[Job with Three Friends] A dweller in Hus, east of Palestine; not an Israelite, but an upright man who is suddenly the victim of weighty affiictions, losing his goods, and his children and becoming a prey to leprosy. For a time he is patience exemplified. Three of his friends come to comfort him, but their conduct and utterances are so maladroit that his patience gives way and he bemoans his lot and longs for death. The comforters, "Job's comforters," to use the expression they occasioned, insist that he must have provoked God's punishment by his sins. Job protests his innocence. After eight dialogues between them and Job another appears as arbiter, insisting that no one is sinless in the sight of God, that suffering is not necessarily a visitation on account of sin, that it is permitted by God to preserve man from pride and its consequent sins. God Himself intervenes to warn Job that he has not appreciated God's providence in ruling men in His own way, and to rebuke the would-be consolers for their lack of judgment and their harshness. The Book, in 42 chapters, is a revelation of the mystery of suffering. Job is a type of all the faithful, and also of the Redeemer. Many of his utterances have become proverbial. His testimony to immortality as the mainstay of his patience is the climax of the prayers of the Church in the services over the departed.

New Catholic Dictionary

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