March 11, 2016
In the particular read-through-the-Bible-in-a year-assignment which I happen to be following this year (recommended by Al McCarn), it so happened that the final chapters of the book of Job coincided with the readings for parshas Vayakhel and Pekudai, as well as the close of the Bney Yosef Summit in Tampa (March 4-6 2016).
The final verses of the book captured my attention when I noticed that Job’s three daughters are named in the text–but his seven sons are not. As the number three always reminds me of the resurrection of Messiah Yeshua, I was provoked to start digging into the meanings of the names. To my great surprise, a clear picture of returning Ephraim emerged. Come, please, examine what I have found.
And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before…He had also seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first daughter Jemimah, and the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-happuch. And in all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters. And their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations. And Job died, an old man, and full of days. (Job 42:10-17)
Let me stop and introduce Abiram Publications, a fantastic tool for understanding biblical names because of its multitude of resources. Also, let me recommend E-Sword, a free Bible software program that has been invaluable to me over the years. This wonderful program allows me to find every instance of usage of any word or phrase in the Bible. It has been and continues to be my “go to” source whenever I open the Bible on my computer. My understanding of Scripture has been enlarged tremendously by taking time to search subjects and ideas from Genesis to Revelation. Truly, Yahweh does not change!
With that out of the way, let us proceed to today’s subject. According to Abiram’s extensive research, scholars are divided as to the origin and meaning of the name of Job’s eldest daughter, Jemimah or (Yemimah ימימה). One camp assumes that because Job and his family lived in Uz, which is thought to have been in Arabia, the name Jemimah comes from an Arabic word meaning dove.
Immediately, we think of the dove that brought the olive leaf to Noah (Gen. 8:11), the dove which Abraham split into two pieces and sacrificed (Gen. 15:9), the dove required of a poor woman who gives birth (Lev. 15:6), the undefiled Shunnamite, “my dove” (Song of Songs 6:9), and Ephraim, the “silly dove without understanding” (Hosea 7:11) who will come out of Egypt “trembling as a bird” (Hosea 11:11). Finally, we recall the dove that appeared at at Yeshua/Jesus’ baptism, representing the Holy Spirit that rests in those who believe on Him.
The Hebrew perspective gives even more insight, for the name Jemimah is closely related to the word for seas, מימ (mayim). Interestingly, Isaiah refers to Ephraim repeatedly as “the isles” or “coastlands,” depending on one’s translation. “Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye peoples, from far: Jehovah hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.” (Isa. 49:1, for a few other examples see 40:5,41:5, 42:4, 42:10]. “Seas” is often used as a picture of the nations. “By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas“ (Ps. 65:5).
Abiram notes that the most ancient translations of the Bible, the Septuagint and the Vulgate, derive the name Jemimah from the noun יום (yom), meaning a day. A related adverb יומם (yomam) means by day, or during daylight, which leads Abiram to suggest that Yemimah could also mean Lady Daylight. Hmmm. Could she picture redeemed Israel, the “light of the world,” those who keep the commandments?
Moving on to Job’s second daughter, Keren-happuch, קרן הפוך, is a compound word. Abiram notes that the first part, keren, is identical to the word קרן (qaran), the verb used to describe Moses when he came down from the mountain (Ex. 34:29), face aglow. This is why Michelangelo painted him with horns . Brown, Driver, Briggs’ definitions of keren (horn) includes strength (figuratively), flask (container for oil), musical instrument, corners of altar, rays of light, hill. Certainly, all of these terms could be applied to returning Ephraim.
The first usage of keren occurs in the binding of Isaac (Gen. 22:13) when the ram’s horn was caught in the thicket. As I re-read the verse today, it suddenly occurred to me that the thicket could represent the sin of Jeroboam and the reason that Ephraim was exiled. The word keren occurs several times in the book of Exodus in the instructions to build the tabernacle, specifically concerning the bronze and incense altars, as well sacrificial ordinances in the book of Leviticus. In addition, it is the word used throughout the Scriptures regarding the sounding of the shofar, which modern-day Ephraimites are certainly taking very seriously.
When Moses blessed the children of Joseph, he used the word keren (horns) expressly concerning Ephraim:
And of Joseph he said, “Blessed by the LORD be his land, with the choicest gifts of heaven above, and of the deep that crouches beneath, with the choicest fruits of the sun and the rich yield of the months, with the finest produce of the ancient mountains and the abundance of the everlasting hills, with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness and the favor of him who dwells in the bush. May these rest on the head of Joseph, on the pate of him who is prince among his brothers. A firstborn bull—he has majesty, and his horns are the horns [keren]of a wild ox; with them he shall gore the peoples, all of them, to the ends of the earth; they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.” (Deut. 33:13-17)
Hannah, who, along with her husband, resided in Ephraimite territory (1 Sam. 1:1) used this word in her exaltation:
And Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the LORD; my horn [keren]is exalted in the LORD. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation. There is none holy like the LORD: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.” (1 Sam. 2:1-2).
