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Home > Reading Thru the Bible > Chronological > Old Testament > Job

The Suffering of Job: Job 1.1-2.13

Many years ago, a man named Job lived in the land of Uz. He was a truly good person, who respected God and refused to do evil.

Job had seven sons and three daughters. He owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred pair of oxen, five hundred donkeys, and a large number of servants. He was the richest person in the East.

Job's sons took turns having feasts in their homes, and they always invited their three sisters to join in the eating and drinking. After each feast, Job would send for his children and perform a ceremony, as a way of asking God to forgive them of any wrongs they may have done. He would get up early the next morning and offer a sacrifice for each of them, just in case they had sinned or silently cursed God.

One day, when the angels had gathered around the LORD, and Satan was there with them, the LORD asked, "Satan, where have you been?"

Satan replied, "I have been going all over the earth."

Then the LORD asked, "What do you think of my servant Job? No one on earth is like him-he is a truly good person, who respects me and refuses to do evil."

"Why shouldn't he respect you?" Satan remarked. "You are like a wall protecting not only him, but his entire family and all his property. You make him successful in whatever he does, and his flocks and herds are everywhere. Try taking away everything he owns, and he will curse you to your face."

The LORD replied, "All right, Satan, do what you want with anything that belongs to him, but don't harm Job."

Then Satan left.

Job's sons and daughters were having a feast in the home of his oldest son, when someone rushed up to Job and said, "While your servants were plowing with your oxen, and your donkeys were nearby eating grass, a gang of Sabeans attacked and stole the oxen and donkeys! Your other servants were killed, and I was the only one who escaped to tell you."

That servant was still speaking, when a second one came running up and saying, "God sent down a fire that killed your sheep and your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you."

Before that servant finished speaking, a third one raced up and said, "Three gangs of Chaldeans attacked and stole your camels! All of your other servants were killed, and I am the only one who escaped to tell you."

That servant was still speaking, when a fourth one dashed up and said, "Your children were having a feast and drinking wine at the home of your oldest son, when suddenly a windstorm from the desert blew the house down, crushing all of your children. I am the only one who escaped to tell you."

Many years ago, a man named Job lived in the land of Uz. He was a truly good person, who respected God and refused to do evil.

Job had seven sons and three daughters. He owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred pair of oxen, five hundred donkeys, and a large number of servants. He was the richest person in the East.

Job's sons took turns having feasts in their homes, and they always invited their three sisters to join in the eating and drinking. After each feast, Job would send for his children and perform a ceremony, as a way of asking God to forgive them of any wrongs they may have done. He would get up early the next morning and offer a sacrifice for each of them, just in case they had sinned or silently cursed God.

One day, when the angels had gathered around the LORD, and Satan was there with them, the LORD asked, "Satan, where have you been?"

Satan replied, "I have been going all over the earth."

Then the LORD asked, "What do you think of my servant Job? No one on earth is like him—he is a truly good person, who respects me and refuses to do evil."

"Why shouldn't he respect you?" Satan remarked. "You are like a wall protecting not only him, but his entire family and all his property. You make him successful in whatever he does, and his flocks and herds are everywhere. Try taking away everything he owns, and he will curse you to your face."

The LORD replied, "All right, Satan, do what you want with anything that belongs to him, but don't harm Job."

Then Satan left.

Job's sons and daughters were having a feast in the home of his oldest son, when someone rushed up to Job and said, "While your servants were plowing with your oxen, and your donkeys were nearby eating grass, a gang of Sabeans attacked and stole the oxen and donkeys! Your other servants were killed, and I was the only one who escaped to tell you."

That servant was still speaking, when a second one came running up and saying, "God sent down a fire that killed your sheep and your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you."

Before that servant finished speaking, a third one raced up and said, "Three gangs of Chaldeans attacked and stole your camels! All of your other servants were killed, and I am the only one who escaped to tell you."

That servant was still speaking, when a fourth one dashed up and said, "Your children were having a feast and drinking wine at the home of your oldest son, when suddenly a windstorm from the desert blew the house down, crushing all of your children. I am the only one who escaped to tell you."

When Job heard this, he tore his clothes and shaved his head because of his great sorrow. He knelt on the ground, then worshiped God and said:

    "We bring nothing at birth;
    we take nothing;
        with us at death.
    The LORD alone gives and takes.
    Praise the name of the LORD!"

In spite of everything, Job did not sin or accuse God of doing wrong.

When the angels gathered around the LORD again, Satan was there with them, and the LORD asked, "Satan, where have you been?"

Satan replied, "I have been going all over the earth."

Then the LORD asked, "What do you think of my servant Job? No one on earth is like him—he is a truly good person, who respects me and refuses to do evil. And he hasn't changed, even though you persuaded me to destroy him for no reason."

Satan answered, "There's no pain like your own. People will do anything to stay alive. Try striking Job's own body with pain, and he will curse you to your face."

"All right!" the LORD replied. "Make Job suffer as much as you want, but just don't kill him." Satan left and caused painful sores to break out all over Job's body—from head to toe.

Then Job sat on the ash—heap to show his sorrow. And while he was scraping his sores with a broken piece of pottery, his wife asked, "Why do you still trust God? Why don't you curse him and die?"

Job replied, "Don't talk like a fool! If we accept blessings from God, we must accept trouble as well." In all that happened, Job never once said anything against God.

Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuah, and Zophar from Naamah were three of Job's friends, and they heard about his troubles. So they agreed to visit Job and comfort him. When they came near enough to see Job, they could hardly recognize him. And in their great sorrow, they tore their clothes, then sprinkled dust on their heads and cried bitterly. For seven days and nights, they sat silently on the ground beside him, because they realized what terrible pain he was in.


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The text of the contemporary English Version (CEV) appearing on or deriving from this or any other web page is for personal use only. Any other use of the CEV must be in conformity with the Quotation Policy for the contemporary English Version. For more information about the Contemporary English Version, the Quotations Policy and for inquiries about permission to use the contemporary English Version, go to americanbible.org.

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