In the book of Iyov chapter 4 starting in verse 12 Eliphaz seems to make a claim that he has had some sort of prophetic vision.

ואלי דבר יגנב ותקח אזני שמץ מנהו יגבשעפים מחזינות לילה בנפל תרדמה על־אנשים דפחד קראני ורעדה ורב עצמותי הפחיד טוורוח על־פני יחלף תסמר שערת בשרי יעמד ולא־אכיר מראהו תמונה לנגד עיני דממה וקול אשמע A word came to me in stealth; My ear caught a whisper of it. In thought-filled visions of the night, When deep sleep falls on men, Fear and trembling came upon me, Causing all my bones to quake with fright. A wind passed by me, Making the hair of my flesh bristle. It halted; its appearance was strange to me; A form loomed before my eyes; I heard a murmur, a voice,

I would like to know if any sources consider this to have been an actual prophetic experience and that the words he recounts from verse 17-21 are to be treated as prophecy

  • Possible duplicate of Were there non-Jewish prophets? If yes, who were they and what were their purpose?
    – DonielF
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 18:45
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    Rambam in Iggeret Teiman: שהרי איוב וצופר ובלדד ואליפז ואליהוא כולם אצלנו נביאים ואף על פי שאינם מישראל
    – Alex
    Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 1:20
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    Note that the question being pointed to is not a duplicat of this specific question. Nor does th answer point to Eliphaz. Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 2:42

2 Answers 2


The Talmud (Bava Basra 15b) includes Eliphaz, Iyovs's colleague, as one of a short list of prophets who prophesied for the nations of the world.

שבעה נביאים נתנבאו לאומות העולם, ואלו הן: בלעם, ואביו, ואיוב, אליפז התימני, ובלדד השוחי, וצופר הנעמתי, ואליהוא בן ברכאל הבוזי

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    It would be interesting to see if anyone connects this to the verses in the OPs question
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 16:40
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    hatanakh.com/en/node/39624 Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 16:42
  • @Andrew The Talmud gives the exact number of prophets who prophesied for the nations of the world. The number given is seven. That implies that the list is complete, and that there were no other such prophets. Commented Mar 11, 2023 at 19:21

In addition to @IsraelReader's answer it is also worth noting the Midrash Tanchuma, Buber edition, Vayeira 38 where it states:

וכן אתה מוצא באליפז בן עשו, על ידי שנתגדל בחיקו של יצחק נעשה צדיק, וזכה ששרה עליו רוח הקדש, שנאמר פרי צדיק עץ חיים (משלי יא ל)

"So you find the following in the case of Eliphaz ben Esau (of Gen. 36:10f.; I Chron. 1:35f.): Because he grew up in the bosom of Isaac, he became righteous and was worthy of having the Holy Spirit rest (Sharah) upon him. Thus it is stated (in Prov. 11:30): THE FRUIT OF THE RIGHTEOUS IS A TREE OF LIFE."

(Sefaria translation)


For the avoidance of any confusion the Eliphaz referenced in Iyov is indeed the same Eliphaz as Esav's son. We see this in three places:

  1. Targum Yonasan, Bereishis 36:12

  2. Yalkut Shimoni, Iyov 897 - Iyov said to Eliphaz, "Look at your father Esav." Eliphaz responded, "I have nothing to do with him."

  3. Lekach Tov, Shemos 17:8 - Eliphaz was Esav's firstborn. His father commanded him to attack the sons of Yaakov, but because he had grown up with Iyov, he did not fight them.


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