Women in the Text: Job’s Daughters

I’ve been wanting to write a series of posts on the text-time the Bible gives women and why this is important, counter-cultural and an important insight into the personality of God. So, now I do it.

Jemimah, Keziah and Keren-Happuch

These three women are Job’s daughters. They were born after Job’s trial along with seven brothers.

The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys.  And he also had seven sons and three daughters. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. Job 42:12-15

  • The daughters were NAMED, the sons were not.
  • The author comments on the women, but excludes commentary on the men.
  • Job, God’s golden boy, gave his daughters not a dowry (which transfers to her husband), but an inheritance: an income that belonged to her alone.  They would not be depended on their brothers or their husbands, but be able to care for themselves.

This small commentary, I believe, is made because Job’s action was extraordinary. Women, in that ancient culture, were not given their freedom from men with independent financial security. If Job’s gift to his daughters broke cultural barriers, how about God’s?

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:28-29

To God, a woman is an independent heir, regardless of the men in her life. Regardless if she is single, married, a mother or a daughter estranged from her father, God’s daughters equally share in the eternal life and joys gained through the work of His Son, Jesus. God shows no favoritism to men. Job, who learned so much of God’s character through his trial, got it right.

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5 thoughts on “Women in the Text: Job’s Daughters

  1. I read the title and thought, “Oh, Steve Job’s daughters.” No joke. I believed it.

    Good post. I never noticed that the daughters were named and not the sons.

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  2. Good thoughts, Kay – very interesting! Guess the only other place I can think of where women were given an equal inheritance as the men was in Joshua 17:3-6, but even that was a different situation.

    Could it be that Job knew the pain/inustice of being judged falsely (not based on who he was on the inside but based on circumstances/events out of his control), and thus would not do the same to his daughters (were they less worthy of honor because they were women)?

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  3. Good thoughts, Kay. Linda, I like your hypothesis on why Job went counter-culture on this. Maybe it was also b/c he saw all of his “2nd batch” children as precious and valuable, not just the boys. How could he not after what he went through?

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    1. I think he had the same concern over his first batch of girls. “His sons used to take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.”

      And again, it is his children that are mentioned, without a specific emphasis on his sons. He wished for ALL of them to honor God and keep their hearts clean before Him.

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  4. Thanks Kay, I learned something never looked at. The passage in Joshua 17 also came to my mind, but not applicable here. I thought of Hank with his 5 daughters and of our combined prayers and similar concerns that Job (may have had) for his daughters; re: what Linda and Christy mentioned. I remember the faithful prayers of Grandpa and Grandma Scheltema for their children and grandchildren. God is so good to honor the prayers of parents that their children, so precious and valuable, might honor Him and keep their hearts clean and pure before Him. I’ll be thinking on this blog for a long time.

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