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Job Thirty Two

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Job 32:1 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.

Job 32:2 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.

Elihu. Elihu was considerably younger than Job and his three friends (Job 32:4, 6), and seems to have come to observe Job's situation because of its theological interest. He was evidently from a pious family—his name seems to mean “Jehovah is God” and his father's name, Barachel, means “Blessed be God.” As a novice theologian, he was spiritually minded, with a high conception of God's majesty and righteousness, but understood little of His grace and redemptive love. Although the terms “Buzite” and “Ram” are difficult to identify, it is possible that Buz was Abraham's nephew (Genesis 22:21), and that the Buzite family was a unit in the tribe descended from Aram (assuming Ram is the same as Aram), one of the sons of Shem (Genesis 10:22-23). Since Uz was a son of Aram, this would make Elihu a distant relative of Job's. All this is uncertain but, in any case, Elihu lived in some region not too far from Uz, in order to be present to listen to the dialogue between Job and his three friends.

Job 32:3 Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.

Job 32:4 Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he.

Job 32:5 When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, then his wrath was kindled.

Job 32:6 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.

Job 32:7 I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.

Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

inspiration. Elihu is claiming that his words were divinely inspired, an attitude resulting probably from youthful arrogance against the older generation (an attitude not altogether absent among modern theological students!). His wordy exposition of the whole situation, aside from his own extended boasting, consists mostly of rephrasing the same charges made by Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. Since these arguments were wrong (Job 42:7), it is absurd for Elihu to have claimed his were inspired by God.

Job 32:9 Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.

Job 32:10 Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will show mine opinion.

Job 32:11 Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say.

Job 32:12 Yea, I attended unto you, and, behold, there was none of you that convinced Job, or that answered his words:

Job 32:13 Lest ye should say, We have found out wisdom: God thrusteth him down, not man.

Job 32:14 Now he hath not directed his words against me: neither will I answer him with your speeches.

Job 32:15 They were amazed, they answered no more: they left off speaking.

Job 32:16 When I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, and answered no more;)

Job 32:17 I said, I will answer also my part, I also will show mine opinion.

Job 32:18 For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me.

the spirit within me. Whatever or whoever this “spirit” animating young Elihu may have been, it was not God's Holy Spirit, for Elihu's spirit “inspired” him merely to repeat the same old false charges against Job that had been originated by the wicked spirit in Eliphaz (Job 4:15). They were reworded and given a few new wrinkles, but they were basically the same lies.

Job 32:19 Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles.

Job 32:20 I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer.

Job 32:21 Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.

Job 32:22 For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.