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Now one day, it was time for the sons of God, God’s heavenly messengers, to present themselves to the Eternal One to give reports and receive instructions. The Accuser[a] was with them there again, also ready to present himself to Him.

Eternal One (to the Accuser): Where have you been?

The Accuser: Oh, roaming here and there, running about the earth and observing its inhabitants.

Eternal One: Well, have you looked into the man, Job, My servant? He is unlike any other person on the whole earth—a very good man—his character spotless, his integrity unquestioned. In fact, he so believes in Me that he seeks, in all things, to honor Me and deliberately avoids evil in all of his affairs. And I have found him to be unswervingly committed, despite the fact that you provoked Me to wreck him for no particular reason, to take away My protection and his prosperity.

The Accuser: Well, as they say, “Skin for skin!” It is easy to be so pious in the face of such health. Surely a man will give what he has for the sake of his own life, so now extend Your hand! Afflict him, both bone and body, and he will curse You, right to Your face.

Eternal One: Well then, this is how it will be: he is now in your hand. One thing, though: you will not take his life. Job must not be killed.

With that, the Accuser left the court and the Eternal’s presence, and he infected Job with a painful skin disease. From the soles of his feet to the crown of his head, his body was covered with boils. Job took a broken piece of pottery to scrape his wounds, and while he sat in the ashes just outside of town, his wife found him.

Job’s Wife: Will you still not swerve in your commitments? Curse God and die!

Job: 10 You’re speaking nonsense like some depraved woman. Are we to accept the good that comes from God, but not accept the bad?

Throughout all of this, Job did not sin with his mouth; he would not curse God as the Accuser predicted.

11 Now Job had three friends: Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuah, and Zophar from Naamath. When these three received word of the horror that had befallen Job, they left their homes, and agreed to meet together to mourn with and comfort their friend.

These friends are from different regions: Eliphaz comes from Edomite lands to the southeast, while Bildad and Zophar come from more eastern lands.

12 They approached the town ash-heap, but they were still far off when they caught sight of Job. His sores were so severe and his appearance so changed by his condition that they almost didn’t recognize him. Upon seeing him and apprehending the extent of his suffering, they cried out, burst into tears, tore their robes, reached down into the dust and ashes at their feet, and threw ash into the air and onto their heads. 13 Then, they sat with him on the ground and stayed there with him for seven days and seven nights, mourning as if he were already dead. All the while no one spoke a single word because they saw his profound agony and grief.


  1. 2:1 Literally, the Satan

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