El'iphaz (Hebrew Eliphaz', אלִֵיפִּז, God is his strength; Sept. Ε᾿λιφάξ, but in Genesis Ε᾿λιφάς, Vulg. Eliphaz), the name of two men.
1. The leading one of the "three friends" who came to condole with Job in his affliction (Job 4:1), and who took part in that remarkable discussion which occupies the book of Job. B.C. cir. 2200. He is called "the Temanite;" hence it is naturally inferred that he was of the region substantially known as Teman (q.v.), in Idumaea; and as Eliphaz, the son of Esau, had a son called Teman, from whom the place took its; name, many have concluded that this Eliphaz was a descendant of the other Eliphaz. Some, indeed, even go so far as to suppose that the Eliphaz of Job was no other than the son of Esau. This view is of course confined to those who refer the age of Job to the time of these patriarchs. But it is doubtful whether even this gives a date sufficiently early. SEE JOB.
Eliphaz is the first of the friends to take up the debate, in reply to Job's passionate complaints. He appears to have been the oldest of the speakers, from which circumstance, or from natural disposition, his language is more mild and sedate than that of the others (see Eichler, De visione E'iphazi [4:12-31], Lpz. 1781). He begins his orations with delicacy, and conducts his part of the controversy with considerable address (chapter 4, 5, 15, 22).
On him falls the main burden of the argument, that God's retribution in this world is perfect and certain, and that consequently suffering must be a proof of previous sin. His words are distinguished from those of Bildad and Zophar by greater calmness and elaboration, and, in the first instance, by greater gentleness towards Job, although he ventures afterwards, apparently from conjecture, to impute to him special sins. The great truth brought out by him is the unapproachable majesty and purity of God (4:12- 21; 15:12-16). But still, with the other two friends, he is condemned for having, in defense of God's providence, spoken of him "the thing that was not right," i.e., by refusing to recognize the facts of human life, and by contenting himself with an imperfect retribution as worthy to set forth the righteousness of God. On sacrifice and the intercession of Job all three are pardoned. SEE JOB, BOOK OF.
2. The son of Esau by one of his first wives, Adah, and father of several Edomitish tribes (Ge 36:4,10-11,16; 1Ch 1:35-36). B.C. post 1963.