UZ (ŭz, Heb. ‘ûts, meaning uncertain)
UZ uz (ע֥וּץ; LXX Αὐσίτις) was the name of three men mentioned in the Bible: (1) the son of Aram and grandson of Shem (
The country is nowhere specifically located either in sacred or secular history or geography, yet Biblical and traditional references provide several clues to its location:
(1) It was a land of plentiful pastures (
(2) Portions of it were suitable for plowed crops (
(3) It was near the desert or “wilderness” (
(4) It was sufficiently extensive to have a number of kings or “Sheikhs” over as many tribes or people (
(5) It was so situated as to be in more or less proximity to the tribes of the Temanites, the Shuhites, the Naamathites (
(6) There was a colony of Edom (called “daughter of Edom”) in the Land of Uz (
(7) It was within raiding distance of the Sabeans and Chaldeans (
(8) Ancient tradition, as found in the “Syriac book,” affirmed that the Land of Uz lay “on the borders of Idumea (Edom) Arabia.”
(9) The LXX, in some vv. at the end of the
Wadi Sirhan, SE of Jebel ed Druz, is the one land area that fits the Biblical description of the “land of Uz,” and falls into place and harmonizes with the setting in the Book of Job as no other area in the lands of the Bible. Wadi Sirhan is a great shallow plain-like depression some 210 m. long and averaging 20 m. wide. It begins at the present inland town of Azraq, a typical oasis with many palm groves, some fifty m. E of Amman, and continues in a southeasterly direction to within ten m. of Jauf, an important caravan junction of central Arabia. Many localities in the northwestern portion of Wadi Sirhan—(the general area where Job prob. lived)—are only 40 to 100 m. from the eastern borders of Edom.
Much of Wadi Sirhan is a vast, flat pasture land, fairly well suited to the raising of camels, donkeys, sheep, and goats. And to this day it sustains wild life such as gazelle, oryx, ostrich, and the wild ass, though in smaller numbers than in Job’s day. The chief wealth of the plain lies in its abundant water supply. From the southern slopes of Jebel Druz, from the ranges of hills N and NE, and from the hundred m. long wadi-cut plateau stretching along its southwestern border, the water from winter and spring rains flow, either on the surface or subterraneously, into this depression. It becomes somewhat of a catchment basin for rain and run-off water, which means that such a reservoir of underground water is built up that in many places the water table is high enough to afford an abundance of water when a thin limestone sheet has been penetrated some eighteen to twenty-four inches below the ground surface. In other places there are wells and water holes where at times many thousands of camels and smaller cattle may be seen in the area at the same time. In some parts, however, they depend on rain water caught in cisterns and reservoirs.
In 1925, during the Druse rebellion against the Fr. rule in Syria, many Druse chiefs with their people fled for refuge to Wadi Sirhan, where they pastured their vast herds and lived in their tents until the trouble was over. In ancient times the district lay near the caravan route from Sheba and Tema, and was exposed to the people of this area, and to the bands of Sabeans and Chaldeans as they came along the caravan route from the E. The residence of Job was in, or near a city, at the gate of which he sat with the elders, to administer justice.
N. Glueck, The Other Side of the Jordan (1940), 40-43, 175; J. D. Douglas, New Bible Dictionary (1962), 1306, 1307.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
(uts ’erets uts; Os, Ox, Ausitis):
(2) The son of Nahor by Milcah, and older brother of Buz (
(3) A son of Dishan, son of Seir the Horite (
(4) The native land and home of Job (
(5) A kingdom of some importance somewhere in Southern Syria and not far from Judea, having a number of kings (
(6) A kingdom, doubtless the same as that of
James Josiah Reeve
(’uts; Septuagint Ausitis; Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) Ausitis): The home of the patriarch Job (
Talmud of Jerusalem (French translation by M. Schwab, VII, 289) contains a discussion of the date of Job; Le Strange, Palestine under the Moslems, 220-23, 427, 515.