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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Summary

Job is the bee's knees. Really. He's blameless and upright, and he has kids, a wife, land, and a bunch of sheep. Doesn't get much better than that. Up in the heavens, God brags to the divine assembly about Job. Lo and behold, Satan comes out and challenges God on Job's goodness. This can't end well.

Note to Shmoopers: this is not the Satan of Paradise Lost or even the Satan of the New Testament. So which Satan is he? For the full scoop, head on over to our "Figures" section.

Back to the story. Satan tells God that, sure, Job loves God now, but take away his earthly possessions and his children, and he will dump God in a New York minute. God agrees to the challenge, and Satan unleashes a force that kills all of Job's family except his wife, kills his servants, and reduces his homes to dust. Ouch.

But guess what? Job remains loyal. He refuses to denounce God. Take that, Satan. God gets to back to bragging and Satan sets up another challenge. This time, God lets Satan give Job a nasty rash, boils, and blisters all over his body.

Now Job becomes a much less happy camper. After all, he was loyal to God, and look what happened. He doesn't renounce God, but he does insist that he deserves some kind of explanation—wouldn't you want one? His buddies Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar have an answer: it's his fault. Hmmm.

Job isn't quite satisfied with that explanation. Just in the nick of time, Elihu pops in to tell Job that he may not have sinned, but he still has no right to question his fate. After all, God's universe is still endowed with immortal power. Bottom line: suck it up.

After much fretting and many speeches, God finally shows up. Why? For a scolding. Where was Job on the day the universe was created? Where was Job when God was designing the architecture of the seas and the continents? Where was Job when God invented Arrested Development?

Needless to say, Job feels a little humbled and acknowledges that, as a mere mortal, he can't possibly understand everything in an immortally ruled universe. Taking Elihu's advice, Job goes back to his day job, and eventually God gives him double what he had at the outset. Job lives to a ripe old age, and both God and Satan fade into the shadows.

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