1 A man named Job lived in Uz. He was a man of integrity: He was decent, he feared God, and he stayed away from evil. 2 He had seven sons and three daughters. 3 He owned 7,000 sheep and goats, 3,000 camels, 1,000 oxen, 500 donkeys, and a large number of servants. He was the most influential person in the Middle East.
4 His sons used to go to each other’s homes, where they would have parties. (Each brother took his turn having a party.) They would send someone to invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.
5 When they finished having their parties, Job would send for them in order to cleanse them from sin. He would get up early in the morning and sacrifice burnt offerings for each of them. Job thought, “My children may have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Job offered sacrifices for them all the time.
Satan Challenges the Lord
6 One day when the sons of God came to stand in front of the Lord, Satan the Accuser came along with them.
7 The Lord asked Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the Lord, “From wandering all over the earth.”
8 The Lord asked Satan, “Have you thought about my servant Job? No one in the world is like him! He is a man of integrity: He is decent, he fears God, and he stays away from evil.”
9 Satan answered the Lord, “Haven’t you given Job a reason to fear God? 10 Haven’t you put a protective fence around him, his home, and everything he has? You have blessed everything he does. His cattle have spread out over the land. 11 But now stretch out your hand, and strike everything he has. I bet he’ll curse you to your face.”
12 The Lord told Satan, “Everything he has is in your power, but you must not lay a hand on him!”
Then Satan left the Lord’s presence.
Job’s First Crisis
13 One day when Job’s sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s home, 14 a messenger came to Job. He said, “While the oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, 15 men from Sheba attacked. They took the livestock and massacred the servants. I’m the only one who has escaped to tell you.”
16 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “A fire from God fell from heaven and completely burned your flocks and servants. I’m the only one who has escaped to tell you.”
17 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three companies and made a raid on the camels. They took the camels and massacred the servants. I’m the only one who has escaped to tell you.”
18 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine at their oldest brother’s home 19 when suddenly a great storm swept across the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It fell on the young people, and they died. I’m the only one who has escaped to tell you.”
20 Job stood up, tore his robe in grief, and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 He said,
“Naked I came from my mother, and naked I will return. The Lord has given, and the Lord has taken away! May the name of the Lord be praised.”
22 Through all this Job did not sin or blame God for doing anything wrong.
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