His possessions also were seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred female donkeys, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.
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Gregory The Dialogist
But because this store of antecedent virtues is followed by a manifold concern for good works, it is rightly added,
His substance also was seven thousand sheep and three thousand camels.
39. For, saving the historical truth, we are at liberty to follow in a spiritual way that which our ears receive in a carnal shape. Thus we possess seven thousand sheep, when we feed the innocent thoughts within our breast, in a perfect purity of heart, with the food of truth which we have sought after.
40. And we shall have three thousand camels likewise in our possession, if all that is high and crooked in us be subdued to the order [rationi] of faith, and when of our own free will, and in our longing after humility, it is made to bow down itself under a knowledge of the Trinity. For we possess camels, whensoever we put down in humility all the high notions that we entertain. Surely we are in possession of camels, when we bend our thoughts to sympathy with a brother's weakness, that bearing o...
21. That believing hearers have been gathered from various manners of 1ife, a truth which is first declared generally by the mention of the daughters, the same is afterwards brought before us in detail by the specification of the animals. For what does he set forth in the seven thousand sheep, but some men's perfect innocency, which comes from the pastures of the Law to the perfect estate of grace? what again is signified by the three thousand camels, but the crooked defectiveness of the Gentiles coming to the fulness of faith. Now in Holy Scripture, sometimes the Lord Himself is expressed by the title of a camel, and sometimes the Gentile people. For the Lord is signified by the name of a camel, as when it is said by that very Lord to the Jews that set themselves against Him, who strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. [Mat. 23, 24] For a gnat wounds while it whispers, but a camel of free will bends to receive its load. Thus the Jews strained at a gnat, in that they sought that a...
5. We know that the greater the loss, the greater the grief with which it affects the mind; to shew then how great was his virtue, we are told that it was very much, that he lost with patience; for never without pain do we part with aught, saving that which we hold without fondness; therefore while the greatness of his substance is described, yet soon after he is reported as resigned to the loss of it; thus parting with it without regret, it is plain that he had kept it without regard. It is also to be noted that in the first instance the riches of his heart are described, and afterwards the wealth of the body; for an abundant store is wont to make the mind so much the more slack to the fear of God, as it obliges it to be occupied with a diversity of cares; for inasmuch as it is dissipated by a multitude of objects, it is prevented standing fast in that which is within. Which was pointed out by Truth Itself in setting forth the Parable of the sower; He also that received seed among t...
You see the greatness of Job’s external wealth; but his internal wealth was even greater. The visible riches were splendid, but the invisible riches were even more splendid because they last; visible riches grow old, lose their value and continually collapse into the most pitiful corruption and destruction. - "Homilies on Job 1.1.2–3e"
The author calls Job a man of the East; he was superior to all in radiance and celebrity and could name distinguished and illustrious ancestors. How could Job not be incited to pride by the virtue that reigned in his soul, by the joy which his children gave him and by the fact he was the only one who simultaneously possessed wealth and virtue and the privilege to descend from illustrious fathers? But when these goods fall into the hands of the impious, heed what the prophet says: “Since pride has completely grasped them, they have clothed themselves in their injustice and impiety.” But as for Job, he declares, “Why do the wicked live and grow old in their prosperity?” Now it was not like that at all for Job. It is not the nature of wealth that causes bad conduct but the mind of those who do not use wealth properly. - "Commentary on Job 1.3"