New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Job’s Piety. 1 In the land of Uz[a] there was a blameless and upright man named Job,(A) who feared God and avoided evil. 2 Seven sons and three daughters were born to him; 3 and he had seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred she-donkeys, and a very large household, so that he was greater than anyone in the East.[b] 4 His sons used to take turns giving feasts, sending invitations to their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 And when each feast had run its course, Job would send for them and sanctify them, rising early and offering sacrifices for every one of them. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned and cursed[c] God in their hearts.” Job did this habitually.
The Interview Between the Lord and the Satan. 6 (B)One day, when the sons of God[d] came to present themselves before the Lord, the satan also came among them.(C) 7 The Lord said to the satan, “Where have you been?” Then the satan answered the Lord and said,(D) “Roaming the earth and patrolling it.” 8 The Lord said to the satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him, blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil.” 9 The satan answered the Lord and said, “Is it for nothing that Job is God-fearing? 10 Have you not surrounded him and his family and all that he has with your protection? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his livestock are spread over the land. 11 (E)But now put forth your hand and touch all that he has, and surely he will curse you to your face.” 12 The Lord said to the satan, “Very well, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on him.” So the satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.
The First Trial. 13 One day, while his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their eldest brother, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys grazing beside them, 15 and the Sabeans[e] carried them off in a raid. They put the servants to the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 He was still speaking when another came and said, “God’s fire has fallen from heaven and struck the sheep and the servants and consumed them; I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 He was still speaking when another came and said, “The Chaldeans[f] formed three columns, seized the camels, carried them off, and put the servants to the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 He was still speaking when another came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their eldest brother, 19 and suddenly a great wind came from across the desert and smashed the four corners of the house. It fell upon the young people and they are dead; I alone have escaped to tell you.”
Job’s Reaction. 20 Then Job arose and tore his cloak and cut off his hair. He fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 He said,
22 In all this Job did not sin,(G) nor did he charge God with wrong.
The Second Interview. 1 One day, when the sons of God(H) came to present themselves before the Lord, the satan also came with them. 2 The Lord said to the satan, “Where have you been?” Then the satan answered the Lord and said, “Roaming the earth and patrolling it.” 3 The Lord said to the satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him, blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil.(I) He still holds fast to his innocence although you incited me against him to ruin him for nothing.” 4 The satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin![h] All that a man has he will give for his life. 5 (J)But put forth your hand and touch his bone and his flesh. Then surely he will curse you to your face.” 6 And the Lord said to the satan, “He is in your power; only spare his life.”
The Second Trial. 7 So the satan went forth from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with severe boils from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head.
Job’s Reaction. 8 He took a potsherd to scrape himself, as he sat among the ashes. 9 Then his wife said to him,(K) “Are you still holding to your innocence? Curse God and die!”[i] 10 But he said to her, “You speak as foolish women do. We accept good things from God; should we not accept evil?” Through all this, Job did not sin in what he said.(L)
Job’s Three Friends. 11 Now when three of Job’s friends heard of all the misfortune that had come upon him, they set out each one from his own place: Eliphaz from Teman,[j] Bildad from Shuh, and Zophar from Naamath. They met and journeyed together to give him sympathy and comfort. 12 But when, at a distance, they lifted up their eyes and did not recognize him, they began to weep aloud; they tore their cloaks and threw dust into the air over their heads. 13 Then they sat down upon the ground with him seven days and seven nights, but none of them spoke a word to him; for they saw how great was his suffering.
- 1:1 Uz: somewhere in Edom or Arabia; see Lam 4:21. Job: the name probably means “Where is the (divine) father?” In Hebrew it is almost a homonym with the word for “enemy” (see note on 13:24; cf. 33:10).
- 1:3 The East: that is, east of Palestine.
- 1:5 Cursed: lit., “blessed.” So also in v. 11; 2:5, 9.
- 1:6 Sons of God: members of the divine council; see Gn 6:1–4; Dt 32:8; Ps 82:1. The satan: lit., “adversary” (as in 1 Kgs 11:14). Here a member of the heavenly court, “the accuser” (Zec 3:1). In later biblical traditions this character will be developed as the devil (Gk. diabolos, “adversary”).
- 1:15 Sabeans: from southern Arabia.
- 1:17 Chaldeans: from southern Mesopotamia; in the mid-first millennium B.C., synonymous with “Babylonians.”
- 1:21 Go back there: to the earth; cf. Gn 2:7; see note on Sir 40:1.
- 2:4 Skin for skin: a proverbial expression derived perhaps from bartering; the precise meaning is unclear.
- 2:9 Curse God and die: the presupposition is that such blasphemy would be met with immediate death.
- 2:11 Teman: in Edom (see Gn 36:9–11). The Temanites (Jer 49:7; cf. Ob 8) enjoyed a reputation for wisdom. Shuh and Naamath: locations unknown.