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E02299: John Chrysostom, in his Homily 5 to the People of Antioch, refers to a pilgrimage site in Arabia associated with the suffering of *Job (Old Testament Patriarch, S01191). Written in Greek at Antioch (Syria), 387.

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posted on 2017-02-01, 00:00 authored by erizos
John Chrysostom, To the people of Antioch (On the statues), Homily 5 (CPG 4330, BHG 488k)

αʹ. Τῶν τριῶν παίδων καὶ τῆς Βαβυλωνίας καμίνου ἡ διήγησις οὐ μετρίως ὡς ἔοικε παρεκάλεσεν ὑμῶν τὴν ἀγάπην χθές· ἔτι δὲ καὶ τὸ παράδειγμα τὸ κατὰ τὸν Ἰὼβ, καὶ ἡ κοπρία ἡ παντὸς θρόνου βασιλικοῦ σεμνοτέρα. Ἀπὸ μὲν γὰρ τοῦ θρόνον ἰδεῖν βασιλικὸν οὐδὲν ἔσται τοῖς θεωμένοις τὸ κέρδος, ἀλλὰ πρόσκαιρος μόνον τέρψις, ὄνησιν οὐδεμίαν ἔχουσα· ἀπὸ δὲ τοῦ τὴν κοπρίαν ἰδεῖν τοῦ Ἰὼβ πᾶσάν τις δέξεται ὠφέλειαν, καὶ φιλοσοφίαν πολλὴν, καὶ παράκλησιν εἰς ὑπομονῆς λόγον. Διὰ τοῦτο πολλοὶ νῦν μακράν τινα καὶ διαπόντιον ἀποδημίαν στέλλονται ἀπὸ τῶν περάτων τῆς γῆς εἰς τὴν Ἀραβίαν τρέχοντες, ἵνα τὴν κοπρίαν ἐκείνην ἴδωσι, καὶ θεασάμενοι καταφιλήσωσι τὴν γῆν τὴν τὰ σκάμματα τοῦ στεφανίτου δεξαμένην ἐκείνου, καὶ τὸ χρυσίου παντὸς τιμιώτερον αἷμα. Οὐδὲ γὰρ οὕτως ἐστὶν ἁλουργὶς λαμπρὰ, ὡς τὸ σῶμα ἐκεῖνο τότε ἀπέστιλβεν, οὐκ ἀλλοτρίῳ, ἀλλ’ οἰκείῳ βαπτιζόμενον αἵματι. Καὶ τὰ τραύματα δὲ ἐκεῖνα ἁπάντων λίθων ἦν τιμιώτερα.

‘The story of the three youths and the Babylonian furnace gave, as it seems, no small comfort to your charity yesterday, and even more so did the example of Job’s story, and that dunghill which is more dignified than any royal throne. For from seeing a royal throne spectators would earn no gain, but only temporary pleasure which brings no benefit. From the sight of Job's dunghill, however, one may derive every kind of benefit, plenty of equanimity and consolation nurturing patience. For this reason, nowadays many undertake a long and overseas journey, hastening from the ends of the world to as far as Arabia, in order to see that dunghill and, having beheld it, kiss the land which contained the wrestling-ground of that champion and received his blood that was more precious than all gold. For purple does not shine as brilliantly as did that body, when it was dyed, not in foreign blood, but in its own. As for those wounds, they were more precious than all manner of gems.’

Text: J.-P. Migne, Patrologiae cursus completus (series Graeca) 49, Paris: Migne, 1857-1866: 67-69.
Translation: E. Rizos.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Job, Old Testament Patriarch : S01191

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Sermons/Homilies


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Antioch on the Orontes

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Antioch on the Orontes Thabbora Thabbora

Major author/Major anonymous work

John Chrysostom

Cult activities - Places

Place associated with saint's life

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy

Cult Activities - Relics

Contact relic - dust/sand/earth Touching and kissing relics


John of Antioch, bishop of Constantinople, who came to be known as Chrysostom (the Golden Mouth), was born in 344/354 in Antioch on the Orontes where he studied under Libanius. He joined the Nicene Christian community of Antioch, led by bishop Meletios of Antioch, and was ordained priest by Meletios’ successor, Flavianos in 386. Acquiring a great reputation as a preacher, John was appointed as bishop of Constantinople in 397. Clashing with the bishop of Alexandria Theophilos and the empress Eudoxia in 403/404, Chrysostom was deposed and banished to Cucusus in Cappadocia and died in Comana of Pontus in 407. This homily belongs to a series of sermons preached by John during the Lent of 387, following the riots during which the imperial statues were overturned. For the manuscript tradition, see:


This passage attests to the existence of a site of pilgrimage in Arabia associated with the suffering of Job. Christian pilgrimage to the presumed land of Job (the biblical Uz or Ausitis) is attested in the itinerary of Egeria (E00). Referring to Job's suffering, Chrysostom uses a language typical of martyrs, demonstrating that the Old Testament Patriarch was venerated as a precursor of the Christian martyrs, much like the Three Hebrew Youths. Interestingly, this sermon also reveals that the two biblical themes had been read together in a recent service.


Text: J.-P. Migne, Patrologiae cursus completus: series Graeca 49 (Paris, 1862), 67-69. Translation: W. Stephens, in: P. Schaff and H. Wace (eds.), A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church: Second Series. Vol. 9 (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1894). Further reading: Downey, G., Ancient Antioch (Princeton, 1961). Drobner, H.R., The Fathers of the Church: A Comprehensive Introduction (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), 327-337. Kelly, J.N.D., Golden Mouth: The Story of John Chrysostom. Ascetic, Preacher, Bishop (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995). van de Paverd, F., St. John Chrysostom, The Homilies on the Statues: An Introduction (Orientalia Christiana Analecta 239; Rome: Pontificium Institutum Studiorum Orientalium, 1991).

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