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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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UZ . 1 . A son of Aram [Note: ram Aramaic.] , grandson of Shem ( Genesis 10:23 and 1 Chronicles 1:17 [in emended text]). 2. A son of Nahor ( Genesis 22:21 , AV [Note: Authorized Version.] Huz ), whose descendants are placed in Aram-naharaim ( Genesis 24:10 ). 3 . One of the Horites in the land of Edom ( Genesis 36:28 [v. 21 and v. 30], 1 Chronicles 1:42 ). 4. A region which is called the dwelling-place of the daughter of Edom ( Lamentations 4:21 ). 5 . A district containing a number of kings, situated between Philistia and Egypt, or, with a different pointing of the consonants of one word, between Philistia and the country of the Bedouin ( Jeremiah 25:20 : the name not in LXX [Note: Septuagint.] ). 6. Job’s country ( Job 1:1 ). As the first three are probably tribal designations, all may be regarded as geographical terms. It is not certain that they all refer to the same region. Nos. 1 and 2 seem to point to Mesopotamia. Nos. 3 and 4, and perhaps 5 , indicate Edom or its neighbourhood. The locality of No. 6 is obscure. Ancient tradition is threefold. In LXX [Note: Septuagint.] of Job 42:19 Uz is affirmed, on the authority of ‘the Syriac book,’ to lie on the borders of ldumæa and Arabia. In v. 23 it is located on the borders of the Euphrates. Josephus ( Ant. I. vi. 4) associates the Uz of No. 1 with Damascus and Trachonitis. The evidence of the Book of Job itself about its hero’s home seems to favour the neighbourhood of Edom or N. Arabia. Teman ( Job 2:11 ) was an Edomite district containing the city of Bozrah ( Amos 1:12 ), and Eliphaz was an Edomite name ( Genesis 36:4 ). The Sabœans ( Job 1:15 ; Job 6:19 ) were a S. Arabian people who had settlements in the north. Tema ( Job 6:19 ) lay in N. Arabia, about 250 miles S.E. of Edom. The description of Job, however, as one of ‘the children of the East’ ( Job 1:3 ) is most naturally understood to refer to the east of Palestine. The cuneiform inscriptions have a name Uzzai , which has been identified with Uz , but the identification is extremely uncertain.

Modern tradition, which can be traced back to early Christian times, locates Job in the Hauran, where the German explorer J. G. Wetzstein found a monastery of Job, a tomb and fountain and stone of Job, and small round stones called ‘worms of Job.’ Another German explorer, Glaser, finds Uz in W. Arabia, at a considerable distance to the N.W. of Medina. Decision at present is unattainable, both on the general question of the signification of Uz in OT and on the special question of its meaning in the Book of Job. All that can be said is that the name points to the E. and S.E. of Palestine, and that the Book of Job appears to represent its hero as living in the neighbourhood of the Arabian or Syro-Arabian desert.

W. Taylor Smith.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Uz'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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