Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was
come upon him
Of the loss of his substance, servants, and children, and of his own health; the news of which soon spread in the adjacent countries, Job being a person of great note, and his calamity so very extraordinary and uncommon: who these three friends were is after observed; they living at some distance from him, held a correspondence with him, and he with them, being good men; and now act the friendly part in paying him a visit under such circumstances; ( Proverbs 17:17 ) ;
they came everyone from his own place;
from the country, city, town, or habitations where they lived; whether they walked or rode is not said, their names are as follow:
Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the
the first of these, Eliphaz, was either from Teman, a city in Edom, on the borders of Arabia Deserta, as the Targum; or a descendant of Teman, a grandson of Esau; not Eliphaz the son of Esau, ( 36:11 ) as the Targum on that place says; for he was the father of Teman, from whom this Eliphaz sprang: the second, Bildad, was a descendant from Shuah, a son of Abraham, by Keturah, ( Genesis 25:2 ) ; whose posterity with geographers are called Sauchites, Sauchaeans, Sacceans, and settled in Arabia Deserta, from whence Bildad came: the third, Zophar the Naamathite, who he was, and why so called, is not certain; there is nothing but conjectures concerning him; it is most probable that he lived in Arabia Deserta, or on the borders of it, near to Job's country and that of his other two friends F14; there was a Naamath in the land of Uz, which was Job's country according to Fretelius F15: the Septuagint version calls Eliphaz the king of the Temanites, and Bildad the tyrannus, or governor, of the Sauchaens, and Zophar king of the Minaeans F16:
for they had made an appointment together;
upon hearing of Job's trouble, they got together, and fixed upon a time and place to meet together and proceed on in their journey to Job's house:
to come to mourn with him, and to comfort him;
the first word signifies to "move to him" F17 not as Sephorno explains it, to go with him from place to place, that he might not lay hands on himself; but rather, as the Latin interpreter of the Targum, to move their heads at him; as persons, to show their concern for, and sympathy with, the afflicted, shake their heads at them: the meaning is, that they came to condole his misfortunes, and to speak a word of comfort to him under them; and no doubt but they came with a real and sincere intent to do this, though they proved miserable comforters of him; ( Job 16:2 ) .
F14 Vid. Spanhem. Hist. Jobi, c. 11. sect. 3. &c.
F15 Apud Adrichom. Theatrum. T. S. p. 21.
F16 So Aristeas, Philo and Polyhistor apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 25. p. 431.
F17 (wl dwnl) "verbum" (dwn) "migrare, et sese movere significat", Mercerus, so Ben Melech.