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1 A man named Job lived in Uz. He was a man of integrity! He was decent, he respected God, and he stayed away from evil.

2 He had seven sons and three daughters.

3 He owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, one thousand head of cattle, and five hundred donkeys. He also had a large number of servants. In fact he was the greatest richest of all the Orientals in the East!

4 Job's sons used to take turns giving a feast. They invited many others to come, and they always invited their three sisters to join them.

5 The morning after each feast, Job would get up early to offer sacrifices for each of his children in order to purify them. He always did this because he thought that one of them might have sinned by insulting God unintentionally.

6 The day came when heavenly beings appeared before Jehovah. Satan was there among them.

7 Jehovah asked him: »What have you been doing?« Satan answered: »I have been walking here and there and roaming around the earth.«

8 »Did you notice my servant Job?« Jehovah asked. »There is no one on earth as faithful and good as he is. He respects me and is careful not to do anything evil.«

9 Satan replied: »Would Job respect you if he got nothing out of it?

10 »You have always protected him and his family and everything he owns. You bless everything he does. You have given him enough cattle to fill the whole country.

11 »Now suppose you take away everything he has. He will curse you to your face!«

12 »All right,« Jehovah said to Satan, »everything he has is in your power, but you must not hurt Job!« So Satan left.

13 One day when Job's children were having a feast at the home of their oldest brother,

14 a messenger came running to Job. »We were plowing the fields with the cattle,« he said, »and the donkeys were in a nearby pasture.

15 »Suddenly the Sabeans attacked and stole them all. They killed every one of your servants except me. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.«

16 Before he finished speaking, another servant came and said: »Lightning struck the sheep and the shepherds and killed them all. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.«

17 Before he finished speaking, another servant came and said: »Three bands of Chaldean raiders attacked us. They took away the camels and killed all your servants except me. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.«

18 No sooner had he finished speaking, then another servant came and said: »Your children were having a feast at the home of your oldest son,

19 when a storm swept in from the desert. It blew the house down and killed them all. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.«

20 Then Job got up and tore his clothes in grief. He shaved his head and threw himself face down on the ground.

21 He said: »I was born with nothing naked, and I will die with nothing. Jehovah gave, and now he has taken away. Blessed be the name of Jehovah!«

22 In spite of everything that had happened, Job did not sin by blaming God.