The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Job
There was a man dwelling in the land of Hus once, Job was the name of him, that was true and honest; ever he feared God, and kept far from wrong-doing.
Seven sons he had, and three daughters;
and for wealth, he had seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred she-asses, and servants a many; in all the East none was Job’s rival.
And this custom his sons had in feasting, each invited the rest in turn; at such times they would send for their three sisters to eat and drink beside them.
And ever when their week of feasting was over, Job would send for them,✻ and have them rid of all defilement; next morning, it was his first care to offer burnt-sacrifice for each of them. Who knows, thought he, but they may have committed some fault, these children of mine? Who knows but they may have slighted God in their secret thoughts? Never would he let the day pass without burnt-sacrifice.
One day, when the heavenly powers stood waiting upon the Lord’s presence, and among them, man’s Enemy,
the Lord asked him, where he had been? Roaming about the earth, said he, to and fro about the earth.
Why then, the Lord said, thou hast seen a servant of mine called Job. Here is a true man, an honest man, none like him on earth; ever he fears his God, and keeps far from wrong-doing.
Job fears his God, the Enemy answered, and loses nothing by it.
Sheltered his life by thy protection, sheltered his home, his property; thy blessing on all he undertakes; worldly goods that still go on increasing; he loses nothing.
One little touch of thy hand, assailing all that wealth of his! Then see how he will turn and blaspheme thee.
Be it so, the Lord answered; with all his possessions do what thou wilt, so thou leave himself unharmed. And with that, the Enemy left the Lord’s presence, and withdrew.
And now it was the turn of Job’s children to sit over their feasting and their wine at the house of the eldest brother.
That day, a messenger brought Job news of his oxen and asses. The oxen were a-ploughing, said he, and the asses grazing near them,
when on a sudden a band of Sabæans swept down on them, and carried all away. As for thy men, the Sabæans put them to the sword, and none lives to tell the tale but I.
Even as he spoke, another messenger came in with news of the sheep, how God’s lightning had fallen, devouring sheep and shepherd, so that none was left to tell the tale but he.
And upon the heels of that, in came a third to say that robbers from Chaldæa, in three several bands, had closed in upon the camels and driven them away, killing the men who tended them, so that none was left to tell the tale but he.
And before this one had finished his story, a fourth messenger came in. I come, said he, from thy eldest son’s house, where but now thy sons and daughters sat at their feasting and their wine.
All on a sudden, came a tempestuous wind from across the desert, and beat so on every corner of the house that it fell in, crushing thy children to death amid the ruins of it; none lives to tell the tale but I.
Then rose up Job, and rent his garments about him; and he shaved his head bare, and fell down to earth to do reverence.
Naked I came, said he, when I left my mother’s womb, and whence I came, naked I must go. The Lord gave, the Lord has taken away; nothing is here befallen but what was the Lord’s will; blessed be the name of the Lord.✻
In all this, Job guarded his lips well, nor challenged with human folly God’s wisdom.✻
The Holy Bible