Book of Job

by

Anonymous

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Book of Job can help.

Eliphaz the Temanite Character Analysis

Eliphaz is Job’s friend who, with Bildad and Zophar, visits Job with the alleged intention of comforting him in his suffering. The book gives no further details about Eliphaz, and the three companions don’t have very distinct personalities (or arguments, for that matter). At first, the friends commiserate with Job in silence, but after Job begins to lament his pain and to argue that he suffers unjustly, Eliphaz and the others begin to argue with Job in return. Eliphaz’s argument boils down to the belief that God doesn’t afflict innocent people and that if Job is suffering, it’s because he has committed wicked deeds and therefore deserves suffering. Therefore, he says, Job should be grateful for God’s discipline and patiently accept his suffering while waiting for God to relieve it; Job shouldn’t keep foolishly arguing with God that he’s really innocent. At the end of the book, God condemns Eliphaz’s and his friends’ foolish speech, saying they haven’t spoken rightly about him, but he forgives them when Job prays on their behalf.

Eliphaz the Temanite Quotes in Book of Job

The Book of Job quotes below are all either spoken by Eliphaz the Temanite or refer to Eliphaz the Temanite. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford University Press edition of Book of Job published in 2001.
Chapter 2 Quotes

Now when Job’s three friends heard of all these troubles that had come upon him, each of them set out from his home—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They met together to go and console and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him, and they raised their voices and wept aloud; they tore their robes and threw dust in the air upon their heads. They sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.

Page Number: 2:11-13
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

How happy is the one whom God reproves;
therefore do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.

For he wounds, but he binds up;
he strikes, but his hands heal.

[…]

See, we have searched this out; it is true.
Hear, and know it for yourself.

Related Characters: Eliphaz the Temanite (speaker), Job, God
Page Number: 5:17–27
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

Those who withhold kindness from a friend
forsake the fear of the Almighty.

My companions are treacherous like a torrent-bed,
like freshets that pass away,
that run dark with ice,
turbid with melting snow.

In time of heat they disappear;
when it is hot, they vanish from their place.

Related Characters: Job (speaker), God, Eliphaz the Temanite
Page Number: 6:14–17
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 22 Quotes

Agree with God, and be at peace;
in this way good will come to you.

Receive instruction from his mouth,
and lay up his words in your heart.

If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored,
if you remove unrighteousness from your tents,
[…]
and if the Almighty is your gold
and your precious silver,
then you will delight yourself in the Almighty,
and lift up your face to God.

Related Characters: Eliphaz the Temanite (speaker), God, Job
Page Number: 22:21-26
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 32 Quotes

So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became angry. He was angry at Job because he justified himself rather than God; he was angry also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, though they had declared Job to be in the wrong. Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job, because they were older than he. But when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouths of these three men, he became angry.

Page Number: 32:1-5
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Book of Job LitChart as a printable PDF.
Book of Job PDF

Eliphaz the Temanite Character Timeline in Book of Job

The timeline below shows where the character Eliphaz the Temanite appears in Book of Job. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Faith in Suffering Theme Icon
When they hear about Job’s sufferings, three of Job’s friends come to visit— Eliphaz the Temanite , Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. Their plan is to comfort Job. As... (full context)
Chapter 4
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Then Eliphaz the Temanite speaks up. Eliphaz points out that in the past, Job has taught and encouraged many... (full context)
Chapter 15
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Eliphaz the Temanite speaks up in reply. He asks if the wise should answer with “windy knowledge,” using... (full context)
Chapter 22
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Next, Eliphaz the Temanite speaks up. He asks Job if even the wisest person can be of service to... (full context)
Chapter 42
The Mystery of God Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Faith in Suffering Theme Icon
After the LORD finishes speaking to Job, he addresses Eliphaz the Temanite and says that his wrath is kindled against Eliphaz and his two friends, because unlike... (full context)