"Gird Up Thy Loins"

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Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 348

Context: Job, a good man who enjoys prosperity and many sons and daughters, is said to be a fine example of the God-fearing and God-worshiping man. But Satan says that Job is good only because he has always enjoyed good fortune, that he will turn against God if he is visited by adversity. Responding to Satan's challenge, God permits Satan to take away Job's wealth and to slay his sons and daughters; still Job does not turn against God. Next Satan, with God's agreement, visits physical misery upon Job; still Job refuses to turn against God and curse Him. Job is visited by men who claim that he must have been a great sinner in the past, inasmuch as God does not afflict a man without cause. But Job maintains, truthfully, that he is a good man, that there is no reason for him to receive this treatment as punishment. He is patient and enduring, but he does not understand. Elihu, one of the men who visit him, speaks of God's great power, which controls the winds, the snow, the rain, even the passing cycle of the seasons. He warns Job that man cannot understand God, although God will listen to the cry of the submissive man. He also warns that God will not afflict a man without cause. When Elihu finishes speaking, God Himself, out of a whirlwind, speaks to Job; when Job replies submissively after God is finished, God grants him his well-being and prosperity once again:

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding
Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

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