Job's comforter

\ ˈjōbz- How to pronounce Job's comforter (audio) \

Definition of Job's comforter

: a person who discourages or depresses while seemingly giving comfort and consolation

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Poor Job. He's the biblical character who endures extraordinary afflictions in a test of his piety. He loses his possessions, his children, and his health. And then, to make matters worse, three friends show up to "comfort" him. These friends turn out to be no comfort at all. Instead, they say that the things that have been happening to him happen to all sinners-and point out a number of his faults. In the mid-18th century, English speakers began using the phrase Job's comforter for anyone who offers similarly unhelpful consolation.

First Known Use of Job's comforter

1738, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Job's comforter

from the tone of the speeches made to Job by his friends

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The first known use of Job's comforter was in 1738

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Job's comforter

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Cite this Entry

“Job's comforter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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