Every year when Job's sons had birthdays, they invited their brothers and sisters to join them for a celebration. On these occasions they would get together to eat and drink.
When these celebrations ended -- and sometimes they lasted several days -- Job would purify his children. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said to himself, "Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts." This was Job's regular practice.
One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan the Accuser came with them.
"Where have you come from?" the LORD asked Satan. And Satan answered the LORD, "I have been going back and forth across the earth, watching everything that's going on."
Then the LORD asked Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth -- a man of complete integrity. He fears God and will have nothing to do with evil."
Satan replied to the LORD, "Yes, Job fears God, but not without good reason!
You have always protected him and his home and his property from harm. You have made him prosperous in everything he does. Look how rich he is!
But take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!"
"All right, you may test him," the LORD said to Satan. "Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don't harm him physically." So Satan left the LORD's presence.
One day when Job's sons and daughters were dining at the oldest brother's house,
a messenger arrived at Job's home with this news: "Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them,