Job 32

Elihu’s Solution to Job’s Problem   (32:1 – 37:24)

We are introduced to a young man named Elihu in chapter 32. Elihu was the youngest of those present to comfort Job. He had listened to every thing said by both Job and his three counselors/critics. Elihu proved to be the most accurate theologian among the gathering. He rebuked Job’s friends for their unsupported accusations against Job, and Job for his self-justification and wrong view of God.

Elihu spoke to Job a total of four times. His message can be outlined as follows:

• Speech 1: God is not silent (Job 33).
“However now, Job, please hear my speech. . .”

• Speech 2: God is not unjust (Job 34).
“Then Elihu continued and said. . .”

• Speech 3: God is not uncaring (Job 35).
“Then Elihu continued and said. . .”

• Speech 4: God is not powerless (Job 36-37).
“Then Elihu continued and said. . .”

Elihu’s four messages to Job are important because they form a smooth transition from the words of Job and his critics to the words of God. In addition, Elihu’s messages to Job helped to calm him down and make him less defensive and, most important, prepared Job to humbly listen to God’s words at the conclusion of the book.

Elihu told Job and his friends that he had respectfully listened to them because they were older and, he thought, wiser. Elihu suggested that young men may also receive wisdom and understanding from God (see Psalm 119:100). “But now,” said Elihu, “it’s time for me to speak, especially since none of you have been able to refute Job’s argument. You have been so busy thinking of what you were going to say next that you did not hear a thing that Job said.”

Elihu had respectfully listened to the four men before him talk themselves out. They all were finally worn out from talking. And now, Elihu felt a tremendous burden to share what was on his heart. He could no longer remain silent. He had to share what God had laid on his heart. Elihu told his listeners that he was not interested in taking the side of either Job or his friends.

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