1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite said in reply:
va-YA-an e-lee-FAZ ha-tay-ma-NEE va-yo-MAR
א וַיַּעַן אֱלִיפַז הַתֵּימָנִי וַיֹּאמַר׃
4:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite said in reply
Eliphaz the Temanite is the first of Iyov’s friends to respond to his suffering. He asserts that Hashem would not punish those who are free of sin, as Iyov seems to believe; since all people sin, Iyov must not be an exception. He urges Iyov to confess his secret sins in order to alleviate his suffering. Though he means well, Eliphaz’s view of divine justice is criticized by God Himself at the end of the book (42:7). Eliphaz is called a Temanite, presumably because he is from the city called Teman, which belonged to the descendants of Esau, the Edomites, and is mentioned in Sefer Ovadya (1:9). Eliphaz was also the name of Esau’s firstborn son (Genesis 36:4). Many therefore assume that Eliphaz is an Edomite, and in Sefer Iyov represents Edomite wisdom, which was well-known in biblical times (see Jeremiah 49:7).