🔼The name Uz: Summary
- Contemplation, Inner Strength
- From the verb עוץ ('us), to create inner strength by contemplation.
🔼The name Uz in the Bible
The name Uz is assigned four times in the Bible:
🔼Etymology of the name Uz
The name Uz probably arose in a language other than Hebrew (maybe Horite?), but spelled as is, it is identical to the verb עוץ ('us) meaning to counsel, regard:
Verb עצם ('asam) speaks of a skeletal structure that (a) lies hidden beneath an obvious surface, and (b) provides the invisible inner strength that keeps the whole in shape. Noun עצם ('osem) means might or skeleton. Noun עצמה ('osma) means strength. Noun עצם ('esem) means bone but may also be used to refer to one's whole body. Adjective עצום ('asum) means mighty or numerous. Noun תעצמה (ta'asuma) is a plural and intensive form meaning might but a whole lot of it.
Our verb may also mean to shut or close, predominantly of eyes, and presumably in order to review one's inner mental structures. Noun עצמות ('asumot) appears to refer to the "bones" of one's reason, the certainties upon which all creativities are grafted.
Like the previous, the verb עצה ('asa) also means to shut and its sole Biblical occurrence also speaks of closing one's eyes in order to hatch plans in one's heart: to review or form one's inner and structural strength. The very common noun עץ ('es) means tree (whose fruits proverbially show its "heart"). Collectively, trees are known as עצה ('esa). The similar noun עצה ('aseh) describes the backbone of an animal.
Obviously, the Bible is not concerned with the history of political power and solely with the evolution of the wisdom tradition and thus information technology (from cave paintings to the alphabet to blockchain). That means that very few references to wood and trees in the Bible — from the trees of Paradise to Noah's ark, Abraham's oaks, the cedars of Tyre and even the cross of Christ — should be expected to actually be about trees.
Probably a by-form of the previous, the verb עוץ ('us) means to counsel or regard with deep inner contemplation.
To a Hebrew audience the name Uz would have meant Counsel or Contemplation, an interpretation that is confirmed by Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names, which reads Counsellor.
NOBSE Study Bible Name List takes a different approach and goes possibly through the root עצה ('sh) that yields the noun עץ (es) meaning tree, wood or timber. Hence NOBSE reads Firmness.