Victor Sasson, «The Literary and Theological Function of Job’s Wife in the Book of Job», Vol. 79 (1998) 86-90
Against a background of her family situation, the negative role of Job’s wife in her husband’s trial is analysed here. It should be noted that there is no mention of her in the Epilogue that would correspond to her being mentioned in the Prologue. Apart from never being mentioned by name, she is altogether overlooked when Job is restored to good fortune.
Job's wife actually desired and enjoyed bearing and raising her own children. He has uncritically adopted a fashionable stance of aborting nature and substituting rhetoric for substance.
Regarding the so-called gender dominance, there is ignorance if not deliberate suppression of the subtle (and not so subtle) dominance of women over men. Men and women are different, because they have been made different. They have different anatomy and different psychology. Women exert their dominance over men differently. In the case of Job's wife, to get herself out of her commitment and thus betray her husband in his terrible adversity, she did not ask for divorce. She found a better convenient alternative at hand: she simply told her husband to commit suicide! There will be commentators, no doubt, who will contend that Job's wife only wanted to help her poor husband out of his misery. Such a warped interpretation, however, would only violate the tenor and drift of the text.
In connection with Job's three beautiful daughters and the inheritance their father gives them (ch. 42), the comment is made that "the daughters inherit, because the man Job is charmed by them". But this is, surely, begrudging a father looking at his daughters and marvelling at their beauty. Job does not give them inheritance merely because they are beautiful. More likely, the story seeks to show the continued fairness and generosity of the new, restored Job.
As regards sexual temptation, Job is clear about his resistance to it. He is married to a woman he loves very much. He is and remains to be a faithful husband, even though the woman he loves is not steadfast:
If my heart has been enticed by a woman or I have lain in wait at my neighbour's door, may my wife be another man's slave, and may other men enjoy her (31,9-10; NEB).
As a married man, Job even resists gazing at a young virgin:
I have come to terms with my eyes, never to take notice of a girl (31,1; NEB)
Based on the biblical account that Job's three daughters were exceedingly beautiful (42,15), we may credit their mother with captivating physical beauty (and their father with good looks). This is in keeping with experience which shows physical beauty marred in some persons by flawed character. Beauty, however, cannot be a substitute for piety and good character. By itself, it is mere vanity, skin-deep (cf. Prov. 31,30). Job's nameless wife, therefore, must have been beautiful but her beauty was marred by fickleness of character, impiety, and selfishness.