Job 2:11
Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.
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(11) Eliphaz the Temanite.—Teman was the son of Eliphaz, the son of Esau, to whose family this Eliphaz is probably to be referred (Genesis 36:4; Genesis 36:10-11). If so, this may roughly indicate the date of the book. The inhabitants of Teman, which lay north-east of Edom, were famed for their wisdom (Jeremiah 47:7).

Bildad the Shuhite probably derived his origin from Shuah, the son of Abraham by Keturah (Genesis 25:2). Of the district from which Zophar the Naamathite came nothing is known. It probably derived its name from a Naamah or Naaman, of which there were several (e.g., Genesis 4:22; 1Kings 14:21; Genesis 46:21; Numbers 26:40; 2Kings 5:1), as names of persons or places called after them.

Job 2:11. When Job’s three friends heard of all this, &c. — Who were persons eminent for birth and quality, for wisdom and knowledge, and for the profession of the true religion, being probably, as has been observed on Job 1:1, of the posterity of Abraham, akin to Job, and living in the same country with him. See that note. The preserving so much wisdom and piety among those that were not children of the promise was a happy presage of God’s grace to the Gentiles, when the partition wall should, in the latter days, be taken down. Esau lost the birthright, and when he should have regained it, was rejected, yet it appears many of his descendants inherited some of the best blessings.

2:11-13 The friends of Job seem noted for their rank, as well as for wisdom and piety. Much of the comfort of this life lies in friendship with the prudent and virtuous. Coming to mourn with him, they vented grief which they really felt. Coming to comfort him, they sat down with him. It would appear that they suspected his unexampled troubles were judgments for some crimes, which he had vailed under his professions of godliness. Many look upon it only as a compliment to visit their friends in sorrow; we must look life. And if the example of Job's friends is not enough to lead us to pity the afflicted, let us seek the mind that was in Christ.Now when Job's three friends heard - It would seem from this that these men were his particular friends.

They came every one from his own place - His residence. This was the result of agreement or appointment thus to meet together.

Eliphaz the Temanite - This was the most prominent of his friends. In the ensuing discussion he regularly takes the lead, advances the most important and impressive considerations, and is followed and sustained by the others. The Septuagint renders this Ελιφὰζ ὁ Θαιμαινῶν βασιλεὺς Elifaz ho Thaimainōn basileus - Eliphaz, the king of the Themanites. The Hebrew does not intimate that he held any office or rank. The word rendered "Temanite" תימני têymânı̂y is a patronymic from תמן têmân, meaning properly "at the right hand," and then "the South." The Hebrew geographers are always represented as looking to the East, and not toward the North, as we do; and hence, with them, the right hand denotes the South. Teman or Theman was a son of Eliphaz, and grandson of Esau; see Genesis 36:15, where he is spoken of as "duke" or prince אלוּף 'alûph a head of a family or tribe, a chieftain.

He is supposed to have lived on the east of Idumea. Eusebius places Thaeman in Arabia Petrara, five miles from Petra (see the notes at Isaiah 16:1), and says that there was a Roman garrison there. The Temanites were cclebrated for wisdom. "Is wisdom no more in Teman?" Jeremiah 49:7. The country was distinguished also for producing men of strength: "And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed;" Obadiah 1:9. That this country was a part of Idumea is apparent, not only from the fact that Teman was a descendant of Esau, who settled there, but from several places in the Scriptures. Thus, in Ezekiel 25:13, it is said, "I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and I will make it desolate from Toman, and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword." In Amos 1:12, Teman is mentioned as in the vicinity of Bozrah, at one time the capital of Idumea: "But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah;" see the notes at Isaiah 21:14. The inhabitants of this country were distinguished in early times for wisdom, and particularly for that kind of wisdom which is expressed in close observation of men and manners, and the course of events, and which was expressed in proverbs. Thus, they are mentioned in the book of Baruch, 3:23: "The merchants of Meran and of Theman, the authors of fables, and searchers out of understanding," οἱ μυθολόγοι καὶ οἱ ἐκζητηταὶ τῆς συνέσεως hoi muthologoi kai hoi ekzētētai tēs suneseōs.

