Job's comforter


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Job's comforter

Someone who makes a person feel worse about a situation when trying to offer sympathy. A reference to the Biblical story of Job, who showed great faith amid difficult circumstances. Larry is a real Job's comforter. I know he was just trying to offer comforting words, but he made Maggie feel worse about her financial situation.
See also: comforter

a Job's comforter

a person who aggravates distress under the guise of giving comfort.
In the Bible, Job was a prosperous man whose patience and piety was tested by a series of undeserved misfortunes. The attempts of his friends to comfort him only add to his sense of despair and he tells them: ‘miserable comforters are ye all’ (Job 16:2). Despite his ordeals, he remains confident of the goodness and justice of God and in the end he is restored to his former situation.
See also: comforter

a ˌJob’s ˈcomforter

(old-fashioned) a person who is sympathetic but says things which make you feel even more unhappy than you are already: Ann came to see me when I was in hospital. She was a real Job’s comforter! She told me about somebody who had the same operation as me, and then died a month later.Job is a character in the Bible. His friends pretended to comfort him but were actually criticizing him.
See also: comforter
References in periodicals archive ?
Most of all, I tell them not to seek advice from "Job's Comforters," for their wisdom is false and their fables are filled with half and nonrepresentative truths whose effect is devastating.
Job's comforters tried to do it, and "J.B.," Archibald MacLeish's modern retelling of the biblical story of the righteous man who suffers unjustly, poses the problem succinctly: "If God is God, he is not good: if God is good, he is not God."
I do think that not having any kind of biblical education is unfortunate if children want to read English literature and understand the provenance of phrases like "through a glass darkly," "all flesh is as grass," "the race is not to the swift," "crying in the wilderness," "reaping the whirlwind," "amid the alien corn," Eyeless in Gaza," "Job's comforters," and "the widow's mite."
But the book is a triumphant rebuttal of those Job's comforters Pearsall mentions who argued (often simultaneously) that a life of Chaucer had been done, could not be done, and was not worth doing.
The poem's concluding two lines are an extra stroke of wise genius, bringing us back to our own helplessness before others' misfortunes and our almost comic efforts to help them bear it, to be Job's comforters.
As his three companions counterfulminate (they have given the not-very-complimentary term "Job's comforters" to posterity), Job ups the ante with the very original strategy of putting God on trial.
WE'VE probably all met Job's Comforters - people who tell us they're trying to help, but leave us feeling worse, instead of better.
I do hope that all the "Job's comforters" who write to the Evening Gazette as if we live in the Wild West are prepared to believe this area is not in a state of lawlessness.