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. 12 And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven. 13 So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.
We discussed what we can ascertain about Eliphaz’s background. Bildad may have been a descendant of Shuah, Abraham’s son by Keturah, although Shuah also can be a place name, like Teman.
Genesis 25:1 ¶ Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. 2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.
Zophar may have come from a place named Naamah.
All three of Job’s friends expressed grief over Job’s suffering, displaying the cultural signs of immense sorrow.
Lamentations 2:10 The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, and keep silence: they have cast up dust upon their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth: the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.
Ezekiel 27:30 And shall cause their voice to be heard against thee, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast up dust upon their heads, they shall wallow themselves in the ashes:
Revelation 18:19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
Genesis 37:29 And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes…34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
Things start out speaking highly of the love and faithfulness of Job’s friends from our perspective.
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
For a week, they sit with Job, respecting his great sorrow of heart. There are much speculation that can be made regarding the amount of time just as there is much speculation that can be made regarding the number of Job’s sons and daughters, but I will stay with the story as it is because while speculation is fun and interesting it doesn’t help us where we are.
These faithful friends made an agreement to come together, to mourn with Job, and to comfort him. What follows reveals a great deal about our own views of God and God’s will and of self-righteousness and submission to God.