1 There lived in the land of Uz a man named Job—a good[a] man who feared God and stayed away from evil. 2-3 He had a large family of seven sons and three daughters and was immensely wealthy,[b] for he owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and employed many servants. He was, in fact, the richest cattleman in that entire area.
4 Every year when Job’s sons had birthdays, they invited their brothers and sisters to their homes for a celebration. On these occasions they would eat and drink with great merriment. 5 When these birthday parties ended—and sometimes they lasted several days—Job would summon his children to him and sanctify them, getting up early in the morning and offering a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and turned away from God[c] in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice.
6 One day as the angels[d] came to present themselves before the Lord, Satan, the Accuser, came with them.
7 “Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan.
And Satan replied, “From earth, where I’ve been watching everything that’s going on.”
8 Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth—a good man[e] who fears God and will have nothing to do with evil.”
9 “Why shouldn’t he when you pay him so well?” Satan scoffed. 10 “You have always protected him and his home and his property from all harm. You have prospered everything he does—look how rich he is! No wonder he ‘worships’ you! 11 But just take away his wealth, and you’ll see him curse you to your face!”
12-13 And the Lord replied to Satan, “You may do anything you like with his wealth, but don’t harm him physically.”
So Satan went away; and sure enough, not long afterwards when Job’s sons and daughters were dining at the oldest brother’s house, tragedy struck.
14-15 A messenger rushed to Job’s home with this news: “Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided us, drove away the animals, and killed all the farmhands except me. I am the only one left.”
16 While this messenger was still speaking, another arrived with more bad news: “The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the herdsmen, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
17 Before this man finished, still another messenger rushed in: “Three bands of Chaldeans have driven off your camels and killed your servants, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
18 As he was still speaking, another arrived to say, “Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother’s home, 19 when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and engulfed the house so that the roof fell in on them and all are dead; and I alone escaped to tell you.”
20 Then Job stood up and tore his robe in grief[f] and fell down upon the ground before God. 21 “I came naked from my mother’s womb,” he said, “and I shall have nothing when I die. The Lord gave me everything I had, and they were his to take away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
22 In all of this Job did not sin or revile God.
The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.