Saturday, February 6, 2010
The Worth of a man.
Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
Job 1:2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.
Job 1:3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.
Job was a mighty man when it came to riches. In fact, he was unequaled in his part of the world.
Rich in livestock.
Job owned 7000 sheep. Sheep prices are at a several year low at the present, never-the-less, lambs and ewes are sold by weight, going for about $90 per pound. So, an 80 lb sheep would be worth just over $70. Job had 7000 of them on his Rancho de Uz, so the ovine value was about $490,000
He possessed 3000 camels. In our day, a sturdy male camel with a life expectancy of 60 years and upward, can fetch about $1000. Good racing camels can bring $2000. Camels are used as beasts of burden, for their meat, for their hair and for sport. Estimated value of Job's camels, $3 million.
Additionally, 500 yoke of oxen belonged to him. A yoke of oxen would mean a matched pair, bringing the individual number to 1000. Oxen are steers used for working the fields. We can safely assume then, that Job owned a good number of cows which produced these Oxen.
I would hate to offend the fairer sex by quoting the ancients, but it gives us the idea of the worth of oxen. "In pre-Hellenic Greece, the earliest unit of exchange that we find is the ox. According to Homer's Iliad, a 'woman good for a thousand tasks' was worth four oxen." Sorry, I couldn't pass that up! Well, surely we could nail down a price rather than a comparison to a good woman. One source I found estimated the worth of one oxen at $4000, bringing the herd’s value to $4 million.
Add to that his 500 jinnys. Bryant remarks that a great part of the wealth of the inhabitants of the East often consisted of she-asses, the males being few and not held in equal estimation. She-asses are early mentioned as having been in common use to ride on; Num_22:25; Jdg_5:10. 2Ki_4:24 (Hebrew). One reason why the ass was chosen in preference to the horse, was that it subsisted on so much less than that animal, there being no animal except the camel that could be so easily kept as the ass. $400 is the going price for a "jinny." That times 500 equals $200,000.
We can assume some other things about Job's wealth by reading the above. 1) He had a lot of farm land. 500 yoke of oxen implies that he had a much land to till. 2) All of those camels meant that he must have been in the caravan business, trading with business men of other areas. 3) He had a lot of grazing land to sustain the great numbers of sheep.
Total value of livestock mentioned: $7.7 million dollars.
Job also was considered rich in servants. The Book says that he had a very great household. This indicates that he had a great number of workers.
But Job had greater riches then just animals and a great household. He had Mrs. Job, 7 sons and 3 daughters. No monetary value can be placed on family. Were they perfect and upright like Job? Not by any means. When life took a southerly turn, she advised Job to curse God and die. His kids were obsessed with partying, gorging themselves and imbibing. But, hey, family is family.
Of greater wealth than all of the aforementioned was Job's faith and godliness. In the estimation of the Word of God, Job was perfect, upright, he feared God and hated evil. This package made Job the richest of the rich.
How rich are you? I don't suppose any servants are waiting on you hand and foot. I doubt you have many camels in your back yard. Your bank balance may be a bit embarrassing. But if you are saved, have a good family and a great faith in God, you are rich beyond imagination. Thank God for the riches with which He has blessed you.