December 13, 2006

Job's comforter

Job's comforter \JOHBZ-KUM-fer-ter\ noun : a person who discourages or depresses while seemingly giving comfort and consolation

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

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