam', also. Matthews and Coverdale say 'men'. Strange that there is disagreement even about plurality. Up-voted +1.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 19:39
  • The KJV marginal alternative rendering gives 'Or, after the manner of men'.
    – user21676
    Commented Feb 11, 2021 at 2:55

2 Answers 2


"adam" means both "man" and "Adam" and Hebrew has no capital letters or different treatment of proper nouns, leaving this passage ambiguous. Both readings seem fine to me, which may be the point.


There really is no more fitting example than the man Adam to be referenced by Job in his final argument to his three friends. The reasons are these: He uses a Hebrew word which would identify Adam in the garden of Eden, his actions also after being found(hiding). He talks about the serpent(26:13). He talks about a woman being deceived, just a few verses earlier. He often talks about dust(they also in their symbolic gestures). He ends every argument with a conversation about the curse of death. He(and they) often repeat a theme God spoke to the woman(Gen. 3:16). He ends his argument with regard to the curse of the field(Gen 3:17-18). Eliphaz also asks him whether he was the first man that was born(ch. 15), besides an apparent reference to angels being cursed(4:18); Zophar references the beginning(20:4), and Elihu says he was made from the clay(33:6). His immutable appointment to death was also something highly associated with the context of Job, and therefore I would think it untenable that Adam the man, Eden also where it all began, should not have been thought of in this very verse.

  • (+1) This is a compact but insightful answer - thanks for this contribution!
    – Steve can help
    Commented Feb 11, 2021 at 11:18

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