There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job,
&c.] Of the signification of his name, see the introduction to the book. The place where he dwelt had its name not from Uz, a descendant of Shem, ( Genesis 10:23 ) but from Uz, a son of Nahor, brother to Abraham, ( Genesis 22:21 ) unless it can be thought to be so called from Uz, of the children of Seir, in the land of Edom; since we read of the land of Uz along with Edom, or rather of Edom as in the land of Uz, or on the borders of it, ( 4:21 ) , the Targum calls it the land of Armenia, but rather it is Arabia; and very probably it was one of the Arabias Job lived in, either Petraea or Deserta, probably the latter; of which Uz or Ausitis, as the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin version read it, was a part; the same with the Aesitae of Ptolemy F21; and it is said to be near the land of Canaan F23, for in Arabia Felix the Sabeans lived; and certain it is that this country was near to the Sabeans and Chaldeans, and to the land of Edom, from whence Eliphaz the Temanite came: and as this very probably was a wicked and an idolatrous place, it was an instance of the distinguishing grace of God, to call Job by his grace in the land of Uz, as it was to call Abraham in Ur of the Chaldeans; and though it might be distressing and afflicting to the good man to live in such a country, as it was to Lot to live in Sodom, yet it was an honour to him, or rather it was to the glory of the grace of God that he was religious here, and continued to be so, see ( Revelation 2:13 ) and gives an early proof of what the Apostle Peter observed, "that God is no respecter of persons, but, in every nation, he that feareth God, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him"; that is, through Christ, ( Acts 10:34 Acts 10:35 ) . Job, as he is described by his name and country, so by his sex, "a man"; and this is not so much to distinguish his sex, nor to express the reality of his existence as a man, but to denote his greatness; he was a very considerable, and indeed an extraordinary man; he was a man not only of wealth and riches, but of great power and authority, so the mean and great man are distinguished in ( Isaiah 2:9 ) see the account he gives of himself in ( Job 29:7-10 ) , by which it appears he was in great honour and esteem with men of all ranks and degrees, as well as he was a man of great grace, as follows:
and the man was perfect;
in the same sense as Noah, Abraham, and Jacob were; not with respect to sanctification, unless as considered in Christ, who is made sanctification to his people; or with regard to the truth, sincerity, and genuineness of it; or in a comparative sense, in comparison of what he once was, and others are; but not so as to be free from sin, neither from the being of it, which no man is clear of in this life, nor from the actings of it in thought, word, and deed, see ( Job 9:20 Job 9:30 Job 9:31 ) or so as to be perfect in grace; for though all grace is seminally implanted at once in regeneration, it opens and increases gradually; there is a perfection of parts, but not of degrees; there is the whole new man, but that is not arrived to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; there are all and every grace, but not one perfect, not knowledge, nor faith, nor hope, nor love, nor patience, nor any other: but then, as to justification, every good man is perfect; Christ has completely redeemed his people from all their sins; he has perfectly fulfilled the law in their room and stead; he has fully expiated all their transgressions, he has procured the full remission of them, and brought in a righteousness which justifies them from them all; so that they are free from the guilt of sin, and condemnation by it, and are in the sight of God unblamable, unreproveable, without fault, all fair and perfectly comely; and this was Job's case:
to whom was shown the uprightness of Christ, or to whom the righteousness of Christ was revealed from faith to faith, and which was put upon him, and he walked in by faith, see ( Job 33:23 ) , moreover, Job was upright in heart, a right spirit was renewed in him; and though he was not of the nation of Israel, yet he was, in a spiritual sense, an Israelite indeed, in whom there was no guile, the truth of grace and the root of the matter being in him, ( Job 19:28 ) , and he was upright in his walk and conversation before God, and also before men; upright in all his dealings and concerns with them, in every relation he stood, in every office and character he bore:
and one that feared God;
not as the devils, who believe and tremble; nor as carnal men, when the judgments of God are in the earth, hide themselves in fear of him; nor as hypocrites, whose fear or devotion is only outward, and is taught by the precept of men; but as children affectionately reverence their parents: Job feared God with a filial and godly fear, which sprung from the grace of God, and was encouraged and increased by his goodness to him, and through a sense of it; it was attended with faith and confidence of interest in him, with an holy boldness and spiritual joy, and true humility; and comprehended the whole of religious worship, both public and private, internal and external:
and eschewed evil,
or "departed from it" F24; and that with hatred and loathing of it, and indignation at it, which the fear of God engages unto, ( 8:13 ) ( 16:6 ) , he hated it as every good man does, as being contrary to the nature and will of God, abominable in itself, and bad in its effects and consequences; and he departed from it, not only from the grosser acts of it, but abstained from all appearance of it, and studiously shunned and avoided everything that led unto it; so far was he from indulging to a sinful course of life and conversation, which is inconsistent with the grace and fear of God.
F21 Geograph. l. 5. c. 19.
F23 Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 75. 2.
F24 (ro) (apecomenov) , Sept. "recedens a malo", V. L. Montanus, Junius & Tremellius