One of the alleged tombs of the Old Testmanet Prophet, Job,(“Ayub” in Arabic as translitered into English on the sign above) is just outside of Salalah, Oman. There is another “Job’s Tomb” located in Lebanon and a Turkish town (Urfa) claims to be the birthplace of Job as well as the location of Job’s trials! Well of course they can’t all be right, but they can certainly all be wrong! (“Andy the Tomb Raider Rater!” :-) ) It would be more important to glean wisdom from Job’s life and experience then to place an ungodly fixation on the location of his tomb. Nevertheless, I wanted to check out this tourist trap site for myself! The main gate to the tomb complex The mosque at Job’s tomb which I mistakenly first thought was the tomb! (In case you’re wondering why it’s given so much attention in the only video I took of Job’s Tomb, ha!ha!) After all his wife had been through, it is no wonder that she was ready to give up all hope. But Job recognized that both good and evil come from God’s hand, though one (good) by His active will and the other (evil) by His permissive will. God can permit evil things to happen for good ends such as in Genesis 50:19,20 and the ultimate example was at the cross. The mosque was empty when I ventured inside. Someone must have forgotten their shoes? Job’s friends started so well. But then the “blame game” slowly started and they end up turning into his accusers! If we were honest with ourselves we would ask, “How many times have I acted as Job’s friends in hurling accusations at a hurting soul rather than sit with them in love, sympathy and even in silence?” The inside of the mosque about 100 meters across from the tomb In verse 33 here, “Daysman” is a mediator. Job cries out for an advocate or impartial judge who could arbitrate the case between himself and God. His prayer was answered! (Timothy 2:5) This not so friendly sign is on the outside of the mosque. I wondered if there would a church anywhere with a sign reading, “Non-Christians, do not touch the Holy Bible!” The answer is a definite “NO!” We long for non-believers to not only touch but pore over every word in the Holy Bible (and we even gladly give them away!) in the hopes that people would come to the light! Job’s Tomb, in the mist of Salalah’s “Khareef“, is beautifully located on Jebel (Mountain) Qara. The ride out takes the tourist/pilgram through gorgeous scenes of Salalah’s famous frankincense trees. I LOVE verse 2 of Chapter 12. Job takes the opportunity, now that all 3 friends have spoken, to give his opinion of their counsel. The statement “No doubt…wisdom shall die with you” is dripping with sarcasm, but is an appropriate answer to these 3 who thought that they had all the answers to his dilemna. I know quite a few people like that! :-) Job’s body is supposed to be located in this simple grave in this small tomb “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God. Abu Baker (That’s his family name, I believe, but that was his answer to “What’s your name, sir?”) was the friendly Omani greeting tourists and providing lots of helpful information on my visit. The Book of Job is filled with references to the brevity of man’s life. Job longs for death as a release from the trials of earth. His question-If a man die; shall he live again?-is answered in Job 19:25-26. There are several questions raised in this book. They all express man’s desire to know who he is, why he was born, and where he is going. This photo captures the moment of realization that there was probably NO historical validation to this being Job’s tomb whatsoever…when AbuBaker showed me this “footprint of Job” in the cement just in front of the tomb.) If you think THAT is bizarre, check out Tourist Destination #10 on this map of Salalah!: “Footprints of a prophet’s camel”?!?!?!?!?!?! That is defnitely not on my top 10 list of things to see in Salalah, ha!ha! :-) Job’s anguish is felt throughout the book. Gracious words for those attacking him! “The comfort of my lips would relieve your grief.” “My witness is in heaven” implies an advance in Job’s faith over 9:33, where he pleaded for an impartial arbiter. He seems certain that there is a heavenly witness who will testify on his behalf.” Job 19:20 is the origin of today’s expression “by the skin of ones teeth” to explain just barely escaping some situation. Job’s cry that his words would be written in a book were answered! :-) I got lost a few times while driving around Salalah. As one of the free tourist maps reads, “Please note – Place names, on road signs in some areas outside the main towns in Dhofar, may be in Arabic only. Therefore, English speaking visitors will find it useful to refer to the Arabic text on the maps. The names are the approved spellings by the National Survey Authority, Sultanate of Oman.” This photo records such an occurence. A fork in the road suddenly appears with directional arrows and Arabic names only to guide the confused English speaking tourist! (If you read Arabic, you’d know that I took a lucky guess when I ventured left! :-) ) One GREAT thing about this trip to “Job’s Tomb” was that it got me into THE BOOK OF JOB.
Job knows confidently that he has a Redeemer (Hebrew: goel), One who will champion his cause and vindicate him. The Redeemer is more than an arbiter or a witness but a Kinsman-Redeemer who will avenge him. Clearly, Job viewed God Himself as the Redeemer, and the Hebrew word is in fact used often of God (Psalm 19:14, Isaiah 41:14…) “In my flesh” speaks of a resurrected body. Here then is clear evidence of the Old Testament belief in the resurrection. What is one of the themes of the Book of Job? It was generally believed by the Jews that sin is punished in this life. Every affliction was regarded as the penalty of some wrongdoing, either of the sufferer himself or of his parents. It is true that all suffering results from the transgression of God’s law, but this truth had become perverted. The evil of looking upon disease and death as proceeding from God,–as punishment arbitrarily inflicted on account of sin, led for the Jews to reject Jesus. He who “hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” was looked upon by the Jews as “stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted;” and they hid their faces from Him. Isa. 53:4, 3. God had given a lesson designed to prevent this. The history of Job had shown that suffering is inflicted by Satan, and is overruled by God for purposes of mercy. But Israel did not understand the lesson. The same error for which God had reproved the friends of Job was repeated by the Jews in their rejection of Christ.” (Stolen from this website) “I know that my Redeemer lives” in Job 19:25 has inspired many Christian writers to write beautiful songs such as “Redeemer“, (even better version here with lyrics!), “There is a Redeemer” and “My Redeemer Lives” (as well as this one I heard for the first time today) just to give you a few quick examples. Although I’m quite sure that the mortal remains of Job were not at the site I visited in Salalah, I did appreciate yet another opportunity to meditate deeply upon the life of this great man of God as recorded in God’s Holy Scripture! :-)