And Bildad the Shuhite - The second speaker uniformly in the following argument. The Septuagint renders this, "Bildad the sovereign of the Saucheans," Σαυχέων τύραννος Saucheōn turannos. Shuah שׁוּח shûach (meaning a pit) was the name of a son of Abraham, by Keturah, and also of an Arabian tribe, descended from him, Genesis 25:2. "The country of the Shuhites," says Gesenius, "was not improbably the same with the Σακκαία Sakkaia of Ptolemy, v. 15, eastward of Batanea." But the exact situation of the Shubites is unknown. It is difficult to determine the geography of the tribes of Arabia, as many of them are migratory and unsettled. It would seem that Bildad did not reside very far from Eliphaz, for they made an "agreement" to go and visit Job.

And Zophar the Naamathite - An inhabitant of Naamah, whose situation is unknown. The Septuagint renders this, "Zophar, king of the Minaians - Μιναίων βασιλεύς Minaiōn basileus. A place by the name of Naamah is mentioned in Joshua 15:41, as in the limits of the tribe of Judah. But this was a considerable distance from the residence of Job, and it is not probable that Zophar was far from that region. Conjecture is useless as to the place where he lived. The Editor of the Pictorial Bible, however, supposes that Zophar was from the town in Judah mentioned in Joshua 15:41. He observes that this town is "mentioned in a list of the uttermost cities of Judah's lot, 'toward the coast of Edom southward; ' it is further among that portion of those towns that lay 'in the valley' Joshua 15:33, wbich valley is the same that contained Joktheel Joshua 15:38, which is supposed to have been Petra. Naamah was probably, therefore, in or near the Ghor or valley which extends from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Akaba. - These considerations," he adds, "seem to establish the conclusion that the scene of this book is laid in the land of Edom." In the first part of this verse, a remarkable addition occurs in the Chaldee paraphrase. - It is as follows: "And the three friends of Job heard of all the evil which had come upon him, and when they saw the trees of his gardens (Chaldean, "Paradise" פרדסיהון) that they were dried up, and the bread of his support that it was turned into living flesh (לבסרא אתהפך סעודתחון ולחם חיא), and the wine of his drink turned into blood (אתהפך משתיחון וחמר לדמא)."

Here is evidently the doctrine of "transubstantiation," the change of bread into flesh, and of wine into blood, and bears the marks of having been interpolated by some friend of the papacy. But when or by whom it was done is unknown. It is a most stupid forgery. The evident intention of it was to sustain the doctrine of transubstantiation, by the plea that it was found far back in the times of Job, and that it could not be regarded, therefore, as an absurdity. To what extent it has ever been used by the advocates of that doctrine, I have no means of ascertaining. Its interpolation here is a pretty sure proof of the conviction of the author of it that the doctrine is not found in any fair interpretation of the Bible.

For they had made an appointment together - They had agreed to go together, and they evidently set out on the journey together. The Chaldee - or someone who has interpolated a passage in the Chaldee - has introduced a circumstance in regard to the design of their coming, which savors also of the Papacy. It is as follows: "They came each one from his place, and for the merit of this they were freed from the place destined to them in Gehenna," a passage evidently intended to defend the doctrine of "purgatory," by the authority of the ancient Chaldee Paraphrase.

To come to mourn with him, and to comfort him - To show the appropriate sympathy of friends in a time of special calamity. They did not come with an intention to reproach him, or to charge him with being a hypocrite.

11. Eliphaz—The view of Rawlinson that "the names of Job's three friends represent the Chaldean times, about 700 B.C.," cannot be accepted. Eliphaz is an Idumean name, Esau's oldest son (Ge 36:4); and Teman, son of Eliphaz (Ge 36:15), called "duke." Eusebius places Teman in Arabia-Petræa (but see on [494]Job 6:19). Teman means "at the right hand"; and then the south, namely, part of Idumea; capital of Edom (Am 1:12). Hebrew geographers faced the east, not the north as we do; hence with them "the right hand" was the south. Temanites were famed for wisdom (Jer 49:7). Baruch mentions them as "authors of fables" (namely, proverbs embodying the results of observation), and "searchers out of understanding."

Bildad the Shuhite—Shuah ("a pit"), son of Abraham and Keturah (Ge 25:2). Ptolemy mentions the region Syccea, in Arabia-Deserta, east of Batanea.

Zophar the Naamathite—not of the Naamans in Judah (Jos 15:41), which was too distant; but some region in Arabia-Deserta. Fretelius says there was a Naamath in Uz.

They were persons then eminent for birth and quality, for wisdom and knowledge, and for the profession of the true religion, being probably of the posterity of Abraham, and akin to Job, and living in the same country with him.

Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him,.... Of the loss of his substance, servants, and children, and of his own health; the news of which soon spread in the adjacent countries, Job being a person of great note, and his calamity so very extraordinary and uncommon: who these three friends were is after observed; they living at some distance from him, held a correspondence with him, and he with them, being good men; and now act the friendly part in paying him a visit under such circumstances; Proverbs 17:17;

they came everyone from his own place; from the country, city, town, or habitations where they lived; whether they walked or rode is not said, their names are as follow:

Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite; the first of these, Eliphaz, was either from Teman, a city in Edom, on the borders of Arabia Deserta, as the Targum; or a descendant of Teman, a grandson of Esau; not Eliphaz the son of Esau, Genesis 36:11 as the Targum on that place says; for he was the father of Teman, from whom this Eliphaz sprang: the second, Bildad, was a descendant from Shuah, a son of Abraham, by Keturah, Genesis 25:2; whose posterity with geographers are called Sauchites, Sauchaeans, Sacceans, and settled in Arabia Deserta, from whence Bildad came: the third, Zophar the Naamathite, who he was, and why so called, is not certain; there is nothing but conjectures concerning him; it is most probable that he lived in Arabia Deserta, or on the borders of it, near to Job's country and that of his other two friends (n); there was a Naamath in the land of Uz, which was Job's country according to Fretelius (o): the Septuagint version calls Eliphaz the king of the Temanites, and Bildad the tyrannus, or governor, of the Sauchaens, and Zophar king of the Minaeans (p):

for they had made an appointment together; upon hearing of Job's trouble, they got together, and fixed upon a time and place to meet together and proceed on in their journey to Job's house:

to come to mourn with him, and to comfort him; the first word signifies to "move to him" (q) not as Sephorno explains it, to go with him from place to place, that he might not lay hands on himself; but rather, as the Latin interpreter of the Targum, to move their heads at him; as persons, to show their concern for, and sympathy with, the afflicted, shake their heads at them: the meaning is, that they came to condole his misfortunes, and to speak a word of comfort to him under them; and no doubt but they came with a real and sincere intent to do this, though they proved miserable comforters of him; Job 16:2.

(n) Vid. Spanhem. Hist. Jobi, c. 11. sect. 3. &c. (o) Apud Adrichom. Theatrum. T. S. p. 21. (p) So Aristeas, Philo and Polyhistor apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 25. p. 431. (q) "verbum" "migrare, et sese movere significat", Mercerus, so Ben Melech.

Now when Job's three {p} friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.

(p) Who were men of authority, wise and learned, and as the Septuagint writes, kings, and came to comfort him, but when they saw how he was visited, they conceived an evil opinion of him, as though he was a hypocrite and so justly plagued by God for his sins.

11. for they had made an appointment] Or, and they met together. They came each from his own place and met at one point to go to visit Job together.

to mourn with him] Or, condole with him, and shew their sympathy with him in his sufferings.

11–13. Job’s three friends, having heard of his misfortunes, come to condole with him

How long time intervened between Job’s second affliction and the arrival of his friends cannot be accurately ascertained. From the allusions in chaps. 7, 19, and 30, it is probable that a considerable time elapsed. A man of Job’s rank would not choose his friends from the men of inferior station around him; they would be, like himself, Eastern princes, all but his equals in rank and influence. Their abodes would therefore be distant from one another, and more distant from his, and travelling in the East is slow. The tone of Job’s mind, too, as reflected in ch. 3, has undergone a change, the effect, no doubt, of protracted sufferings.

Eliphaz is an old Idumean name (Genesis 36:4), and Teman, the place of his abode, is frequently mentioned in connexion with Edom. The place was famed for the wisdom of its inhabitants (Amos 1:12; Obadiah 1:8; Jeremiah 49:7; Ezekiel 25:13). Shuah was a son of Abraham by Keturah. The descendants of this wife were sent by Abraham to the East (Genesis 25:2; Genesis 25:6). Bildad may be connected by the Author with this family. Naamah, the dwelling-place of Zophar, means, perhaps, pleasant abode (Beauséjour, Reuss). A place of this name is mentioned, Joshua 15:41, but this, being in Palestine, can hardly have been the home of Zophar. The place is doubtless supposed by the Writer to lie east of the Jordan.

