29 April 2010 (Chamashee/Teruah)|
Day #45, 5934 AM
The Daughters of Job
An Insight into the Ten Commandments
Long ago in the patriarchal era, before Moses and the birth of the nation of Israel, a wealthy and righteous man named Job had seven sons and three daughters (Job 1:1-2). We're not told the names of these children but we know what they were like and what their fate was.
Job's progeny regularly partied and rotated between each other's houses. Since there were seven of them, it is quite possible that each son had a day of the week on which to be host. Job was so concerned about their conduct that he was constantly interceding for them before Yahweh.
"Now his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, 'It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed Elohim in their hearts.' Thus Job did regularly" (Job 1:4-5, NKJV).
On one of the days the eldest brother acted as host for their revelry, four disasters struck simultaneously, destroying everything and everyone Job had save for his wife and four servants:
Though we know that the purpose of this account, and the long discussions Job has with his friends, is to show us how Yahweh tested Job's faithfulness, it is about much more than that. It is also a parable of what will happen to us if we fail to attend to our vineyard and waste our time, energy, resources and salvation on useless, fleshy pursuits 'living life' in the worldly way. There were ten children in all, representing the as yet unwritten though well-known Ten Commandments, each of these children symbolically representing one of the ten commandments not being obeyed. No wonder Job was both anxious and busy in intercession for them while they lived!
"Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house; and a messenger came to Job and said, 'The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided them and took them away -- indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!' While he was still speaking, another also came and said, 'The fire of Elohim fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!' While he was still speaking, another also came and said, 'The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!' While he was still speaking, another also came and said, 'Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!'" (Job 1:13-19, NKJV).
The story has both a happy and an interesting ending:
Yahweh gives Job ten more children, this time commandment-obeying ones, and even more interestingly names the three daughters for us but not the sons! I am reminded of the prominent position of some special women in the early Messianic Community and especially the three women at the tomb! You will recall that the first three daughters were at their brothers' houses partying but these latter three have their own "inheritance". Is there a hidden meaning to this interesting restoration?
"Yahweh restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed Yahweh gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that Yahweh had brought upon him. Each one gave him a piece of silver and each a ring of gold. Now Yahweh blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-Happuch. In all the land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers" (Job 42:10-16, NKJV).
The names of Job's daughters are even more interesting than the fact that they are named at all. Jemimah (Yemiymah) means 'Bright Day/Dove' and is a term used to describe warmth and affection; Keziah (Qetsiy'ah) is a type of perfume (also called Cassia, coming from a root meaning to 'scrape', that is, the scraped-off bark that contains the perfume), reminding one of the "aroma of life leading to life" which comes from being in Messiah (2 Cor.2:15-16); and Keren-Happuch (Qeren Happuwk) means 'Horn (Flask) of Antimony', a black powder used to beautify the eyes.
So what is Yahweh trying to tell us here about the 7 sons to 3 daughters, and why are the daughters highlighted by being named? I have struggled over this question for many years and have been forced to conclude that the 10 children are representations of each of the 10 Commandments. The three daughters purposefully stand out because they represent the first three commandments which are all about complete submission to Yahweh, that is, perfect female rôle:
These are directly paralleled by Job's three daughters:
- 1. Thou shalt have no other elohim (rulers, authorities, powers) before me;
- 2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image;
- 3. Thou shalt not take the Name of Yahweh thy Elohim in vain.
The same relationship is to be found in a Wife's Ten Commandments , and in particular the first three:
- 1. Jemimah - Yahweh is the 'bright day' and there is no other authority brighter in our esteem;
- 2. Keziah - the genuine 'fragrance' or 'perfume' which is Yahweh and not an image or counterfeit;
- 3. Keren-Happuch - Yahweh's character, good name or Tov Shem is essential to our witness and we beautify it as we honour it.
The seven sons represent the male directive principles as opposed to the female receiving or submissive principles. They are the seven ways in which we demonstrate our submission in the first three commandments by moving out into the world by:
- 1. You shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind; and you shall love your husband as your self (Mt.19:19);
- 2. You shall not make your husband into an idol (putting Him above Yahweh), but you shall love, honour, respect and submit to him as you do to Yahweh (Eph.5:22);
- 3. You shall not take your husband's name in vain, through gossip, slander, criticism, complaint, or mockery; but you shall bless him both privately and publicly.
We become male to Yahweh as we obediently go out into the world and 'do' these other 7 commandments or 'sons'. Without the submission of the first three, that would not be possible. The three daughters are also shadows of the principles of faith, hope and love - the three things that remain after all is said and done and which we take into the resurrection, with the sons representing the full spectrum of how these are expressed as directive deeds in mortality, the deeds reflecting back as witnesses of the three eternal principles:
- 4. Keeping the Sabbath;
- 5. Honouring father and mother;
- 6. Not murdering;
- 7. Not commiting adultery;
- 8. Not stealing;
- 9. Not bearing false witness (lying); and
- 10. Not coveting (desiring) that which does not belong to us.
Job's daughters alone are named because they represent the three principles upon which our life in Messiah is built. They are the Trinity of Submission that is the hallmark of every good wife and of every true believer.
"Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt.5:19, NKJV).