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Job 19:17-18



17 My breath [ruwach] is strange [zuwr] to my wife ['ishshah], though I intreated [channowth] for the children's [ben] sake of mine own body [beten].

18 Yea, young children [`aviyl] despised [ma'ac] me; I arose [quwm], and they spake [dabar] against me. KJV-Interlinear



17 'My breath is offensive to my wife, And I am loathsome to my own brothers. 18 'Even young children despise me; I rise up and they speak against me. NASB



Job lived in a time when polygamy was a common practice. Men having several wives, is mentioned frequently in the Old Testament. But in all of his years, perhaps 250 of them, only one wife is mentioned for Job.


Also, in his years prior to his current suffering, he lived and enjoyed a sense of respect from young and old alike. Even the men of older generations had a great respect for Job.


Job 29:8

8 The young men saw me and hid themselves, And the old men arose and stood. NASB


But now, even the young children of his servants, toddlers and the like, stood up and grumbled against Job, and left the room when Job was present. And of these youngsters, no knowledge of the meaning of their reaction was present within their young minds. Young kids usually just imitate or repeat what they hear.


And as for his wife, Job entreated her, made requests of her, during his miserable days. He did not command. He did not yell and scream. He did not impose his authority on her. But as is mentioned here, he requested her aid in whatever his needs were, and he did it in a manner as one would request a young child to do something. The request was not disrespectful, and not something unreasonable, and not something that one would not expect for another to do in the normal course of ones life.


He did not ask anything of her which he had not asked before.


But now, his own wife, the one who has given him ten children and with whom they had spent many intimate moments, the one who would do all she could to bring pleasure into his life, has now changed her attitude.


His breath is now as that of a stranger. She would not give the time of day to a stranger, and certainly she would never consider anything resembling passion for a stranger. But now Job has been pushed aside, in her own mind, into the category of strangers.


They live under the same roof for the time being, but that is just about all.


Later on we will see that her attitude will change dramatically and their former love and intimacy will double, but for now, Job is not exactly the most desirable partner for any woman. Recall that his body is sore riddled and maggot infested. Who would want to cuddle with that?


But there is more to this verse than meets the eye. Job and his wife had a wonderful life together. They were successful and popular. They raised ten children and saw them off into their own individual homes. Jobs wife was the first lady of the social circles and now, all of that has changed.


Her children are lost, her status is now lost, and all because of her association with Job, and her attitude has slipped dramatically into self-pity and hate. Recall her demand that Job, 'Curse God and die.'


Now she won't wait on him, won't talk with him, won't have much if anything to do with him. Send the servants to see to his needs. And, the servants don't want to deal with him either. You can imagine the arguments and tense situations that have arisen in the weeks of his illness.


Job is a normal human. His illness would present potty accidents, eating accidents, and so forth. Someone has to clean it all up, change the clothing, etc. This has not been a pretty picture.


Jobs wife, whom we do not have a name for, could have been more tender. She could have recognized Jobs helplessness in this whole affair. She could have understood that none of this was his fault. She could have sat beside him, and poured the oils and salves on his sores and blisters. But instead she became bitter, because of what she now, did not have. Or at least perceived that she did not have.


Note that she still had a home with servants. How many of you have servants? How many of you have kids that will, at the very least, clean up their own room?


His wife was not destitute, nor was she as bad off as she thought. Only her pride has been bruised.


And now Job has gone full circle. He was not the architect of his own success, God did all of that. He was not the instigator of his downfall, God controls all of that as well.


And yet people looked to him, Job, to get a little of his prosperity to rub off on them, and they left him when he seemed no longer useful.


Through it all, Job had his eyes on God, and people had their eyes on circumstances. Who do you suppose will come out the better for it all?

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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