Take the 2-minute tour ×
Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professors, theologians, and those interested in exegetical analysis of biblical texts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The LXX and Masoretic Text (MT) disagree concerning the number of oxen and donkeys which Job once owned; however, both the LXX and MT are mathematically consistent in that Job received double from the LORD for everything that he once possessed.

My question however is posed regarding his children. Both the LXX and MT include the children in the catalog of Job's fortunes with the animals. However, while all the animals are restored two-fold, the children are not. Instead of 20 children, he is restored with only the original amount of 10 children (7 sons and 3 daughters).

Why was there the two-fold restoration of animals, but not of people? Was Job short-changed in the end?

Please note the following passage, which indicates that the Lord restored the fortunes of Job "two-fold," which means double.

Job 42:10 (NASB)
10 The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold.

The Hebrew word for "two-fold" is מִשְׁנֶה, and the noun means to second, or double. That is, the Lord DOUBLED the fortunes of Job, but everything listed among his former assets were doubled except his children, which are Job's most important assets as any parent would attest(?). (For example, he was sacrificing his animals to ensure the well-being of his children in Job 1:5.) Was Job therefore short-changed? Why was he given the two-fold blessing of animals, but not of children?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It is commonly believed that Job's original 10 children are in Heaven.

The texts do say that Job received a "twice as much", and that he had "more":

Job 42:10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Job 42:12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning:

Since all the material items were doubled, it is only natural to wonder why Job had exactly as many "new" children as he had had "old" children.

As far as I know it is near universal among Christians to assume Job was blessed in that all of his original children were preserved in Heaven, and that he could look forward to the day when he would be together with all 20 of his children. Job himself shows he believes he will have life long in the future, and would logically expect his children to be there too. (Thanks, @Joseph, for pointing this out)

In Job 19:25-27, he seeks comfort in future restoration. "I know" -- confidence -- "though after my skin worms destroy this body" -- Job has died at this point, but "in my flesh shall I see God:" -- Job will be alive, and with a body. And Job is sure it will really be himself who sees. In the "latter days", thanks to "my redeemer", Job expects to be reunited with his family. Here are a couple more comments by Christians:

Some have wondered why God did not give Job twenty children, fourteen sons and six daughters. I offer two answers: First, the thought of giving birth to twenty children might have been all Job's wife needed again to tempt her spouse to curse God and die! But my simplest and best answer is that God did double Job's family-ten were already alive in heaven. Our family and friends who die in Christ are separated from us for just a little while. They are with Christ and they are enjoying eternal blessings far greater than anything they have known upon this sin-sick world.

http://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/smith_donald/job/whirlwind10.cfm

After Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored Job to his former prosperity and gave him double all that he had lost. (Job 42:10) Job had seven more sons and three daughters. This is the same as before and implies that he would see his others in heaven as well! God does everything well!

http://www.bibletrektoday.com/2009/06/03/restoration-of-job/

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for your comments. Please see my revised posting, which now includes the reference to Job 42:10. Do you agree that the passage says the fortunes of Job were doubled? If so, why would animals be doubled (as if they were somehow more important), than children? –  Joseph May 10 at 23:01
1  
You mention that his children were "in heaven." Can you provide any references from the Book of Job that indicate that Job believed in such hope? –  Joseph May 10 at 23:02
    
@Joseph Thanks, I missed the fact that twofold is explicitly there. I don't believe the "lost" children being in Heaven is mentioned in the text. I'll look for a reference stating belief in the children being in Heaven and fix my post. I definitely believe Job's fortunes were completely "doubled". –  disciple May 11 at 0:47
    
Can you look at Job 19:25-27 and develop the concept without referencing the Christian New Testament (that is, use the Old Testament only)? –  Joseph May 12 at 1:57
    
Did Job believe in an afterlife in Job 19:25-27? If his children survived in the afterlife, would not an additional ten children, in effect, be the doubling of his offspring (since the first ten children still "existed")? –  Joseph May 13 at 22:19

There is an interpretation I’ve seen (and I’ll have to edit this answer later to add references) that Job’s children were not actually killed: they were merely hidden away and he was told they’d died. In addition to answering Why did God allow satan to take lives just to prove that Job is loyal?, this takes care of your question as well: he got his original ten children back, plus another ten for a doubling.

share|improve this answer
    
Someone played a hoax on Job that his 10 children were killed not to mention all his 1000s of animals? –  Joseph May 20 at 13:48
    
That's an interesting interpretation. Have you located the source? –  Bruce Alderman Aug 18 at 16:39

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.