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Job 1-3Living Bible (TLB)

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.

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. 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.

One day as the angels[d] came to present themselves before the Lord, Satan, the Accuser, came with them.

“Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan.

And Satan replied, “From earth, where I’ve been watching everything that’s going on.”

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.”

“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.

Now the angels[g] came again to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan was with them.

“Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan.

“From earth, where I’ve been watching everything that’s going on,” Satan replied.

“Well, have you noticed my servant Job?” the Lord asked. “He is the finest man in all the earth—a good man who fears God and turns away from all evil. And he has kept his faith in me despite the fact that you persuaded me to let you harm him without any cause.”

4-5 “Skin for skin,” Satan replied. “A man will give anything to save his life. Touch his body with sickness, and he will curse you to your face!”

“Do with him as you please,” the Lord replied; “only spare his life.”

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with a terrible case of boils from head to foot. Then Job took a broken piece of pottery to scrape himself and sat among the ashes.

His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to be godly when God has done all this to you? Curse him and die.”

10 But he replied, “You talk like some heathen woman. What? Shall we receive only pleasant things from the hand of God and never anything unpleasant?” So in all this Job said nothing wrong.

11 When three of Job’s friends heard of all the tragedy that had befallen him, they got in touch with each other and traveled from their homes to comfort and console him. Their names were Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. 12 Job was so changed that they could scarcely recognize him. Wailing loudly in despair, they tore their robes and threw dust into the air and put earth on their heads to demonstrate their sorrow. 13 Then they sat upon the ground with him silently for seven days and nights, no one speaking a word; for they saw that his suffering was too great for words.

At last Job spoke and cursed the day of his birth.

2-3 “Let the day of my birth be cursed,” he said, “and the night when I was conceived. Let that day be forever forgotten.[h] Let it be lost even to God, shrouded in eternal darkness. Yes, let the darkness claim it for its own, and may a black cloud overshadow it. May it be blotted off the calendar, never again to be counted among the days of the month of that year. Let that night be bleak and joyless. Let those who are experts at cursing curse it.[i] Let the stars of the night disappear. Let it long for light but never see it, never see the morning light. 10 Curse it for its failure to shut my mother’s womb, for letting me be born to come to all this trouble.

11 “Why didn’t I die at birth? 12 Why did the midwife let me live? Why did she nurse me at her breasts? 13 For if only I had died at birth, then I would be quiet now, asleep and at rest, 14-15 along with prime ministers and kings with all their pomp, and wealthy princes whose castles are full of rich treasures. 16 Oh, to have been stillborn!—to have never breathed or seen the light. 17 For there in death the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest. 18 There even prisoners are at ease, with no brutal jailer to curse them. 19 Both rich and poor alike are there, and the slave is free at last from his master.

20-21 “Oh, why should light and life be given to those in misery and bitterness, who long for death, and it won’t come; who search for death as others search for food or money? 22 What blessed relief when at last they die! 23 Why is a man allowed to be born if God is only going to give him a hopeless life of uselessness and frustration? 24 I cannot eat for sighing; my groans pour out like water. 25 What I always feared has happened to me. 26 I was not fat and lazy, yet trouble struck me down.”

Footnotes:

  1. Job 1:1 good, literally, “upright.”
  2. Job 1:2 was immensely wealthy, implied.
  3. Job 1:5 turned away from God, literally, “have cursed God.”
  4. Job 1:6 the angels, literally, “the sons of God.”
  5. Job 1:8 a good man, implied.
  6. Job 1:20 tore his robe in grief, literally, “tore his robe and shaved his head.”
  7. Job 2:1 the angels, literally, “the sons of God.”
  8. Job 3:4 forever forgotten, literally, “darkness.”
  9. Job 3:8 Let those who are experts at cursing curse it, literally, “Let them who can curse the sea, who know how to rouse the sea monster, curse it.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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