1There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. 2There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. 3He had seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred donkeys, and very many servants; so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. 4His sons used to go and hold feasts in one anothers houses in turn; and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5And when the feast days had run their course, Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt-offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. This is what Job always did.
6 One day the heavenly beings* came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan* also came among them. 7The Lord said to Satan,* Where have you come from? Satan* answered the Lord, From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it. 8The Lord said to Satan,* Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil. 9Then Satan* answered the Lord, Does Job fear God for nothing? 10Have you not put a fence around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11But stretch out your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face. 12The Lord said to Satan,* Very well, all that he has is in your power; only do not stretch out your hand against him! So Satan* went out from the presence of the Lord.
13 One day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the eldest brothers house, 14a messenger came to Job and said, The oxen were ploughing and the donkeys were feeding beside them, 15and the Sabeans fell on them and carried them off, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you. 16While he was still speaking, another came and said, The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; I alone have escaped to tell you. 17While he was still speaking, another came and said, The Chaldeans formed three columns, made a raid on the camels and carried them off, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you. 18While he was still speaking, another came and said, Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brothers house, 19and suddenly a great wind came across the desert, struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; I alone have escaped to tell you.
20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell on the ground and worshipped. 21He said, Naked I came from my mothers womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrongdoing.
2One day the heavenly beings* came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan* also came among them to present himself before the Lord. 2The Lord said to Satan,* Where have you come from? Satan* answered the Lord, From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it. 3The Lord said to Satan,* Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil. He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason. 4Then Satan* answered the Lord, Skin for skin! All that people have they will give to save their lives.* 5But stretch out your hand now and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face. 6The Lord said to Satan,* Very well, he is in your power; only spare his life.
7 So Satan* went out from the presence of the Lord, and inflicted loathsome sores on Job from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8Job* took a potsherd with which to scrape himself, and sat among the ashes.
9 Then his wife said to him, Do you still persist in your integrity? Curse* God, and die. 10But he said to her, You speak as any foolish woman would speak. Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad? In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
11 Now when Jobs three friends heard of all these troubles that had come upon him, each of them set out from his homeEliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They met together to go and console and comfort him.
12When they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him, and they raised their voices and wept aloud; they tore their robes and threw dust in the air upon their heads.
13They sat with him on the ground for seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.
3After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.
3 Let the day perish on which I was born,
and the night that said,
A man-child is conceived.
4 Let that day be darkness!
May God above not seek it,
or light shine on it.
5 Let gloom and deep darkness claim it.
Let clouds settle upon it;
let the blackness of the day terrify it.
6 That nightlet thick darkness seize it!
let it not rejoice among the days of the year;
let it not come into the number of the months.
7 Yes, let that night be barren;
let no joyful cry be heard* in it.
8 Let those curse it who curse the Sea,*
those who are skilled to rouse up Leviathan.
9 Let the stars of its dawn be dark;
let it hope for light, but have none;
may it not see the eyelids of the morning
10 because it did not shut the doors of my mothers womb,
and hide trouble from my eyes.
11 Why did I not die at birth,
come forth from the womb and expire?
12 Why were there knees to receive me,
or breasts for me to suck?
13 Now I would be lying down and quiet;
I would be asleep; then I would be at rest
14 with kings and counsellors of the earth
who rebuild ruins for themselves,
15 or with princes who have gold,
who fill their houses with silver.
16 Or why was I not buried like a stillborn child,
like an infant that never sees the light?
17 There the wicked cease from troubling,
and there the weary are at rest.
18 There the prisoners are at ease together;
they do not hear the voice of the taskmaster.
19 The small and the great are there,
and the slaves are free from their masters.
20 Why is light given to one in misery,
and life to the bitter in soul,
21 who long for death, but it does not come,
and dig for it more than for hidden treasures;
22 who rejoice exceedingly,
and are glad when they find the grave?
23 Why is light given to one who cannot see the way,
whom God has fenced in?
24 For my sighing comes like* my bread,
and my groanings are poured out like water.
25 Truly the thing that I fear comes upon me,
and what I dread befalls me.
26 I am not at ease, nor am I quiet;
I have no rest; but trouble comes.
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
3 Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortals, in whom there is no help.
4 When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
on that very day their plans perish.
5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God,
6 who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith for ever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10 The Lord will reign for ever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!
5For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling 3if indeed, when we have taken it off* we will not be found naked. 4For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden, because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
6 So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord 7for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10For all of us must appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.
11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences. 12We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart. 13For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view;* even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view,* we know him no longer in that way. 17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself,* not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011