Job Chapter Thirty-Two
Both Job and his friends have talked themselves out and have nothing further to say. This allows another whom we haven’t heard an opportunity to get into the discussion and this chapter introduces him.
Read Job 32:1-5
v1. “SO THESE THREE MEN CEASED TO ANSWER JOB, BECAUSE HE was RIGHTEOUS IN HIS OWN EYES.”
Job’s three friends now decide that he’s so self-righteous and opinionated that they won’t even bother to argue with him further. But we know that Job was not just righteous in his own eyes but also in the eyes of God, so it’s really to their credit that they stop berating him even if it was for the wrong reason.
v2. “THEN WAS KINDLED THE WRATH OF ELIHU THE SON OF BARACHEL THE BUZITE, OF THE KINDRED OF RAM: AGAINST JOB WAS HIS WRATH KINDLED, BECAUSE HE JUSTIFIED HIMSELF RATHER THAN GOD.”
We have Elihu now coming on the scene and this younger man was angry, angry at Job because he thought he had good cause. He thought that Job did not speak as reverently of God as he should have. Elihu is called the son of Barachel, the Buzite. Buz was Nahor’s second son and a nephew of Abraham; as we can read in Genesis Chapter 22 & 23. Rebekah, the wife given to Isaac, was the granddaughter of Nahor through his youngest son Bethuel. Consequently, if we assume no other generations between Bethuel and Rebekah, i.e. she was truly his daughter rather than a granddaughter we can come as close to dating this book as anybody to about the time of the life of Abraham and Isaac.
v3. “ALSO AGAINST HIS THREE FRIENDS WAS HIS WRATH KINDLED, BECAUSE THEY HAD FOUND NO ANSWER, AND yet HAD CONDEMNED JOB.”
He was also angry at his friends because he didn’t think that they conducted themselves toward Job as he thought they should. They had judged him to be a hypocrite, a wicked man, and would not back off from that judgment; and yet they could not prove their contention nor disprove the evidence that Job presented regarding his integrity.
v4-5. “NOW ELIHU HAD WAITED TILL JOB HAD SPOKEN, BECAUSE THEY were ELDER THAN HE. WHEN ELIHU SAW THAT there was NO ANSWER IN THE MOUTH OF these THREE MEN, THEN HIS WRATH WAS KINDLED.”
Elihu has been sitting back letting the older men speak, listening, and probably building up a head of steam. Now that the words of both Job and his other three friends have stopped, they have ended their discourses and perhaps even a little time has passed with no one speaking Elihu now has his opportunity to participate without breaking in and interrupting his elders.
Read Job 32:6-14
v6. “AND ELIHU THE SON OF BARACHEL THE BUZITE ANSWERED AND SAID, I am YOUNG, AND YE are VERY OLD; WHEREFORE I WAS AFRAID, AND DURST NOT SHOW YOU MINE OPINION.”
Though a young man; and young men have a tendency to be somewhat impetuous, he had held back in respect of his elders. He was afraid of being mistaken or putting himself in a position that was unbecoming or improper for him so he had not yet spoken his opinion.
v7. “I SAID, DAYS SHOULD SPEAK, AND MULTITUDE OF YEARS SHOULD TEACH WISDOM.”
Days should speak and the men who have wisdom by virtue of their multitude of years should teach wisdom, not a young man like me.
v8-9. “BUT there is A SPIRIT IN MAN: AND THE INSPIRATION OF THE ALMIGHTY GIVETH THEM UNDERSTANDING. GREAT MEN ARE NOT always WISE: NEITHER DO THE AGED UNDERSTAND JUDGMENT.”
He speaks of man as being a rational creature and he gains understanding from the inspiration of God, therefore one man has as much opportunity to have understanding as another. He further observes that great men are not always wise men and sometimes the aged don’t understand judgment. In other words the older or great men are not the only ones who have wisdom and understanding.
v10-11. “THEREFORE I SAID, HEARKEN TO ME; I ALSO WILL SHOW MINE OPINION. BEHOLD, I WAITED FOR YOUR WORDS; I GAVE EAR TO YOUR REASONS, WHILST YE SEARCHED OUT WHAT TO SAY.”
Since they had not answered Job sufficiently, not all wisdom and understanding are resident in the older or aged; now Elihu will present his opinion. He waited for their words because he had expected to hear much wisdom for them but he was disappointed and has been searching out what to say.
v12-13. “YEA, I ATTENDED UNTO YOU, AND, BEHOLD, there
was NONE OF YOU THAT CONVINCED JOB, or THAT ANSWERED HIS
WORDS: LEST YE SHOULD SAY, WE HAVE FOUND OUT WISDOM: GOD THRUSTETH HIM DOWN,
He says that he sees quite readily that nothing they said convinced Job nor did they answer any of his arguments. They merely continued to repeat their arguments without making any progress. He declares to Job’s friends that lest they should claim to have understood this, God is the source of Job’s afflictions not man.
v14. “NOW HE HATH NOT DIRECTED his WORDS AGAINST ME: NEITHER WILL I ANSWER HIM WITH YOUR SPEECHES.”
Now he says that since Job has not directed his words against him, or anyone else for that matter, he will not try to reply to Job’s declaration of his integrity but accepts his arguments at face value. Since he accepts his arguments he won’t try to rebut him either.
Read Job 32:15-22
v15. “THEY WERE AMAZED, THEY ANSWERED NO MORE: THEY LEFT OFF SPEAKING.”
Everyone was amazed at Elihu words, and they sat silent, not answering.
v16-17. “WHEN I HAD WAITED, (FOR THEY SPAKE NOT, BUT STOOD STILL, and ANSWERED NO MORE;) I said, I WILL ANSWER ALSO MY PART, I ALSO WILL SHOW MINE OPINION.”
So Elihu waited but neither Job nor his other friends speak so now he will offer his opinion.
v18-19. “FOR I AM FULL OF MATTER, THE SPIRIT WITHIN ME CONSTRAINETH ME. BEHOLD, MY BELLY is AS WINE which HATH NO VENT; IT IS READY TO BURST LIKE NEW BOTTLES.”
Elihu declares that he’s like a wine skin that full of fermenting grape juice, he’s ready to virtually burst with the words that he wishes to speak. But even though he so full of what he wants to say the spirit of propriety within him keeps him from speaking.
v20. “I WILL SPEAK, THAT I MAY BE REFRESHED: I WILL OPEN MY LIPS AND ANSWER.”
So, to keep himself from bursting or overflowing he will now open his mouth and speak his opinion.
v21-22. “LET ME NOT, I PRAY YOU, ACCEPT ANY MAN'S PERSON, NEITHER LET ME GIVE FLATTERING TITLES UNTO MAN. FOR I KNOW NOT TO GIVE FLATTERING TITLES; in so doing MY MAKER WOULD SOON TAKE ME AWAY.”
He does not intend to show any special preference for any man. He’s not going to try to flatter anyone by using fancy or overblown titles. If he did he declares that his maker, that is God, was take him away, would stop this vanity.