1. In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.
2. He had seven sons and three daughters,
3. and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.
4. His sons used to take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.
5. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, "Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." This was Job's regular custom.
6. One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them.
7. The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
8. Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."
9. "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied.
10. "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.
11. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."
12. The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
13. One day when Job's sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house,
14. a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby,
15. and the Sabeans attacked and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
16. While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
17. While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
18. While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, "Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house,
19. when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
20. At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship
21. and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."
22. In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
1. On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him.
2. And the LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
3. Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason."
4. "Skin for skin!" Satan replied. "A man will give all he has for his own life.
5. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face."
6. The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life."
7. So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.
8. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.
9. His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!"
10. He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
11. When Job's three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.
12. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads.
13. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.
1. After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.
2. He said:
3. "May the day of my birth perish, and the night it was said, `A boy is born!'
4. That day--may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine upon it.
5. May darkness and deep shadow claim it once more; may a cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm its light.
6. That night--may thick darkness seize it; may it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months.
7. May that night be barren; may no shout of joy be heard in it.
8. May those who curse days curse that day, those who are ready to rouse Leviathan.
9. May its morning stars become dark; may it wait for daylight in vain and not see the first rays of dawn,
10. for it did not shut the doors of the womb on me to hide trouble from my eyes.
11. "Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?
12. Why were there knees to receive me and breasts that I might be nursed?
13. For now I would be lying down in peace; I would be asleep and at rest
14. with kings and counselors of the earth, who built for themselves places now lying in ruins,
15. with rulers who had gold, who filled their houses with silver.
16. Or why was I not hidden in the ground like a stillborn child, like an infant who never saw the light of day?
17. There the wicked cease from turmoil, and there the weary are at rest.
18. Captives also enjoy their ease; they no longer hear the slave driver's shout.
19. The small and the great are there, and the slave is freed from his master.
20. "Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul,
21. to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure,
22. who are filled with gladness and rejoice when they reach the grave?
23. Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in?
24. For sighing comes to me instead of food; my groans pour out like water.
25. What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.
26. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil."
1. Then Job replied:
2. "How long will you torment me and crush me with words?
3. Ten times now you have reproached me; shamelessly you attack me.
4. If it is true that I have gone astray, my error remains my concern alone.
5. If indeed you would exalt yourselves above me and use my humiliation against me,
6. then know that God has wronged me and drawn his net around me.
7. "Though I cry, `I've been wronged!' I get no response; though I call for help, there is no justice.
8. He has blocked my way so I cannot pass; he has shrouded my paths in darkness.
9. He has stripped me of my honor and removed the crown from my head.
10. He tears me down on every side till I am gone; he uproots my hope like a tree.
11. His anger burns against me; he counts me among his enemies.
12. His troops advance in force; they build a siege ramp against me and encamp around my tent.
13. "He has alienated my brothers from me; my acquaintances are completely estranged from me.
14. My kinsmen have gone away; my friends have forgotten me.
15. My guests and my maidservants count me a stranger; they look upon me as an alien.
16. I summon my servant, but he does not answer, though I beg him with my own mouth.
17. My breath is offensive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own brothers.
18. Even the little boys scorn me; when I appear, they ridicule me.
19. All my intimate friends detest me; those I love have turned against me.
20. I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped with only the skin of my teeth.
21. "Have pity on me, my friends, have pity, for the hand of God has struck me.
22. Why do you pursue me as God does? Will you never get enough of my flesh?
23. "Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll,
24. that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever!
25. I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.
26. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;
27. I myself will see him with my own eyes--I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
28. "If you say, `How we will hound him, since the root of the trouble lies in him, '
29. you should fear the sword yourselves; for wrath will bring punishment by the sword, and then you will know that there is judgment. "
1. "But now they mock me, men younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to put with my sheep dogs.
2. Of what use was the strength of their hands to me, since their vigor had gone from them?
3. Haggard from want and hunger, they roamed the parched land in desolate wastelands at night.
4. In the brush they gathered salt herbs, and their food was the root of the broom tree.
5. They were banished from their fellow men, shouted at as if they were thieves.
6. They were forced to live in the dry stream beds, among the rocks and in holes in the ground.
7. They brayed among the bushes and huddled in the undergrowth.
8. A base and nameless brood, they were driven out of the land.
9. "And now their sons mock me in song; I have become a byword among them.
10. They detest me and keep their distance; they do not hesitate to spit in my face.
11. Now that God has unstrung my bow and afflicted me, they throw off restraint in my presence.
12. On my right the tribe attacks; they lay snares for my feet, they build their siege ramps against me.
13. They break up my road; they succeed in destroying me-- without anyone's helping them.
14. They advance as through a gaping breach; amid the ruins they come rolling in.
15. Terrors overwhelm me; my dignity is driven away as by the wind, my safety vanishes like a cloud.
16. "And now my life ebbs away; days of suffering grip me.
17. Night pierces my bones; my gnawing pains never rest.
18. In his great power [God] becomes like clothing to me ; he binds me like the neck of my garment.
19. He throws me into the mud, and I am reduced to dust and ashes.
20. "I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me.
21. You turn on me ruthlessly; with the might of your hand you attack me.
22. You snatch me up and drive me before the wind; you toss me about in the storm.
23. I know you will bring me down to death, to the place appointed for all the living.
24. "Surely no one lays a hand on a broken man when he cries for help in his distress.
25. Have I not wept for those in trouble? Has not my soul grieved for the poor?
26. Yet when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came darkness.
27. The churning inside me never stops; days of suffering confront me.
28. I go about blackened, but not by the sun; I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.
29. I have become a brother of jackals, a companion of owls.
30. My skin grows black and peels; my body burns with fever.
31. My harp is tuned to mourning, and my flute to the sound of wailing.
1. Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:
2. "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?
3. Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.
4. "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand.
5. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6. On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone--
7. while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
8. "Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb,
9. when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10. when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place,
11. when I said, `This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt'?
12. "Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place,
13. that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it?
14. The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; its features stand out like those of a garment.
15. The wicked are denied their light, and their upraised arm is broken.
16. "Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17. Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death ?
18. Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this.
19. "What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside?
20. Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
21. Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!
22. "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail,
23. which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle?
24. What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
25. Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm,
26. to water a land where no man lives, a desert with no one in it,
27. to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass?
28. Does the rain have a father? Who fathers the drops of dew?
29. From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
30. when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen?
31. "Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion?
32. Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs?
33. Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up [God's ] dominion over the earth?
34. "Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water?
35. Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, `Here we are'?
36. Who endowed the heart with wisdom or gave understanding to the mind ?
37. Who has the wisdom to count the clouds? Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
38. when the dust becomes hard and the clods of earth stick together?
39. "Do you hunt the prey for the lioness and satisfy the hunger of the lions
40. when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in a thicket?
41. Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food?