Monday, 27 March 2017

The Land of Uz

“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job.” (Job 1:1)
Uz was a son of Aram and a grandson of Shem (Genesis 10:22-23). Shem’s first son, Arphaxad, was born two years after the Flood, and his remaining sons would have been born in some reasonable sequence thereafter, probably around 36 years apart (Genesis 11:10-26). It is unlikely that Aram, Uz’s father, was born past the first century after the Flood. The events at Babel took place during the fifth generation (the generation of Peleg), and Uz would have been alive then.
The land of Uz is later associated with the territory of Edom (Lamentations 4:21), which is near the area southeast of the Dead Sea, toward the upper reaches of the Sinai Peninsula, east of Egypt and just north of the Red Sea. Although that area is not very pleasant now, at the time of Abraham it was “well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar” (Genesis 13:10). Quite likely, this was one of the more beautiful spots that was safely away from the rule of Nimrod and farther away from the climate shifts that were leading to the coming Ice Age.
We must guard against seeing the message in the light of our own experience, education, and entertainment. When we read that Job had vast herds of “camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household” (Job 1:3), our first reaction is to reject that as pure exaggeration since we “know” that that whole area is desert and could not possibly support that kind of lifestyle. Perhaps we need to “let God be true, but every man a liar” when we approach the words of Scripture (Romans 3:4). 

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