Job’s friends as compared to the soils in the Parable of the Sower
The comparison I saw was Job’s friends would be the people that would come from contact with the Word in the Parable of the Sower. Job’s friends were not with out knowledge of God and His ways, just as the people in the parable may not have left the church and have some understanding of God. Both of these groups miss the truth of God and would/did generously sprinkle in a good sounding philosophy.
Eliphaz (means God of gold,Strong’s 463 ) represents those that fell along the path and the devil takes away the word from their hearts so they may not believe and be saved. The verse that portrays Eliphaz is Job 4:12 and 15 + 16 – “A word was secretly brought to me” and “a spirit glided past me … but I could not tell what it was.” These are the people who missed God but still had an experience that was supernatural. They know something exist but total surrender to Jesus will never take place because they are happy with the “higher” experience they have had.
Bildad (meaning of name unknown) represents those that fell on the rock and had no root so in the time of testing they fall away. The verse that portrays Bildad is Job 18:2 – When will you end these speeches? Be sensible and then we can talk. “Bildads” actually start to grow in God but hit a place where going deeper is just not possible for them. They know the “language” but will always go to a natural solution with God as a cover instead of Jesus as the solution doing what naturally has to be done.
Zopher (means departing,Strong’s 6691) represents those that fell among the thorns and were choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures and do not mature. The verses that portray Zopher are Job 11: 6 and 20:3; 11:6 says, “For true wisdom has two sides” and 20:3 says, “I hear a rebuke that dishonors me and my understanding inspires me to reply.” “Zophers” may be the hardest to detect because they are always in church or at Bible Study but they become easily offended an can drift between opinions very easily. Who knows, if they could/would leave the weeds they would be ok.
Elihu (means God of him,Strong’s 453) represents those that fell on good soil and have a noble and good heart so they hear, retain, persevere, and produce a crop. The verse that portrays Elihu is Job 37: 23 The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress. Now “Elihus” are not always perfect and sometimes a little rough around the edges but they will grow and produce a good crop. A point that is easily missed is that these are the majority of the people in the Church not the other three.
See Job, Luke 8:1–15, Mark 4:1-20, Matthew 13:2-23 all verses are from the NIV.