The second part of the name Keren Happuch [ha puk, or “the antimony”], according to Abiram, is identical to the word meaning stibium, or kohl, a black mineral powder used for eye make-up. Did not Joseph’s painted eyes conceal himself from his brothers?
In Egypt, as early as 3100 BC, antimony (kohl) was used as an eye cosmetic. The lustrous silvery gray metal is still used today in cosmetics, according to Wikipedia.
Abiram sums up its research on this name by reporting that Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names defines Keren Happuch as Splendor Of Color, which makes me think immediately of Joseph’s coat of many colors! The NOBSE Study Bible Name List defines it as Horn Of Eye Paint and BDB Theological Dictionary defines the meaning of the name as Horn Of Antimony, i.e. Beautifier. Indeed, our text states that none were as beautiful as Job’s daughters.
Job’s third daughter’s name, Keziah קציעה, is associated with three root words, קצץ (qss), קצע (qs’), and קצה (qsh), all having to do with an abrupt severing or ending. This can certainly be applied to ancient Ephraim when you consider that the king of Assyria abruptly swept away the Northern Kingdom of Israel around 722 BC.
The root-verb קצץ (qasas) means to remove by cutting off and is used mostly to describe the severing of body parts, as well as the cutting of pieces of items of metal for transport. We shiver when we recall the brutal Assyrian kings who delighted in literally cutting off body parts (i.e. nose, ears, hands, and arms) of the Israelite captives which they transported out of the land, according to archeological finds.
The Bible’s warns that the disobedient will be “cut off,” including the uncircumcised (Gen. 17:14), those who refuse to eat unleavened bread during the Passover week (Ex. 12:15-19), and those who profane the Shabbat (Ex. 31:14). Ephraim was cut off due to his idolatry 2700 years ago, was dead and now is resurrected by the grace of Yahweh in the form of believers in Messiah worldwide. Do we dare to believe these warnings to not apply to us?
Abiram further explains that the verb קצע (qasa’ ) means to scrape or scrape off and is the root of cassia, a sweet smelling cinnamon powder harvested by scraping the bark of trees and is identical to the name Keziah. We are reminded that Job scraped his sores. I submit that those of us whose eyes and ears have been opened have found ourselves scraping off the ways of Egypt and Babylon! Remember, the righteous are referred to as “trees” (see Is. 55:12, Mark 8:24).
To sum up, Job’s first daughter pictures Ephraim’s destiny, coming out of the nations and being filled with the Holy Spirit. Job’s second daughter pictures Joseph’s hidden identity and His coat of many colors, representing the multitude that “no man can number ” (Rev. 7:9), the fulfillment of the promise that Abraham’s seed would be as the sand of the sea. The name of Job’s third daughter reveals an abrupt ending with a sweet fragrance. Instead of bearing the stench of death, as did Ephraim of old, Keziah’s sudden status change, I would suggest, is to return to the land, bathed and perfumed, her iniquities cleansed and a new heart (Ezekiel 36:25,26).
“And their father gave them inheritance among their brothers” (Job 42:15). This, beloved, is our portion in the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!
Eth-Kazin, עתה קצין, a city of Zebulon, is a name strongly related to Keziah and quite a study in itself. Abiram opines its meaning can, perhaps, best be summed up as “a man will decree or answer in time” It is interesting that this name is associated with field, ostrich, cohabitation, busyness, affliction, the poor, and humility. Time and space does not allow us to delve into this now. Suffice it to say that the prophets use all of these terms in one way or another in reference to Ephraim.
Interestingly, NOBSE Study Bible renders the meaning of Eth-Kazin as Time of a Judge and Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has the similar Time of the Judge. Yeshua is both Law-Giver and Judge. Zebulon was one of the first tribes to receive the attention of Isaiah (9:1), as well as Matthew’s gospel (4:15-16). It is noteworthy that Zebulon, in company with Ephraim, ate the Passover in the days of Hezekiah even though they were unclean:
For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the Passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “The good LORD pardon every one.” (2 Chron. 30:18)
We will close with that verse. We are living in “the time of THE JUDGE.” May we be as Hezekiah this year at Passover and send out invitations to our unrepentant brothers. May we be a sweet fragrance to them and to our King! May they come from the north, south, east, and west. And may we be just as gracious to receive them as was Hezekiah!
Thanks for stopping by. Shalom!