Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Daughters of Job

In the final chapter (42) of the Book of Job, following all the tribulations Job endured, we read,

12 So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
13 He had also seven sons and three daughters.
14 And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch.
15 And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.
16 After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations.
17 So Job died, being old and full of days.

I had been puzzled over the years as to why the account includes the names of the three daughters, yet none of the sons are mentioned by name.  So near as I can determine by reading after others who apparently thought about the same enigma, I have pieced together a notion of why this is so.  

First, we are told that these three girls were exceedingly beautiful, even beyond the beauty of any other in the land.  That seems remarkable.  If such pulchritude should be noted, then indeed the names of the possessors thereof should be revealed!

Second, we are told that each daughter had her share in the inheritance from their father.  This is indeed remarkable, for in Hebrew society it is usual that only the sons inherit, except in the case that there are no sons, but only daughters.  If a daughter does inherit, she then is bound to marry within her tribe only, as her property may not leave the tribe.  Job probably predated the giving of the law, but it seems reasonable to believe that these standards may have existed in his time.

Purely out of curiosity, I sought the meanings of these women's names. Using I found this.

Jemima: dove.  One writer after whom I read suggested it means "day by day," a reminder to Job that one is to take life a day at a time.  I was not able to locate a source to authenticate this claim.

Keziah:  Cassia, a tree and an aromatic spice from the tree.  According to the Book of Exodus, cassia was one of the ingredients God directed Moses to use in the compounding of the holy anointing oil.  It is also mentioned in the Psalms and in Ezekiel.

Kerenhappuch: horn of antimony.  Antimony was used as a makeup.  This horn was an implement for the application of the makeup to the eyes.

Takeaway:  If the Lord can see Job through his travails and bless him abundantly, and He can, and He did, then it is no stretch to believe that He can and will see you through your trials.

I think if I had another daughter I'd name her Kerenhappuch.  Well, that won't happen.


Shelly said...

His daughters truly were remarkable. There is much to learn from Job and your takeaway is spot on.

Vee said...

Being reminded of Job's trials makes mine seem trivial - but not less real.

Grace said...

Oh no you wouldn't!

@Vee: I like that observation...

vanilla said...

Shelly, scripture is full of interesting little tidbits and pointers.

Vee, trials are not to be compared. To each his own, and they are real.

Grace, you're right; I wouldn't. I do rather like it a bit better than Keziah, though.

Sharkbytes said...

yes, and hey, that God doesn't discount girls, just cultures do that. But I have to say I don't think I'd name a daughter Kerenhappuch

vanilla said...

Sharkey, "And God made man in his own image, . . . male and female created He them."
What? Kerenhappuch is a fine name; you could call her Keren.