1There was once a man in the land of Uz cal ed Job: a sound and honest man who feared God andshunned evil. 2Seven sons and three daughters were born to him. 3And he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and fivehundred she-donkeys, and many servants besides. This man was the most prosperous of al the Sons of the East. 4It was the custom of his sons to hold banquets in one another's houses in turn, and to invite their threesisters to eat and drink with them. 5Once each series of banquets was over, Job would send for them to come and be purified, and at dawnon the fol owing day he would make a burnt offering for each of them. 'Perhaps', Job would say, 'my sons havesinned and in their heart blasphemed.' So that was what Job used to do each time. 6One day when the sons of God came to attend on Yahweh, among them came Satan. 7So Yahweh said to Satan, 'Where have you been?' 'Prowling about on earth,' he answered, 'roamingaround there.' 8So Yahweh asked him, 'Did you pay any attention to my servant Job? There is no one like him on theearth: a sound and honest man who fears God and shuns evil.' 9'Yes,' Satan said, 'but Job is not God-fearing for nothing, is he? 10Have you not put a wal round him and his house and al his domain? You have blessed al heundertakes, and his flocks throng the countryside. 11But stretch out your hand and lay a finger on his possessions: then, I warrant you, he wil curse you toyour face.' 12'Very well,' Yahweh said to Satan, 'al he has is in your power. But keep your hands off his person.' SoSatan left the presence of Yahweh. 13On the day when Job's sons and daughters were eating and drinking in their eldest brother's house, 14a messenger came to Job. 'Your oxen', he said, 'were at the plough, with the donkeys grazing at theirside, 15when the Sabaeans swept down on them and carried them off, and put the servants to the sword: Ialone have escaped to tel you.' 16He had not finished speaking when another messenger arrived. 'The fire of God', he said, 'has fal enfrom heaven and burnt the sheep and shepherds to ashes: I alone have escaped to tell you.' 17He had not finished speaking when another messenger arrived. 'The Chaldaeans,' he said, 'threebands of them, have raided the camels and made off with them, and put the servants to the sword: I alone haveescaped to tell you.' 18He had not finished speaking when another messenger arrived. 'Your sons and daughters', he said,'were eating and drinking at their eldest brother's house, 19when suddenly from the desert a gale sprang up, and it battered all four corners of the house which fellin on the young people. They are dead: I alone have escaped to tel you.' 20Then Job stood up, tore his robe and shaved his head. Then, fal ing to the ground, he prostratedhimself 21and said: Naked I came from my mother's womb, naked I shal return again. Yahweh gave, Yahwehhas taken back. Blessed be the name of Yahweh! 22In al this misfortune Job committed no sin, and he did not reproach God.