Job's comforters

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Job’s comforters

maliciously torment Job while ostensibly attempting to comfort him. [O.T.: Job]
See: Cruelty
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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As a practicing doctor, I became aware of the modern day equivalent of Job's comforters. Patients afflicted with diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or Reiter's syndrome, for example, told me of "friends" who related doomsayer tales of people who had the same disease and had met bad ends.
Vaughan Williams included one in his ballet Job - which is a backhanded compliment as its 'oily' tone represents the hypocrisy of Job's comforters. His Sixth Symphony has a raucous tenor sax solo and the unjustly neglected Ninth has a trio of saxophones.
The whole enterprise of theodicy -- of justifying God's ways to man, or rewriting the definition of God such that God can be justified -- failed long ago, before feminist theology got hold of it, before Job's comforters got hold of it.
It's because of something bad you did." The Pharisees were always trying to get him to do that, because that was their own theology, just like Job's comforters.
Such philosophizing, as Job's comforters found out, never goes down well with those who actually have to do the suffering.