One day, the heavenly beings assemble before God, and Satan joins them. The LORD asks Satan what he’s been up to, and Satan says he’s been wandering the earth. The LORD again asks Satan if he’s considered Job who, despite Satan’s incitement against him, maintains his integrity. Satan replies that people will give up anything to save their own lives. He tells God to touch Job’s own body, and then Job will surely “curse you to your face.” God agrees to do this.
This second part of the prologue closely follows the structure of the first, starting with a gathering in heaven that Satan intrudes on; it’s unclear how much time has passed. God points out that despite Satan’s best efforts, Job did not curse God after all. So Satan proposes taking things a step further by causing Job to suffer physically—in his own body, not just through the loss of things dear to him—and God again permits Satan to do this. This is Job’s second test.
Satan afflicts Job with horrible sores all over his body. Job sits in ashes and scrapes his sores with a pottery shard. Then his wife asks Job if he’s still maintaining his integrity—it would be better for him to “Curse God, and die.” But Job tells her that this is a foolish thing to say, and that people must receive both good things and bad from God’s hand. In all this, Job doesn’t sin.
When Job rejects his wife’s suggestion—which, given the severity of Job’s suffering, seems rather understandable—it shows that Job is a model of faithfulness in suffering: he refuses to curse God as if God has no right to deal with Job as he sees fit. By cursing God, Job would be acting like he knows better than God. Instead, Job continues to worship God, a point that will be important to keep in mind going forward. It’s also the case that Job’s wife essentially sides with Satan here (wanting Job to curse God) and fails to agree with God (that Job’s faithful worship is praiseworthy), making her a foil for Job. Also note that this is actually Satan’s last appearance in the whole book. This again underscores the idea that even though Satan is the being who directly afflicts Job, he’s more just an instrument for God’s testing of Job; he isn’t really that important himself.
When they hear about Job’s sufferings, three of Job’s friends come to visit—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. Their plan is to comfort Job. As they approach Job, they start weeping, tearing their robes, and throwing dust on themselves because Job’s appearance has changed so much. They spend the next seven days and nights sitting with Job in silence, seeing how terrible his suffering is.
Three newcomers enter the scene. Their silence adds to the drama of the passage, and it also contrasts with the rest of the book, which will be taken up by lots of discussion in a series of speeches. The friends’ names reveal that they come from southern locations—Teman, Shuah, and Naamah are all names associated with locations in the land of Edom (southeast of Israel) or on the Arabian peninsula. The word “comfort” will become a key in the book. Right now, it’s used in a straightforward manner, as the friends want to support their stricken friend.