Why Was Job's Wife So Mean?
Let's take a closer look at the situation. If I asked you who lost seven sons, three daughters, 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and a great household, you would say Job. What about Mrs. Job? For some reason, the focus is always on Job, as well it should be. However, with respect to Mrs. Job, she lost everything as well. Not only that, she was about to lose her husband. To her, this is how it looked, did it not? We have the benefit of seeing that God was testing Job (and Mrs. Job), but she did not.
For review, let's go through the scenario as laid out in the first two chapters of Job. If you have not read those two chapters, please do so now.
The Sabeans come and steal all the oxen and donkeys. In the process, kill all the servants. How many servants there were is not said. However, it must have been a very large number to take care of that many large animals. One servant escapes to deliver the bad news to Job.
Fire comes down from heaven and kills all the sheep as well as all of the servants. Again, it is unknown how many servants it takes to tend that many sheep. Again, one servant escapes delivering the bad news.
The Chaldeans come and take all the camels while killing all of the servants that were tending that many animals. Once more, a servant escapes to come and share the bad news.
The final dagger is put into Job's heart when a servant escapes a collapsed house that killed all of Job's children, and house servants, to inform Job of the bad news. Although it is not said, would it not be rightfully assumed that with all of this bad news flowing, Mrs. Job would have been there with Job by now?
Even after all of this, Job is now struck with boils from head to toe. He stinks, is sick, and is near death. NOW, put yourself in Mrs. Job's shoes. Are you a little upset? No matter the connection between fathers and children, it can never match a mother's love for them. Mrs. Job has lost all of her children at one time; not to mention losing everything else. Now? She feels she is about to lose her husband as well. Here is the twist though.
In Job 2:9, it reads as follows in the English: "Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die". Unfortunately, that is a mistranslation of epic proportions. The word for bless in the original language of Hebrew is barak. It is translated into English bless 302 times and curse only 4 times in the rest of the Old Testament. There are two other words here that, while not mistranslated, they are not used properly because of the translation of curse and its misuse. If we were to see this sentence in Hebrew, it would look like this:
Amar ishshah chazaq tummah barak elohiym muwth. If you were to translate that with a different understanding of the word barak, it would sound like this: Wife said, seize your innocence, bless God and die. In other words. Hold on to your innocence. It is okay, you can die, I will be okay. Are we reading too much into this? Perhaps. However, if you have ever seen someone on their death bed, they are usually hanging on for some reason. Loved ones looking on to them in this condition will often let them know it is okay to go ahead and pass on.
Here are some interesting thoughts to help draw this to a conclusion. According to Job 19:17, Job loved his wife. Keep in mind they had 10 kids and a life together. According to Job 31:9-10, he never was unfaithful. Although it was common in those days and accepted, he did not. Why? HE LOVED HER!
What about their ages? The closing few verses point out some very interesting things that give us insight. He lived to be 140. He lived to see the second set of children's children. If a generation was about 30 years, he would have been in his 50s when the ordeal first started in chapters one and two.
The real eye-opener about Mrs. Job is found in Job 42:14-15. Why would the Holy Spirit want you to specifically know about Job's 3 daughters? Usually, the male children were written about. However, not here. Why? Because they had a great mother! Job did not remarry to have the 10 new children. If the Holy Spirit revealed all of the other gruesome details in this narrative, there is no reason to assume He would not have revealed a different wife given to Job. The best way to draw this to a close is this. Job has 35 chapters to vent about what is taking place. Mrs. Job, on the other hand, is given one sentence. For whatever reason, during translation, her one sentence was taken out of context and she has been forever labeled as "mean". Nothing could be further from the truth after analyzing the scriptures.