We all know the story of Job. He was a righteous man who led his family in the Lord. Even though he was devout, he still lost everything and suffered greatly. After he endured his trials, God restored to him everything he had and more. God poured out His blessings upon Job’s life.
But how are we to understand God restoring Job’s children? We see in the beginning and end of Job that he had ten children. They were exactly seven sons and three daughters at the beginning and the end.
Were Job’s original children resurrected, or did Job have ten new children?
Dispensationalism will help us to unravel this mystery.
Job 42:10, 12-13: “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. He had also seven sons and three daughters.”
So here we see the evidence that when Job’s life was restored, so he had ten children. Now let’s look at the beginning of the story, before Job’s trials.
Job 1:2: “And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.”
Seven sons and three daughters, which matches with Job 42. So, did Job have ten new children, or were they resurrected?
Was Job older than what the Bible tells us he was?
Jobs children originally were already grown: they had their own houses and possessions. If he were to have ten more after everything he had been through, he would have been older than the Bible tells us he was.
Did Job have multiple wives?
Some will say that maybe he had multiple wives, which means he could have the children faster. This doesn’t make sense because people didn’t have multiple wives during that time (Abraham’s time). Lot, Adam, Noah, and Abraham only had one wife. It wasn’t as common a practice as during the time of Moses’ law. Job’s experience with his wife who told him to “curse God and die” wouldn’t make sense for him to take on more wives as well.
So were his dead children resurrected?
Let’s look back at the following verses for our answer.
Job 42:12-13: “So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. He had also seven sons and three daughters.”
This passage tells us that Job had more than he did at the beginning and that he also had seven sons and three daughters, the keyword being also.
The word “also”
Genesis 36:6 will help us shed light on what may be going on in this passage.
Jacob went to Bethel previously in Genesis. Genesis 35 talks about him going to Bethel again. Jacob gave the place the name Bethel in the past. But then in Genesis 35, he gives the place the name Bethel again. Did he name it twice? Is there a contradiction here in the timeline when he named the place Bethel?
No, it’s simply repeating the story from Genesis 28:18-19. Did it happen again? No, the Bible is reminding us of something from the past. This happens often and is likely what is happening in Job 42: we are being reminded that Job originally had ten children.
It’s similar to Genesis 1 and 2 that goes back to the past to give you details after it explains everything that has happened. Job 42 is talking about what Job is blessed with, what he owns. That’s probably why it mentions his children again. In light of this, we have to take the numbers in Job 42 as a cumulative total of all God blessed Job with. It just makes sense that Job’s children were resurrected. It wouldn’t make sense for him to have 10 new children.
Turn the captivity
Job 42:10: “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”
The phrase “turn the captivity” is critical here. When we see this phrase in other places in the Old Testament, it almost always refers to the nation of Israel and God’s restoration. Israel will get back its promised land, and all it had will be restored. This phrase makes it seem highly likely that God did the same for Job.
We also see this in the end times. God’s people go through all kinds of trials and tribulations. But what happens to the tribulation saints in Revelation 20?
God resurrects them! God is all about restoration. Job is the perfect type for a tribulation Jew. Ultimately, this so-called “contradiction” only serves to unveil more profound truth within God’s Word.
So, how many children did Job have?
As we can see in the above, Job had a total of 10 children, not 20 as some claim. God resurrected Job’s children.