Heidegger's Bible Handbook: Job: Job's Country

4. His native country Uz is Arabia Deserta or Ausitis. A threefold Uz is mentioned in the Sacred Books. Job was born of the posterity of Nahor.


Concerning the native country of Job, thus the Writer of the book, Job 1:1, there was a man בְאֶרֶץ־עוּץ, in the land of Uz. His name was Job. This land of Uz some, with the Chaldean Interpreter, make to be Armenia; others, Constantinople; others, the region of Trachonitis;[1] others, Palestine; others, Damascus of Syria; others, Idumea; others, Arabia Petræa: but we with those most approved think it to be Arabia Deserta. More specifically, in the Sacred Books three are signified by the name עוּץ/Uz: one, a grandson of Shem by Aram, Genesis 10:22, 23, whose seat was in Aramea or Syria, and who was of old believed to have been the founder of Damascus and Trachonitis: a second, a son of Nahor, Genesis 22:20, 21, whose region was called עוּץ/Uz, Usitis or Ausitis, and his posterity Αὐσίται/Ausitæ, the inhabitants of Arabia Deserta in Ptolemy’s Geography, book 5: the last, of the stock of the Horites, Genesis 36:28, who afterwards were expelled by the Idumeans, Deuteronomy 2:12. Now, the learned gather that Job’s native country was called Uz from the second of these, and so not of Syria nor Idumea, but of Arabia Deserta, seeing that that region alone was called Uz, or Aus, Ausitis, namely, after its first founder Uz; but the land of Trachonitis is nowhere called Uz, but rather the land of Gilead, Bashan: neither is Idumea called the land of Uz, but rather the land of Edom, Seir, Teman. Moreover, ἡ Χαλδαία χώρα παράκειται, the Chaldean region lies near, to Arabia Deserta, as Ptolemy and Strabo observe. But the native country of Job was itself also near to the Chaldeans.[2] And the Sabeans are located by Ptolemy, Geography, book 5, near to the same, in the more northern part of Arabia Deserta, not far from Ausitis. We pass over other arguments in silence. In any event, thence it is gathered that Job was begotten of the posterity either of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, whose son that Uz was, or, which is more likely, of Abraham himself by one of the sons born of Keturah, and sent away by him into the East.[3]

[1] Trachonitis was a volcanic region southeast of Damascus. [2] See Job 1:17. [3] See Genesis 25:6.