1There was a man named Job, living in the land of Uz, who worshipped God and was faithful to him. He was a good man, careful not to do anything evil. 2He had seven sons and three daughters, 3and owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 1,000 head of cattle, and 500 donkeys. He also had a large number of servants and was the richest man in the East.
4Job's sons used to take it in turns to give a feast, to which all the others would come, and they always invited their three sisters to join them. 5The morning after each feast, Job would get up early and 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.
6When the day came for the heavenly beings to appear before the LORD, Satan was there among them. 7The LORD asked him, “What have you been doing?”
Satan answered, “I have been walking here and there, roaming round the earth.”
8“Did you notice my servant Job?” the LORD asked. “There is no one on earth as faithful and good as he is. He worships me and is careful not to do anything evil.”
9Satan replied, “Would Job worship you if he got nothing out of it? 10You have always protected him and his family and everything he owns. You bless everything he does, and you have given him enough cattle to fill the whole country. 11But now suppose you take away everything he has — he will curse you to your face!”
12“All right,” the LORD said to Satan, “everything he has is in your power, but you must not hurt Job himself.” So Satan left.
Job's Children and Wealth are Destroyed
13One day when Job's children were having a feast at the home of their eldest brother, 14a messenger came running to Job. “We were ploughing the fields with the oxen,” he said, “and the donkeys were in a nearby pasture. 15Suddenly 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.”
16Before he had 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.”
17Before he had finished speaking, another servant came and said, “Three bands of Chaldean raiders attacked us, took away the camels, and killed all your servants except me. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”
18Before he had finished speaking, another servant came and said, “Your children were having a feast at the home of your eldest son, 19when 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.”
20Then Job stood up and tore his clothes in grief. He shaved his head and threw himself face downwards on the ground. 21He said, “I was born with nothing, and I will die with nothing. The LORD gave, and now he has taken away. May his name be praised!”
22In spite of everything that had happened, Job did not sin by blaming God.