Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Job's Wife

Where to Find The Story of Job's Wife

The nameless wife of Job speaks two sentences in the book of Job.  They are recorded in Job 2:9.  She is also mentioned in 19:17 when Job declares that his breath is repulsive to her and in 31:10 where he defends his sexual integrity by offering his wife to other men if he has not been truthful.  "Let my wife grind for another, and let other men kneel over her."  

Job's Wife Tells Her Story

"Do you still persist in your integrity? Curse God and die." said Job's wife to Job.  Job 2:9

Gone!  Everything is gone!  My children, oh my children!  All our servants, the oxen, donkeys and camels are gone.  I think my husband has lost his mind.  He tore is clothes, shaved his head and is sitting in a pile of ashes.  If it could get any worse he has broken out in sores all over his body.  He will not let me help him.  He just sits in the ashes and scrapes the sores with a pot shard.  I tried to talk to him but he dismissed me, calling me a foolish woman.  After he called me foolish, he didn't speak for seven days.  Now his fool friends have shown up to comfort him.  Where is my comfort? My children, oh my children!

Observations on the Story of Job's Wife's 

She has lost everything.  The only difference between what happened to her and her husband is that there is no report of her being afflicted with sores.  In the wager between Satan and God, Job's wife, her children, their servants and the families of all the servants who were killed, are the innocent victims.  Job demonstrates no concern for anyone but himself.  He was a wealthy powerful man who bemoans the lack of respect he now experiences from people he considers beneath him.  

Job's wife tells him to curse God and die.  He calls her a foolish woman and then goes on to curse the day of his conception and birth.  He longs for death, the fate of a stillborn child.  Throughout the book he is self-righteous and selfish.  He regards his wife and her body as his property.  "Job's words are in keeping with the patriarchal perspective that saw a woman's sexuality as the property of her husband rather than the woman herself." (Woman's Bible Commentary, Newsom, p. 135)

At the end of the book Job's property has been restored and he has ten more children.  My question is, who had the pleasure of giving birth to ten more children?