Tuesday, October 24, 2023

No 26  Job and Mrs Job

I believe that Job and Mrs Job were―
    equally yoked in marriage
    equally strong helpmeets to each other
    equally strong in faith
    equally worshipped God together
    equally partnered in love and family
I believe the above statements characterize them
    before the Book of Job was written
    from the beginning of the Book
    in the middle of the Book
    at the end of the Book
    and even in Job 2:9,10
This, of course, is opinion on my part. I can only give evidence for my belief as you continue to read. 
Job 2:9,10 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. 10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
Job’s wife’s role in the story of her husband’s suffering is very brief. She speaks only a single time. But for the one time she does speak, she has been maligned through the ages since as a bad person. I believe she deserves fairer judgment than that. She was not in the habit of annoying or antagonizing her husband. She was a very spiritual match for Job. I believed she loved Job very deeply. I believed he loved her equally as deeply.
She Lost More Than Job Lost
She―too―had lost ten children.
She―too―had lost possessions and wealth.
But she lost one thing more than Job had lost.
She lost her companion.
No more intimate moments with her husband.
No more romantic conversations by the fireplace.
No more long walks in the evening together.
No more watching the sky ablaze with the dazzling colors which only God can paint a sunset.
[I am deeply indebted to someone else for these last four sentences.] 
Job now lives at the city dump (and presumably not with her). I believe she was suffering (a different kind of suffering) with her husband, and, as much as her husband. She was grieving hard. With such sores from his head to his toes, she could not soothe nor apply balm for healing. Her grief was understandable.
She sees all her dreams implode. This is more than she can take. She had no inkling her situation will ever change and get better. As she sees it, life can never yield good again. Mrs Job bears Job’s suffering with him. She was deeply affected by Job’s experience. She endures, in a sense, what Job was enduring―enduring as any mother hurts when her child is hurting. There is no going back. You can't take that away from a wife and mother.
What Hurt Her More Than Anything 
If there is anyone who knows Job personally and intimately and his ability to persist, it is she. If there is anyone who knows Job’s integrity, it is she. And no one knows better than she how good Job has been. No one understands better that Job did nothing to deserve this suffering than she.

It is because she so loved and so cherished her husband that Mrs Job more effectively served Satan’s purpose. She comes to Job, however unwittingly, as Satan’s advocate. If there had been a voice more persuasive than her voice, Satan would have used THAT voice. If there had been a history of disharmony between the two of them, her words would have meant nothing. Mrs Job’s advice, though she could not see through it, bears Satan’s seal and stamp of approval. Satan’s signature is written in her words. Of course, it is the wrong advice and Satan’s purposes are served by her statement. But Job saw through that! It may have been Satan's words Job heard, but it was her heart he read.

Job's Response to Mrs Job is Banked on a History of Love and Respect
But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh (Job 2:10). This sentence turns on a single word―the word “as.” Job did not call his wife foolish. Job said she was speaking "as" a foolish woman speaks.
Every translation of the Bible I have available uses either as or like in this sentence. 

ASKJV, KJV21, ASV, AMP, AMPC, BRG, CSB, ESV, HCSB, JUB, AKJV, LSB, NABRE, NASB, NASB1995, NKJV, NLV, NRSVA, OJB, RSV, TLV, WEB, WYC, YLT, Leeser, Tanakh, JPS1917, Lamsa-AEM, BSB, Boothroyd, Hebraic Roots, Lighthouse, Palmer, KJVA, LITV, MKJV, RV, TS2009, Webster, ABPen, EBR, ESV2011, LSV, RNKJV, ISAB.


And what does the lone GNT say? Job answered, “You are talking nonsense! When God sends us something good, we welcome it. How can we complain when he sends us trouble?” Even in all this suffering Job said nothing against God (Job 2:10, Good News Translation). 
Job calls her words foolish, but not her as a persontoo much love and respect to do that!

In the context of this document, allow me to suggest a very loose paraphrase of Job 2:10.

But he said unto her, “Honey, I know you very well. You have been my loving wife all these many years. But right now you are talking like a foolish woman talks."

Job asks his wife to think through the implications of her words. Job’s reply does not disparage his wife. His reply does not reflect earlier domestic disharmony in the Jobian household. The word foolish here does not carry the implications of our present word foolish.

        It does not mean ungodly.
        It does not mean impious.
        It does not reflect stupidity.
The implication---the inference---here is that under stress she has spoken out of character. The sentiment she expresses does not accord with her personality. The sentiment she expresses does not accord with her usual faith. 
I believe she wore “the badge of innocence.” I believe she was unwittingly used. She does not demand. She suggests.
What prompted her words? I believe she believed in his integrity and wished to shorten his suffering. If God is against him, he might as well allow his miserable life to come to an end. How many times have we sat at the bedside of a loved one during their intense suffering and prayed for the mercy of death? Mrs Job may have spoken the words many people have felt in a similar situation. Job's wife implies that death is preferable to such a life as Job now leads, and must expect to lead for the rest of his lifethere is no end in sight for this suffering. "God should take his life and put him out of his misery."
Was it out of bitterness toward God for allowing Job’s suffering that she advised Job “to take the easy way out?" Or was it because she wanted her husband’s misery and suffering to end? There is a difference! The first question here blames God. The second question is love for a husband.

Consider thisif Satan had killed Mrs Job right along with the ten children, grieving Job could at least comforted himself by believing she would have stood by him and comforted him (if she was alive).

Mrs Job was married to a good and godly man. There was a lot of loving going on in that household. She bore him ten children. She and Job had reared their family to love the Lord. The issues of the Book of Job are considered, and at the end of the book, restorations are made. Things settle back to normal. There will be a whole lot of loving going on in their household again. Ten more children will be born to them. And she and Job will rear them in the love of the Lord.  
Job did not sin as Satan said he would―by cursing God publicly. Job’s suffering, as horrible as it was, did not blot out his memory of the grace of God. His faith remained steadfast. Suffering did not shake his confidence. I want that same experience for my life. Don't you?

Please send questions or comments to Will Hardin at P O Box 24 Owenton KY 40359.

Addendum No 1
In what ways are Mrs Job and Eve similar? (Mrs Job has been called the second Eve).
Satan spared Mrs Job for the purpose of tempting Job as he had used Eve to tempt Adam. Both speak Satan's speech. The curse Mrs Job advocates is the very one Satan suggested and predicted Job would make. As Eve made Satan’s speech to Adam, so Mrs Job makes Satan’s speech to Job. As Eve was deceived, Mrs Job advised her husband in evil as Eve did to Adam. And why has Mrs Job been so detested through the centuries when Eve has been forgiven?

But note the outcomes: Job resists the evil as Adam might have done.

Addendum No 2
I am always looking for Bible writers who give Mrs Job an understanding review. I have collected such through the years. But all that work was for my personal study. I never did foresee that I would one day write a blog on the Book of Job, and here I write with poor and inadequate documentation of the many writers who did wonderful work before me. To all of you I am grateful. Please forgive me that I cannot provide credit for your work.













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