Job lived a good, productive life. We seem to get the idea that his life resulted from his fear of God and honorable lifestyle. He was blessed with all the things a man could have asked for during those days. Job 1:2-3 tells us, “There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.”

The Psalmist, 127:3-5 tells us that the man with a “quiver” full of children is blessed by God. Job’s quiver was undoubtedly full. The seven sons were important because men needed large families to prosper in an agricultural economy. The number seven is also important in the Bible because it represents completeness or perfection. In the book of Revelation, which brings about the complete fulfillment of Christ’s reign on earth, it is used 54 times. If you include “sevenfold” and “seventh,” you get 860 times! I think there are two reasons why seven is the number for completion. First, it’s because God finished his creation and rested on the 7th day. God “completed” His work. Further, in Hebrew, the word for completeness has the same consonants as the word seven.[1] Seven sons are mentioned several times in the bible with regard to God’s blessings.  Naomi lost her husband and her two sons when they left Israel to dwell in Moab to escape the famine. One of the sons married a Moabite woman named Ruth. Ruth committed herself to taking care of Naomi and accompanied her when she returned home to Israel. When she got home and settled in with Ruth, Naomi’s friends praised Ruth and said to Naomi that Ruth was “more to Naomi than seven sons” (Ruth 4:15). When Hannah finally has a child, she says, “The barren has borne seven” (1 Samuel 2:5). Ash comments, “What more could a man want than seven sons! Well, I guess some daughters as well. And three is a good number. And seven plus three equals ten, which is also a good number. They are all good numbers and speak of an ideal family.”[2]

Job was the most “patient” example in the Old Testament. James referred to him several times. In James 5:11, he reminds his readers of “The patience of Job.” Joseph Caryl comments on Job’s wealth and patience. He says, “The greatness of his estate is set forth, that the greatness of his patience might appear. For a man to be made poorer, that was but poor and mean before, it is no great matter though he bear it; for a man to have but little that never had much is no great trial of his patience: but for a man to have nothing at all, that had as it were all things, and to be patient under it, this shows the proof of patience.  To a man that is born a slave, or a captive, captivity and bondage is no trouble, it does never exercise his patience, he is scarce sensible of the evil because he never knew better.  But for a king that is born free and has power over others, for a king that is in the height of freedom and liberty to become a slave and a captive, is such a one patience has a perfect work if he bear it.  So for Job, a man that once abounded in all manner of outward good things, to be ousted and emptied of all, that tried his patience to the full.”[3]


[2] Ash, Christopher. 2014. Job: The Wisdom of the Cross. Edited by R. Kent Hughes. Preaching the Word. Wheaton, IL: Crossway.