Regarding Abraham, there are two scriptures which speak specifically of his wealth. The first one is in Genesis 12:5 which says, “Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and ALL THEIR POSSESSIONS that they had gathered…and they came to the land of Canaan” (NKJV). We aren’t told exactly what these “possessions” were, but they possibly included cattle and many servants. The second reference is in Genesis 13:1-2, “Then Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and ALL THAT HE HAD, and Lot with him, to the South. Abram was VERY RICH in livestock, in silver, and in gold.” Here we are told that Abram was “very rich,” not only in livestock, but silver and gold. Verses 5-6 also tell us that Abram and Lot were so rich, that the land couldn’t support them both: “Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks and herds and tents. Now the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together, for THEIR POSSESSIONS WERE SO GREAT that they could not dwell together.”

We learn in these two passages that God blessed Abram in Haran AND in Egypt. The possessions he had when he journeyed to Canaan were a blessing from God as were the livestock, silver and gold obtained in Egypt, for as we shall see when we consider Job, it is the Lord who causes one to prosper. It is obvious that in Egypt, there must have been suitable land for raising livestock (centuries later Jacob and his family settled in Goshen because of they too raised cattle and sheep (see Genesis 46:28-34).

In Job 1:1 & 3 we read, “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job…his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East.” The “land of Uz” was no doubt located in Edom, southeast of Palestine, for in Lamentations 4:21 we read, “Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, you who dwell in the land of Uz!” Like Goshen in Eygpt, its land must have been good for grazing and was able to support the vast amount of livestock that Job possessed.

We know that all of his possessions were a blessing from God, for both Satan and Job acknowledge this. In Job 1:10 Satan said to God, “You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.” After Satan was allowed by God to take those possessions away, Job declared “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. THE LORD GAVE, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (verse 21). How precious was Job’s faith, for he saw that God was the One who blesses men! This reminds me of James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” Notice it says, “every GOOD gift and every PERFECT gift,” for as one has said, “Only good gifts come from God.” Sadly, there are possessions that men obtain by their own means. THIEVES get rich by “stealing.” PROSTITUTES receive money by “selling their bodies.” CORRUPT BUSINESS MEN become wealthy by “oppressing other men.” But the humble, obedient believer can echo the words of David in 1st Chronicles 29:10-14, “Blessed are You, O LORD God…for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours…both RICHES and honor COME FROM YOU…we thank You and praise Your glorious name…But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For ALL THINGS COME FROM YOU, and of Your own we have given You.” (278.3) (DO)