Consider the Ostrich: Unlocking the Book of Job and the Blessing of Suffering
For this book, Scott LaCounte uses the pen name Scott Douglas. Here's the opening of Chapter 1.
Most of what we know about Job is from what the book of Job tells us. Outside of Job, he is only referenced in the Old Testament one other time: Even if these three men—Noah, Daniel and Job—were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign LORD (Ezekiel 14:14).
Short as that verse is, it’s telling in the sense that Job must have been well-known. The Jewish people, like so many from this age, passed down many stories orally. People couldn’t read. So, the stories spread more like folklore. The reference in Ezekiel tells us that people knew who Job was—he’s mentioned right up there with the greats.
The Land of Oz or Uz?
Job was from Uz. We can be pretty certain of that. Why, after all would someone make up a place like that since we have no idea where it actually was? They could have easily said he was from Israel or somewhere with more historic significant. But Uz? You might as well have said Oz because it feels a bit…made up.
Most do believe that Uz existed, but there’s lots of debate about where it physically was located. Outside of Job, we see Uz as both a person(1) and a land(2). That’s great! So where was it?
One of the Dead Sea Scrolls(3) says that Uz existed beyond the Euphrates. In case you aren’t familiar, the Euphrates is a river in the Middle East—a very long river. It starts in Turkey and empties out in the Persian Gulf. So, what does beyond mean? Someplace to the south? The west? The east? Beyond doesn’t really help.
Popular locations for the mysterious land of Uz include somewhere in Southern Jordan, Southern Arabia, and Southern Syria. Uzbekistan has even been floated by some. But if you ask me, my money is on Uz really being the mystical land of Oz. Just kidding.
1 Genesis 22:21 tells us Uz was the first born son of Abraham’s brother
2 Lamentations 4:21 says “Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwells in the land of Uz.
3 The War Scroll
Reprinted with permission by Scott Douglas. You can learn more about Scott and his writing here.