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Job 1-3 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Job and His Family

There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He had seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred donkeys, and very many servants; so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. His sons used to go and hold feasts in one another’s houses in turn; and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the feast days had run their course, Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” This is what Job always did.

Attack on Job’s Character

One day the heavenly beings[a] came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[b] also came among them. The Lord said to Satan,[c] “Where have you come from?” Satan[d] answered the Lord, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” The Lord said to Satan,[e] “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil.” Then Satan[f] answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have you not put a fence around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 The Lord said to Satan,[g] “Very well, all that he has is in your power; only do not stretch out your hand against him!” So Satan[h] went out from the presence of the Lord.

Job Loses Property and Children

13 One day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the eldest brother’s house, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans fell on them and carried them off, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was still speaking, another came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was still speaking, another came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three columns, made a raid on the camels and carried them off, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was still speaking, another came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house, 19 and suddenly a great wind came across the desert, struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; I alone have escaped to tell you.”

20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrongdoing.

Attack on Job’s Health

One day the heavenly beings[i] came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[j] also came among them to present himself before the Lord. The Lord said to Satan,[k] “Where have you come from?” Satan[l] answered the Lord, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” The Lord said to Satan,[m] “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil. He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason.” Then Satan[n] answered the Lord, “Skin for skin! All that people have they will give to save their lives.[o] But stretch out your hand now and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan,[p] “Very well, he is in your power; only spare his life.”

So Satan[q] went out from the presence of the Lord, and inflicted loathsome sores on Job from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. Job[r] took a potsherd with which to scrape himself, and sat among the ashes.

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still persist in your integrity? Curse[s] God, and die.” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as any foolish woman would speak. Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Job’s Three Friends

11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all these troubles that had come upon him, each of them set out from his home—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They met together to go and console and comfort him. 12 When they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him, and they raised their voices and wept aloud; they tore their robes and threw dust in the air upon their heads. 13 They sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.

Job Curses the Day He Was Born

After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. Job said:

“Let the day perish in which I was born,
    and the night that said,
    ‘A man-child is conceived.’
Let that day be darkness!
    May God above not seek it,
    or light shine on it.
Let gloom and deep darkness claim it.
    Let clouds settle upon it;
    let the blackness of the day terrify it.
That night—let thick darkness seize it!
    let it not rejoice among the days of the year;
    let it not come into the number of the months.
Yes, let that night be barren;
    let no joyful cry be heard[t] in it.
Let those curse it who curse the Sea,[u]
    those who are skilled to rouse up Leviathan.
Let the stars of its dawn be dark;
    let it hope for light, but have none;
    may it not see the eyelids of the morning—
10 because it did not shut the doors of my mother’s womb,
    and hide trouble from my eyes.

11 “Why did I not die at birth,
    come forth from the womb and expire?
12 Why were there knees to receive me,
    or breasts for me to suck?
13 Now I would be lying down and quiet;
    I would be asleep; then I would be at rest
14 with kings and counselors of the earth
    who rebuild ruins for themselves,
15 or with princes who have gold,
    who fill their houses with silver.
16 Or why was I not buried like a stillborn child,
    like an infant that never sees the light?
17 There the wicked cease from troubling,
    and there the weary are at rest.
18 There the prisoners are at ease together;
    they do not hear the voice of the taskmaster.
19 The small and the great are there,
    and the slaves are free from their masters.

20 “Why is light given to one in misery,
    and life to the bitter in soul,
21 who long for death, but it does not come,
    and dig for it more than for hidden treasures;
22 who rejoice exceedingly,
    and are glad when they find the grave?
23 Why is light given to one who cannot see the way,
    whom God has fenced in?
24 For my sighing comes like[v] my bread,
    and my groanings are poured out like water.
25 Truly the thing that I fear comes upon me,
    and what I dread befalls me.
26 I am not at ease, nor am I quiet;
    I have no rest; but trouble comes.”

Footnotes:

  1. Job 1:6 Heb sons of God
  2. Job 1:6 Or the Accuser; Heb ha-satan
  3. Job 1:7 Or the Accuser; Heb ha-satan
  4. Job 1:7 Or the Accuser; Heb ha-satan
  5. Job 1:8 Or the Accuser; Heb ha-satan
  6. Job 1:9 Or the Accuser; Heb ha-satan
  7. Job 1:12 Or the Accuser; Heb ha-satan
  8. Job 1:12 Or the Accuser; Heb ha-satan
  9. Job 2:1 Heb sons of God
  10. Job 2:1 Or the Accuser; Heb ha-satan
  11. Job 2:2 Or the Accuser; Heb ha-satan
  12. Job 2:2 Or The Accuser; Heb ha-satan
  13. Job 2:3 Or the Accuser; Heb ha-satan
  14. Job 2:4 Or the Accuser; Heb ha-satan
  15. Job 2:4 Or All that the man has he will give for his life
  16. Job 2:6 Or the Accuser; Heb ha-satan
  17. Job 2:7 Or the Accuser; Heb ha-satan
  18. Job 2:8 Heb He
  19. Job 2:9 Heb Bless
  20. Job 3:7 Heb come
  21. Job 3:8 Cn: Heb day
  22. Job 3:24 Heb before
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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