Elihu's speech covers six chapters, we provide this simple overview
to help the reader see where they are in each chapter:
God IS a Communicator
Job has got it wrong!
God IS Just
God IS Supreme
Job 32: Elihu – Part 1 of 6: Introducing Elihu
Comments: This chapter is a major turning point in the
book – the end of the arguments between Job and his three ‘friends'
and introduces a completely new human perspective on all that
has been said. Having said it is new, we will find echoes of things
previously said. We'll leave comment on Elihu until the end of
the chapter. However, in order to take in more fully what is coming
from Elihu, we will add a comment/note after each section.]
Elihu speaks up against Job's conclusions
So these three
men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his
Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the
family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying
himself rather than God.
He was also
angry with the three friends, because they had found no way to
refute Job, and yet had condemned him.
The previous chapters have come to an end because Job has overcome
the arguments of the three friends with his declarations of his
righteousness. This angers this younger man [see below for age
difference] who seeks to point out that Job has not, in his defences,
justified God for what has happened. He's also angry with the
three friends that they have failed to pick this up.]
He has waited his time in deference to their ages [a late arrival?]
Elihu had waited before speaking to Job because they were older
But when he
saw that the three men had nothing more to say, his anger was
So Elihu son
of Barakel the Buzite said: “I am young in years,
and you are old; that is why I was fearful, not daring to tell
you what I know.
‘Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.'
it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty,
that gives them understanding.
is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand
what is right.
I say: Listen to me; I too will tell you what I know.
We don't know if Elihu had been in the background all the time
or had arrived part way into the conversation, but he recognised
and initially respected the age [and hopefully wisdom] of the
three others but now felt constrained to speak.]
He had listened to their failures to refute Job
I waited while
you spoke, I listened to your reasoning; while you were searching
gave you my full attention. But not one of you has proved Job
wrong; none of you has answered his arguments.
Do not say,
‘We have found wisdom; let God, not a man, refute him.'
He had listened patiently and carefully but none of the three
seemed to have been able to refute Job's position or arguments.]
He won't go over the same ground again
Job has not marshaled his words against me, and I will not answer
him with your arguments.
are dismayed and have no more to say; words have failed them.
I wait, now that they are silent, now that they stand there with
He has been an impartial observer who Job had not drawn in but
there seemed little point in just reiterating the arguments of
He can no longer hold in what he feels
will have my say; I too will tell what I know.
I am full of words, and the spirit within me compels me;
I am like bottled-up wine, like new wineskins ready to burst.
I must speak and find relief; I must open my lips and reply.
show no partiality, nor will I flatter anyone;
if I were skilled in flattery, my Maker would soon take me away.
However as a younger man this clearly rankled with him more and
more and now Job has come to an end of his speeches, he can no
longer hold back.
Comments: We can summarise key points about Elihu:
He is younger than the three friends [v.4,6],
He has listened patiently to them [v.4,11],
He felt they had failed to answer Job properly [v.3,12],
He is angry that Job failed to justify God in his own self-justification
Commentators are much divided on their opinions over Elihu, but
we suggest that the style etc. befits that of a younger man of