At the beginning of the book of Job, Job has three daughters. We do not know their names, and they dine at the invitation of their brothers. (Job 1:2-4) At the end of the book of Job, he again has three daughters. This time we know their names, and they share equally in the inheritance with their brothers. (Job 42:13-15) With such an ending, the book of Job reverses a decline we read about, with horror, in the book of Judges.
Toward the beginning of Judges, we meet a young woman named Achsah. When Achsah visits her father Caleb, she gets down from her donkey and asks for some land. Caleb happy complies. (Judges 1:13-15) Toward the end of Judges, we meet a young woman whose name we do not know. A gang of rapists kill her, and her master throws her body onto a donkey. Then he dismembers her. (Judges 19:25-29) With that gruesome scene, the author of Judges depicts Israel as having descended into idolatry and brutality. The unnamed woman testifies that God’s people stand on the brink of self-annihilation.
Recalling the contrasting scenes from Judges helps us drink in grace from the concluding scenes of Job. We know the names of his three daughters. We know the names of three women who beautifully reflect the image of God. Job calls his first daughter Dove, his second Cinnamon, and his third Horn of Eyeshade, all of which presumably sound better in their native tongue than in English. For Christian readers, these women share in the inheritance not only of their brothers but of Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:17) Perhaps we can look forward to meeting them in the new creation.
If we do, we will learn they have new names, written on white stones, which God will give them. And we will learn that we too have new names, “which no one knows, except the one who receives it.” (Revelation 2:17) I look forward to learning my God-given name, and perhaps I will learn your name also in the new creation. And together we can enjoy eternal life, which means that we know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom God sent. (John 17:3) Knowing God and knowing one another—with that gift, God promises eternal fascination.