I haven’t often thought much about Job’s wife…really…a couple of days ago, if you had asked me, I would have said, “She told him to curse God and die!” I’ve never given a lot of thought to Job’s response to her or what happens to her in the end…until this morning!
This morning, I was drinking coffee with my 19 year-old son and we began talking of Job. His great suffering…his well meaning friends…his loss…and, well, his questions to God and God’s responses Job! But, what of Mrs. Job….?
Sidebar: We’ll have to call her Mrs. Job from here because God does not share her name with us anywhere in the Book of Job. I did some research on her name and Rabbinical scholars had some ideas, but it’s not in the Holy Scriptures, so we’ll just give her Mrs. Job for the purpose of this blog!
Well, the first we hear from Mrs. Job is in chapter 2, verse 9:
“Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!'”
(Job 2:9 NASB)
Ok! Stop the presses!!! What did she say??? Let me do some modern-day translation here: “Job, come on now…husband…no one expects you to have integrity now! Why don’t you just tell God He wins…I give up…and die with your integrity intact! I wouldn’t blame you…no one would!”
Job sweetly…well, righteously answers her and says, “Lady — quit acting like the other foolish women. Are you going to take only good things from God and not also accept adversity?”
But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (Job 2:10 NASB)
She does not answer, we hear nothing further, and that is the end of their love story! Well…..not so fast! A lot happens between chapters 2 through 42…here’s a recap:
- Job has some good friends come by and sit in the ashes with him…
- Job laments to God of his humanness and that he should have never been born…
- Job’s friends start giving Job their two-cent advice…
- Job questions God and this goes on for awhile…
- God answers Job (I just really love this discourse between God and Job)…
- Job confesses, repents, and acknowledges that God is sovereign and that he has spoken of things that were too big to understand for himself…
- God rebukes Job’s friends and this brings us to the end Chapter 42!
The LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the LORD increased all that Job had twofold. Then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that the LORD had brought on him. And each one gave him one piece of money, and each a ring of gold. The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had 14,000 sheep and 6,000 camels and 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys. (Job 42:10-12 NASB)
Wait a minute, though! I don’t want you to miss the best part because you think you know or understand what God did in the last chapter. Something very important happens to Job’s wife, too:
He had seven sons and three daughters. He named the first Jemimah, and the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land no women were found so fair as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers. (Job 42:13-15 NASB)
God restored everything to Job…fields, donkeys, money, servants —- but he gave anew to Job and Mrs. Job sevens sons and three daughters. Mrs. Job was restored too! She didn’t just exit left stage, after being rebuked by her husband…no!
What I have always failed to see is that Mrs. Job lost the same amount of everything that Job had lost. Her children were killed, grandchildren, livestock, servants, and she is left with a husband sitting in a heap of black ashes talking a bit suicidal…about never being born.
I imagine, as a woman, after that rebuke from her husband, she probably returned to the house that no longer existed and began picking up what was left. Bring Mrs. Job back forward to the 21-Century — someone runs to tell you that all of your children were killed when a great wind came in and destroy their home and taken their lives. You run home and it all destroyed….those you love….all dead….you fall to your knees…you bury your face in your hands and cry out the most blood-curdling, deep-throated cry of pain that is felt by all around. Mrs. Job’s chest felt that it would implode, as she goes from child-to-child —- oh, the memories of their childhood…the laughter on their wedding days…the joy of babies…grandbabies —- now all.gone.
As she swept, it must have run through her mind…”curse God and die women!” He has taken everything…there is nothing left. It would be better if my dear husband and I were dead. Can you not feel this dear woman’s heartache and pain….meanwhile, her husband is still sitting in ashes…despairing…and Mrs. Job is alone.
However, just like Job, Mrs. Job has not been forgotten…she too was given more children from her husband. God blessed Mrs. Job again, as much as blessed Job. Her heart and her grief and her fear did not go unnoticed by Jehovah God…not one minute. God understood her heart — her fear. Wait patiently my child….wait and see what I am about to perform! God had restored a faithful man and his faithful wife!
There are many other things we can learn about Job’s wife….Mrs. Job….but I’m thankful God showed me her value….value like not leaving Job when the going gets tough, not blaming Job…value in her stick-to-itiveness and persistence.
The Book of Job end beautifully:
After this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations. And Job died, an old man and full of days.
(Job 42:16-17 NASB)