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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?

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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/

  • 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 '14 at 23:01
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    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 '14 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 '14 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 '14 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 '14 at 22:19
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3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.
4 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. 5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
-- Job 1:3-5 KJV

Job had cattle, a very great household, and children. The cattle are enumerated and the "quality" of his children is recorded, so that at the end of the story it can be seen that God is a being of his word.

The children Job had at the beginning were wastrels. They took turns feasting and drinking, and after they did so Job was compelled to sacrifice on their behalf, because he was concerned they had cursed God in their hearts.

The children Job had at the end, where MORE THAN TWICE the blessing of his original children.

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.
-- Job 42:13-15 KJV

Surely, it would be a mistake to weigh things in terms of numbers only. Particularly in regard to people.

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In the first part of Job it never mentions that any of his ten children were married and had children of their own. At the end of Job he has ten more children, but these children grow older and have families of their own and Job is able to see even his great, great, grandchildren. I believe this is the doubling.

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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.

  • Someone played a hoax on Job that his 10 children were killed not to mention all his 1000s of animals? – Joseph May 20 '14 at 13:48
  • That's an interesting interpretation. Have you located the source? – Bruce Alderman Aug 18 '14 at 16:39

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