In the land of Uz1 there lived a man whose name was Job.2 This man was blameless3 and upright;4 he feared God5 and shunned evil.6
He had seven sons7 and three daughters,8
and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys,9 and had a large number of servants.10 He was the greatest man11 among all the people of the East.12
His sons used to take turns holding feasts13 in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.
When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified.14 Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering15 for each of them, thinking, "Perhaps my children have sinned16 and cursed God17 in their hearts." This was Job's regular custom.
One day the angels18 came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan19 also came with them.20
The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."21
Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job?22 There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God23 and shuns evil."24
"Does Job fear God for nothing?"25 Satan replied.
"Have you not put a hedge26 around him and his household and everything he has?27 You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.28
But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has,29 and he will surely curse you to your face."30
The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has31 is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger."32 Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
One day when Job's sons and daughters33 were feasting34 and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house,
a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing35 nearby,
and the Sabeans36 attacked and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The fire of God fell from the sky37 and burned up the sheep and the servants,38 and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The Chaldeans39 formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, "Your sons and daughters40 were feasting41 and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house,
when suddenly a mighty wind42 swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead,43 and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!44"
At this, Job got up and tore his robe45 and shaved his head.46 Then he fell to the ground in worship47
and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart.48 The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;49 may the name of the LORD be praised."50
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.51
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.
(New International Version Bible Online)