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Job 1-4Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Job and His Family

There was a man in the country of Uz named Job. He was a man of perfect integrity, who feared God and turned away from evil. He had seven sons and three daughters. His estate included 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and a very large number of servants. Job was the greatest man among all the people of the east.

His sons used to take turns having banquets at their homes. They would send an invitation to their three sisters to eat and drink with them. Whenever a round of banqueting was over, Job would send for his children and purify them, rising early in the morning to offer burnt offerings for[a] all of them. For Job thought: Perhaps my children have sinned, having cursed God in their hearts. This was Job’s regular practice.

Satan’s First Test of Job

One day the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[b] also came with them. The Lord asked Satan, “Where have you come from?”

“From roaming through the earth,” Satan answered Him, “and walking around on it.”

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil.”

Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Haven’t You placed a hedge around him, his household, and everything he owns? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out Your hand and strike everything he owns, and he will surely curse You to Your face.”

12 “Very well,” the Lord told Satan, “everything he owns is in your power. However, you must not lay a hand on Job himself.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence.

13 One day when Job’s sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 a messenger came to Job and reported: “While the oxen were plowing and the donkeys grazing nearby, 15 the Sabeans swooped down and took them away. They struck down the servants with the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

16 He was still speaking when another messenger came and reported: “A lightning storm[c] struck from heaven. It burned up the sheep and the servants and devoured them, and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

17 That messenger was still speaking when yet another came and reported: “The Chaldeans formed three bands, made a raid on the camels, and took them away. They struck down the servants with the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

18 He was still speaking when another messenger came and reported: “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house. 19 Suddenly a powerful wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on the young people so that they died, and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

20 Then Job stood up, tore his robe, and shaved his head.[d] He fell to the ground and worshiped, 21 saying:

Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will leave this life.[e]
The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.
Praise the name of Yahweh.

22 Throughout all this Job did not sin or blame God for anything.[f]

Satan’s Second Test of Job

One day the sons of God came again to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before the Lord. The Lord asked Satan, “Where have you come from?”

“From roaming through the earth,” Satan answered Him, “and walking around on it.”

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil. He still retains his integrity, even though you incited Me against him, to destroy him without just cause.”

“Skin for skin!” Satan answered the Lord. “A man will give up everything he owns in exchange for his life. But stretch out Your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse You to Your face.”

“Very well,” the Lord told Satan, “he is in your power; only spare his life.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence and infected Job with terrible boils from the sole of his foot to the top of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery to scrape himself while he sat among the ashes.[g]

His wife said to him, “Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God and die!”

10 “You speak as a foolish woman speaks,” he told her. “Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?” Throughout all this Job did not sin in what he said.[h]

Job’s Three Friends

11 Now when Job’s three friends—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite—heard about all this adversity that had happened to him, each of them came from his home. They met together to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. 12 When they looked from a distance, they could barely recognize him. They wept aloud, and each man tore his robe and threw dust into the air and on his head. 13 Then they sat on the ground with him seven days and nights, but no one spoke a word to him because they saw that his suffering was very intense.

Job’s Opening Speech

After this, Job began to speak and cursed the day he was born. He said:

May the day I was born perish,
and the night when they said,
“A boy is conceived.”
If only that day had turned to darkness!
May God above not care about it,
or light shine on it.
May darkness and gloom reclaim it,
and a cloud settle over it.
May an eclipse of the sun[i] terrify it.
If only darkness had taken that night away!
May it not appear[j] among the days of the year
or be listed in the calendar.[k]
Yes, may that night be barren;
may no joyful shout be heard in it.
Let those who curse certain days
cast a spell on it,
those who are skilled in rousing Leviathan.
May its morning stars grow dark.
May it wait for daylight but have none;
may it not see the breaking[l] of dawn.
10 For that night did not shut
the doors of my mother’s womb,
and hide sorrow from my eyes.

11 Why was I not stillborn;
why didn’t I die as I came from the womb?
12 Why did the knees receive me,
and why were there breasts for me to nurse?
13 Now I would certainly be lying down in peace;
I would be asleep.
Then I would be at rest
14 with the kings and counselors of the earth,
who rebuilt ruined cities for themselves,
15 or with princes who had gold,
who filled their houses with silver.
16 Or why was I not hidden like a miscarried child,
like infants who never see daylight?
17 There the wicked cease to make trouble,
and there the weary find rest.
18 The captives are completely at ease;
they do not hear the voice of their oppressor.
19 Both small and great are there,
and the slave is set free from his master.

20 Why is light given to one burdened with grief,
and life to those whose existence is bitter,
21 who wait for death, but it does not come,
and search for it more than for hidden treasure,
22 who are filled with much joy
and are glad when they reach the grave?
23 Why is life given to a man whose path is hidden,
whom God has hedged in?
24 I sigh when food is put before me,[m]
and my groans pour out like water.
25 For the thing I feared has overtaken me,
and what I dreaded has happened to me.
26 I cannot relax or be still;
I have no rest, for trouble comes.

First Series of Speeches

Eliphaz Speaks

Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:

Should anyone try to speak with you
when you are exhausted?
Yet who can keep from speaking?
Indeed, you have instructed many
and have strengthened weak hands.
Your words have steadied the one who was stumbling
and braced the knees that were buckling.
But now that this has happened to you,
you have become exhausted.
It strikes you, and you are dismayed.
Isn’t your piety your confidence,
and the integrity of your life[n] your hope?
Consider: who has perished when he was innocent?
Where have the honest been destroyed?
In my experience, those who plow injustice
and those who sow trouble reap the same.
They perish at a single blast from God
and come to an end by the breath of His nostrils.
10 The lion may roar and the fierce lion growl,
but the fangs of young lions are broken.
11 The strong lion dies if it catches no prey,
and the cubs of the lioness are scattered.

12 A word was brought to me in secret;
my ears caught a whisper of it.
13 Among unsettling thoughts from visions in the night,
when deep sleep descends on men,
14 fear and trembling came over me
and made all my bones shake.
15 A wind[o] passed by me,
and I shuddered with fear.[p]
16 A figure stood there,
but I could not recognize its appearance;
a form loomed before my eyes.
I heard a quiet voice:
17 “Can a person be more righteous than God,
or a man more pure than his Maker?”
18 If God puts no trust in His servants
and He charges His angels with foolishness,[q]
19 how much more those who dwell in clay houses,
whose foundation is in the dust,
who are crushed like a moth!
20 They are smashed to pieces from dawn to dusk;
they perish forever while no one notices.
21 Are their tent cords not pulled up?
They die without wisdom.

Footnotes:

  1. Job 1:5 Lit for the number of
  2. Job 1:6 Or the adversary
  3. Job 1:16 Lit The fire of God
  4. Job 1:20 This custom demonstrated mourning.
  5. Job 1:21 Lit will return there; Ps 139:13,15
  6. Job 1:22 Lit or ascribe blame to God
  7. Job 2:8 This custom demonstrated mourning.
  8. Job 2:10 Lit sin with his lips
  9. Job 3:5 Lit May a darkening of daylight
  10. Job 3:6 LXX, Syr, Tg, Vg; MT reads rejoice
  11. Job 3:6 Lit or enter the number of months
  12. Job 3:9 Lit the eyelids
  13. Job 3:24 Or My sighing serves as my food
  14. Job 4:6 Lit ways
  15. Job 4:15 Or A spirit
  16. Job 4:15 Or and the hair on my body stood up
  17. Job 4:18 Or error; Hb obscure

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