Verse 11. - Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him. It is not to be supposed that Job had no more than three friends - indeed, Elihu the Buzzite appears later on as one of his friends (Job 32:2-6) - but he had three contemporaries with whom he was especially intimate, old men (Job 32:6), with whom he was probably accustomed to confer from time to time, and who were in the habit of giving him their advice. All three, apparently, lived at a distance; and it seems to have been some weeks before the news of his misfortunes reached them. When the news came they held communication one with another, and agreed to pay him visits of condolence at a certain definite time, which was determined upon between them. Some months - at least two - seem to have elapsed between the date of Job's latest affliction and the time of their arrival (Job 7:3). They came every one from his own place. They had separate homes, and probably lived at some considerable distance from one another. Eliphaz the Temanite. There was an Eliphaz, the son of Esau by his wife Adah, who had a son Teman (Genesis 36:4; 1 Chronicles 1:35, 36); but it is not supposed that this can be the person here intended. The name Teman did not become geographical until the descendants of this Eliphaz's son had multiplied into a tribe, when they gave name to the portion of Arabia which they inhabited. This tract seems to have been either a part of Edom, or in its immediate vicinity (Genesis 36:42, 43; Jeremiah 49:7, 8, 20; Ezekiel 25:15; Obadiah 1:8, 9), but cannot be located with accuracy. The Temanitee were celebrated for their wisdom, as we learn from Jeremiah, who says (Jeremiah 49:7), "Concerning Edom, thus saith the Lord of hosts; Is wisdom no more in Teman? is counsel perished from the prudent? is their wisdom vanished?" Job's friend was probably among their wisest men at the time; and his discourses certainly show a considerable knowledge of human nature. They do not, however, solve the riddle of the universe. And Bildad the Shuhite. Bildad is a name which does not occur elsewhere in Scripture, neither is there any other mention of Shuhites. Conjecture has identified the Shuhites with the Saccaei of Ptolemy ('Geograph.,' 5:15), whom he places in the neighbourhood of Batanaea and Trachonitis. But the Saccaei are unheard of till Ptolemy's time, and seem to be a tribe of very small importance. Perhaps Bildad belonged to the people known to the Assyrians as the Tsukhi, or Sukhi ('Records of the Past,' vol. 1. p. 14), who dwelt on the Middle Euphrates from about Anah to Hit ('Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 2. pp. 66, 67). And Zophar the Naamathite. Zophar, or rather Tsophar, is another unknown name. There was a Naamah, a city, in south-western Judaea (Joshua 15:41), to which Zophar may have belonged, though probably a region, rather than a city, is here intended. For they had made an appointment together; or, agreed together, by message or letter probably. To come to mourn with him and to comfort him. A good intention, at any rate, and one agreeable to the apostolic injunction to us to "weep with them that weep" (Romans 12:15). That they failed to carry out their intention (Job 16:2; Job 21:34) was owing to a want of judgment, and, perhaps, in part, to a want of love. Job 2:11After the sixth temptation there comes a seventh; and now the real conflict begins, through which the hero of the book passes, not indeed without sinning, but still triumphantly.

11 When Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz from Teman, and Bildad from Shuach, and Zophar from Naama: for they had made an appointment to come together to go and sympathize with him, and comfort him.

אליפז is, according to Genesis 36, an old Idumaean name (transposed equals Phasal in the history of the Herodeans; according to Michaelis, Suppl. p. 87; cui Deus aurum est, comp. Job 22:25), and תּימן a district of Idumaea, celebrated for its native wisdom (Jeremiah 49:7; Bar. 3:22f.). But also in East-Hauran a Tm is still found (described by Wetzstein in his Bericht ber seine Reise in den beiden Trachonen und um das Hauran-Gebirge, Zeitschr. fr allg. Erdkunde, 1859), and about fifteen miles south of Tm, a Bzn suggestive of Elihu's surname (comp. Jeremiah 25:23). שׁוּח we know only from Genesis 25 as the son of Abraham and Keturah, who settled in the east country. Accordingly it must be a district of Arabia lying not very far from Idumaea: it might be compared with trans-Hauran Schakka, though the sound, however, of the word makes it scarcely admissible, which is undoubtedly one and the same with Dakkai'a, east from Batanaea, mentioned in Ptolem. v. 15. נעמה is a name frequent in Syria and Palestine: there is a town of the Jewish Shephla (the low ground by the Mediterranean) of this name, Joshua 15:41, which, however, can hardly be intended here. הבּאה is Milel, consequently third pers. with the art. instead of the relative pron. (as, besides here, Genesis 18:21; Genesis 46:27), vid., Ges. 109 ad init. The Niph. נועד is strongly taken by some expositors as the same meaning with נועץ, to confer with, appoint a meeting: it signifies, to assemble themselves, to meet in an appointed place at an appointed time (Nehemiah 6:2). Reports spread among the mounted tribes of the Arabian desert with the rapidity of telegraphic despatches.

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