John Burnight, «Does Eliphaz Really Begin 'Gently'? An Intertextual Reading of Job 4,2-11», Vol. 95 (2014) 347-370
It is widely believed that the Joban poet presents Eliphaz as seeking to reassure Job in his first speech, and only later accuses him of wrongdoing. One prominent exegete, for example, remarks that Eliphaz 'begins considerately, and proceeds with notable gentleness and courtesy' (Terrien). In this paper I propose that Eliphaz’s opening words are neither gentle nor reassuring. Instead, they are a sharp intertextual response to Job’s complaints that he can find no 'rest' (3,26) and that what he 'feared has come upon him' (3,25). In essence, Eliphaz is implying that Job has brought his suffering on himself.