All the Women of the Bible - Monday, August 26, 2013

Jemima

Scripture ReferenceJob 42:14

Name Meaning—A little dove

Several commentators refer to Job’s three daughters as those who were born to him after the return to his prosperity. The same is said of the seven sons born to him following his restoration to peace after severe trials, but are not the three daughters, “the three sisters” (1:4) who are assumed to have been destroyed when a hurricane destroyed their home? Although the sons and daughters were eating and drinking together before the storm struck (1:18), when it did fall upon the house we read that it “fell upon the young men, and they are dead” (1:19). There is no mention, however, of their “sisters” being killed with these young men. Are we justified in affirming that “the young men” who perished, were Job’s sons? Then, seeing 1:2 is identical with 42:13 are we not right in affirming that the more Job had at his latter end refers only to the material blessings of sheep, camels, oxen and asses (42:12), and not to added children? If children were included in the statement “The Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before” (42:10), and his original seven sons and three daughters (1:2) were all killed by the hurricane that destroyed his house, livestock and servants, then we should read after his restoration to health and prosperity when his latter end was blessed more than his beginning—“He had also fourteen sons and six daughters.” But the verse said, “He had (past tense) seven sons and three daughters.” If all these whom the Lord gave were taken away, then it would be a most remarkable coincidence indeed if He gave Job at the end of his trials exactly the same number of children again. Certainly Job was blessed in this area also seeing he lived to love four generations springing from his original seven sons and three daughters. The writer adds to the original mention of three daughters, their names and facts about their beauty and inheritance. The sons' names are not mentioned.

Jemima, the name of the eldest daughter, is reckoned to have an Arabic association meaning “a little dove.” Says Wilkinson, “the name, like those of her two sisters, is apparently due to some trivial occurrence, or experience, connected with early infancy....” The Septuagint renders Jemima as derived from the Hebrew word for “day,” so that her name could mean “bright or beautiful as day.” The three daughters were unsurpassed in their beauty in all the land (42:15). Jemama, a central province of Arabia, was so named by the Arabs, tradition says, in honor of Job’s first daughter.

Devotional content drawn from All the Women of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer. Used with permission.

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