job's comforters

Job's comforter

a person who unwittingly or maliciously depresses or discourages someone while attempting to be consoling.

1730–40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
Job's comforter
a person who, while purporting to give sympathy, succeeds only in adding to distress

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Job's comforters definition

Three friends of Job who visited him in his affliction and offered him a way of making sense of his troubles: namely, that he was getting what he deserved. Job's friends maintained that misfortunes were sent by God as punishments for sin, and thus despite Job's apparent goodness, he must really be a terrible sinner. Job persistently disputed them, saying that God is supreme and mysterious — that God can send misfortunes to both good and wicked people and may not be second-guessed.

Note: A “Job's comforter” is someone who apparently offers consolation to another person but actually makes the other person feel worse.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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