1There once was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless—a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil. 2He had seven sons and three daughters. 3He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area.
4Job’s sons would take turns preparing feasts in their homes, and they would also invite their three sisters to celebrate with them. 5When these celebrations ended—sometimes after 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.
Job’s First Test
6One day the members of the heavenly court# Hebrew the sons of God. came to present themselves before the lord, and the Accuser, Satan,# Hebrew and the satan; similarly throughout this chapter. came with them. 7“Where have you come from?” the lord asked Satan.
Satan answered the lord, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.”
8Then the lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”
9Satan replied to the lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. 10You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! 11But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!”
12“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.
13One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting at the oldest brother’s house, 14a messenger arrived at Job’s home with this news: “Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them, 15when the Sabeans raided us. They stole all the animals and killed all the farmhands. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
16While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the shepherds. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
17While he was still speaking, a third messenger arrived with this news: “Three bands of Chaldean raiders have stolen your camels and killed your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
18While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother’s home. 19Suddenly, a powerful wind swept in from the wilderness and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed, and all your children are dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
20Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. 21He said,
“I came naked from my mother’s womb,
and I will be naked when I leave.
The lord gave me what I had,
and the lord has taken it away.
Praise the name of the lord!”
22In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.