What are “collops?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

This is in reference to Job 15:27: “Because he covereth his face with his fatness, and maketh collops of fat on his flanks.” Eliphaz the Temanite is describing the evil or unbelieving man, whose blasphemy is great and whose doom is certain:

“[20] The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days, and the number of years is hidden to the oppressor. [21] A dreadful sound is in his ears: in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him. [22] He believeth not that he shall return out of darkness, and he is waited for of the sword. [23] He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, Where is it? he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand. [24] Trouble and anguish shall make him afraid; they shall prevail against him, as a king ready to the battle. [25] For he stretcheth out his hand against God, and strengtheneth himself against the Almighty. [26] He runneth upon him, even on his neck, upon the thick bosses* of his bucklers*: [27] Because he covereth his face with his fatness, and maketh collops of fat on his flanks.” (*For more about “bosses” and “bucklers,” see our related study linked at the end of this article.)

“[28] And he dwelleth in desolate cities, and in houses which no man inhabiteth, which are ready to become heaps. [29] He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, neither shall he prolong the perfection thereof upon the earth. [30] He shall not depart out of darkness; the flame shall dry up his branches, and by the breath of his mouth shall he go away. [31] Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence. [32] It shall be accomplished before his time, and his branch shall not be green. [33] He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine, and shall cast off his flower as the olive. [34] For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery. [35] They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit.”

Eliphaz’ aggressive speech was actually directed towards suffering Job, whom “friend” Eliphaz had accused of being evil and thus worthy of punishment! Job had been so prosperous in chapter 1, but his many sins (according to Eliphaz) had finally resulted in his current trials and tribulations. He likened Job to a fat, wealthy man who has since lost all his affluence and health: “Because he covereth his face with his fatness, and maketh collops of fat on his flanks” (verse 27). “Collops” are just folds of fat or flesh, indicating someone is well-fed. The etymology of this strange word is unknown, though it may be derived from the Scandinavian languages. Interestingly, the Old Swedish word “kolhuppadher” meant “roasted on coals;” there was also a Swedish term “kalops,” with the dialectical “kollops” being the name of a dish of stewed meat. Chunks or rolls of flesh on the human body is the sense of Job 15:27.

Also see:
» What is a “buckler?”
» What does “skin for skin” mean in Job 2:4?
» How could Satan access Heaven in Job and the Revelation?