Already having formal training in both the Anglican and Catholic traditions, as part of my
continuing religious education I've transcribed much of the Book of Job.
continuing religious education I've transcribed much of the Book of Job.
The Divisions of the Book of Job are as follows:
I: Prologue (1, 1-2, 13).
II. First Cycle of Speeches (3, 1-14, 22).
III. Second Cycle of Speeches (15, 1-21, 34).
IV. Third Cycle of Speeches (22, 1-28, 28).
V. Job's Final Summary of His Cause (29, 1-31, 37).
VI. Elihu's Speeches (32, 1-37, 24).
VII. The Lord's Speech (38, 1-42, 6).
VIII. Epilogue (42, 7-17).
Job's Wealth and Piety. In the land of Uz there was a blameless and upright man named Job, who feared God and avoided evil. Seven sons and three daughters were born to him; and he had seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred she-asses, and a great number of work animals, so that he was greater than any of the men in the East. His sons used to take turns giving feasts, sending invitations to their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when each feast had run its course, Job would send for them and sanctify them, rising early and offering holocausts for every one of them. For Job said, "It may be my sons have sinned and blasphemed God in their hearts." This Job did habitually.
One day, when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, Satan also came along with them. And the Lord said to Satan, "Whence do you come?" Then Satan answered the Lord and said, "From roaming the Earth and patrolling it." And the Lord said to Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job, and that there is no one on Earth like him, blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil?" But Satan answered the Lord and said, "Is it for nothing that Job is God-fearing? Have you not surrounded him and his family and all that he has with your protection? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his livestock are spread over the land. But now put forth your hand and touch anything that he has, and surely he will blaspheme you to your face." And he Lord said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand upon his person." So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.
The First Trial. And so one day, while his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their eldest brother, a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the asses grazing beside them, and the Sabeans carried them off in a raid. They put the herdsmen to the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you." While he was yet speaking, another came and said, "Lightning has fallen from heaven and struck the sheep and their shepherds and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you." While he was yet speaking, another came and said, "Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their eldest brother, when suddenly a great wind came across the desert and smote the four corners of the house. It fell upon the young people and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you." Then Job began to tear his cloak and cut off his hair. He cast himself prostrate upon the ground, and said,
"Naked I came forth from my mother's womb,
and naked shall I go back again.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
blessed be the name of the Lord!"
In all this Job did not sin, nor did he say anything disrespectful of God.
The Second Trial. Once again the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. And the Lord said to Satan, "Whence do you come?" And Satan answered the Lord and said, "From roaming the Earth and patrolling it." And the Lord said to Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job, and that there is no ne on earth like him, faultless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil? He still holds hast to his innocence although you incited me against him to ruin him without cause." And Satan answered the Lord and said, "Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But now put forth your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and surely he will blaspheme you to your face." And the Lord said to Satan, "He is in your power; only spare his life." So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord and smote Job with severe boils from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. And he took a potsherd to scrape himself, and he sat among the ashes. Then his wife said to him, "Are you still holding to your innocence? Curse God and die." But he said to her, "Are even you going to speak as senseless women do? We accept good things from God; and should we not accept evil?" Through all this, Job said nothing sinful.
Job's Three Friends Now when three of Job's friends heard of all this misfortune that had come upon him, they set out each one from his own place: Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuh, and Zophar from Naamath. They met and journeyed together to give him sympathy and comfort. But when, at a distance, they lifted up their eyes and did not recognize him, they began to weep aloud; they tore their cloaks and threw dust upon their heads. Then they sat down upon the ground with him seven days and seven nights, but none of them spoke a word to him; for they saw how great he was suffering.
|"Job's Tormentors" by William Blake 1793|
Source: Wikimedia Commns
II. First Cycle of Speeches
Job's Plaint. After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed his day. Job spoke out and said:
Perish the day on which I was born,
the night when they said, "This child is a boy!"
May that day be darkness: let not God above call for it, nor light shine upon it!
For sighing comes more readily to me than food,
and my groans well forth like water.
For what I fear overtakes me,
and what I shrink from comes upon me.
I have no peace nor ease;
I have no rest, for trouble comes!
[Here are: Eliphaz's First Speech, Job's First Reply, Bildad's First Speech, Job's Second Reply, Zophar's First Speech, Job's Third Reply]
III. Second Cycle of Speeches
[Here are: Second Speech of Eliphaz, Job's Fourth Reply, Bildad's Second Speech, Job's Fifth Reply, Zophar's Second Speech, Job's Sixth Reply]
IV. Third Cycle of Speeches
[Here are: Eliphaz's Third Speech, Job's Seventh Reply, Bildad's Third Speech, Job's Reply]
11 I will teach you the manner of God's dealings,
and the way of the Almighty I will not conceal.
As God lives, who withholds my deserts, the Almighty, who has made bitter my soul,
So long as I still have life in me and the breath of God in my nostrils,
My lips shall not speak falsehood, nor my tongue utter deceit!
Far be it from me to account you right; till I die I will not renounce my innocence.
V. Job's Final Summary of His Cause
Job took up his theme anew and said:
Oh, that I were as in the months past!
as in the days when God watched over me,
While he kept his lamp shining above my head,
and by his light I walked through darkness;
As I was in my flourishing days, when God sheltered my tent;
When the Almighty was yet with me, And my children were round about me;
VI: Elihu's Speeches
VII: The Lord's Speech
Who is this that obscures divine plans with words of ignorance?
Gird up your loins now, like a man; I will question you, and you tell me the answers!
Where were you when I founded the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its size; do you know? Who stretched out the measuring line for it?
Into what were its pedestals sunk, and who laid the conerstone,
While the morning stars sang in the chorus and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
And who shut within doors the sea, when it burst forth from the womb;
When I made the clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling bands?
When I set limits for it and fastened the bar of its door,
And said: Thus far shall you come but no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stilled!
Job's Restoration. And it came to pass after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "I am angry with you and with your two friends, for you have not spoken rightly concerning me, as has my servant Job. Now, therefore, take seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up a holocaust for yourselves; and let my servant Job pray for you; for his prayer I will accept, not to punish you severely." […]
Also, the Lord restored the prosperity of Job, after he had prayed for his friends; the Lord even gave to Job twice as much as he had before. Then all his brethren and his sisters came to him, and all his former acquaintances, and they dined with him in his house. […]
Thus the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his earlier ones. For he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she-asses. And he had seven sons and three daughters, of whom he called the first Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land no other women where as beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brethren. After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; and he saw his children, his grandchildren, and even his great-grandchildren. Then Job died, old and full of years.