Attention!
Partner with StudyLight.org as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Job 32

Verse 1

JOB - CHAPTER 32

JOB AND ELIHU

Verse 1:

The Three Cease to Accuse Job

Verse 1 concludes that at this point of Job’s final rebuttal to the three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar from afar, they withdrew from further contention against Job, Job 2:11-13. Even if they were sincere in their charges against Job they were still wrong, hurtful to him, rather than helpful, and were later required to confess their sins of false charges, and make a sacrifice to the Lord, Job 42:7-10, as Job prayed for his persecutors, as we are admonished to do, Matthew 5:44. They withdrew from Job because they could not prove to him that he was unrighteous, not recognizing that sufferings were sometimes "for the glory of the Lord," not because of personal sins, John 9:2-3; John 11:4; 1 Peter 4:12-19; Romans 5:3-5; Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Young Elihu Incited to Speak

Verses 2-22

Verses 2-22:

Verse 2 Introduces Elihu, a rash young man, intemperate of speech conceited and ready to make an assault against Job’s Integrity of character. He was a Buzite, of the kindred of Ram, and the son of Barchel, Genesis 22:21, of the lineage of Nahor, and Milcah, Abraham’s brother, and his wife. The name Elihu means, "God Is Jehovah," Barachel his father’s name means, "God blesses." A region in Arabian Deserts was named for Buz, Nahor’s son, Jeremiah 25:23.

Verses 3-5 add that Elihu was angry also against Job’s three friends because they had condemned Job without securing any confession of great sin from him or offering a single witness to prove their accusations. He justly concluded that the three had offered nothing more than Insinuations of character debasing nature, without any sustaining evidence. He had waited until Job and his three accusers had completely finished their addresses, but out of respect for their seniority or age, that was far above his, 1 Peter 5:5.

Verse 6 states that Eilhu then addressed Job and his three friends, first conceding that he was young, a junior and they were ail very old. And because of his respect for and cowing fear of their disapproval, or offending them he had waited long to speak, to express his opinion or judgment on why the righteous come to suffer, Job 15:10; Deuteronomy 32:24-25.

Verses 7, 8 recount Elihu’s concession that "days should speak and multitude of years should teach," the voice of the aged should be highly esteemed first, Job 15:10. Yet he set forth the premise, a true one, that there exists a spirit, In every man; And the inspiration of the Almighty doles out understanding to them, a very true premise, as set forth Job 35:11; Job 38:36; Job 1 Kg 3:12; 4:29; Proverbs 26; Ecclesiastes 2:26; Daniel 1:17; Daniel 2:21; Matthew 11:25; James 1:5; John 8:57; John 20:22.

Verses 9,10 add that great old men (leaders) are not always wise, v.6. Neither do old men, the greater always comprehend judgment, witnessed by the fall of Pharaoh in the Red Sea and both Belshazzar and Nebuchadenezzar, as well as Herod and his fall, Acts 12:20-23.

Verse 10 asserts that based on this factual premise he requested that they listen to his opinion or knowledgeable judgment in the matter of the suffering of the righteous.

Verses 11,12 are a direct address of Elihu to Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. He told them that he had waited in patience for their extended reasoning against Job, as they often faltered to search out or grasp what to say. He affirmed that he had listened, with definitive detail to their words, and it was his opinion that each had completely failed to convince Job that his afflictions were sent of God for personal sins. He joined with Job in telling them that they had totally lost their hot-air debate; Their invalid arguments were empty, without factual evidence, 1 Corinthians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 3:19.

Verse 13 declares that they had failed in their arguments against Job, because they had totally relied on platitudes and proverbial bits of wisdom of the flesh from the ages, apart from or without spiritual light or revelation from God, which he claimed to have. God had cast Job down or permitted his calamity, but not for the reasons they had posed, without evidence, Job 2:6-10; Jeremiah 9:23. The great argument is that only God can cast a man down, not man. Elihu’s words appeal to his claim of a special commission or direction of the spirit of God, v.8; Job 33:4; Job 33:6; 1 Corinthians 1:29.

Verse 14 recounts that Elihu disclaimed any prejudice against either Job or his friends, yet, he told those friends that Job had not addressed his remarks to him, but to the three of them, he was therefore without ground for prejudice toward either of them or Job in what he would say, at length. He did declare to them that he would not use any of their speeches against Job for a basis of any of his remarks.

Verse 15 discloses that they (the three friends) were amazed, startled, shocked; They laid off, withdraw, or refrained from trying to defend themselves any more at all, either to him or to Job. Their wisdom was of the world, foolish or moronic and their faint hearts melted under his rebuke, 1 Corinthians 3:19.

Verses 16, 17 add that when Elihu had made the above remarks about the speeches of Job’s three friends they stood dumbfounded, unable, or afraid to reply. He states that though younger he now feels justified in the spirit to answer or speak on his part, to give his judgment with reference to Job’s affliction, v.10, 11.

Verse 18 declares that Elihu claimed to be full of the matter, much to say, whereas Job’s friends had come to dumbfounded defeat, would not open their mouths further, v.15, 16. He asserted that the "spirit within me constraineth me," a thing neither of Job’s feigned friends claimed, Job 33:4; Like Jeremiah he "could not stay," Jeremiah 20:9; and like Paul he was "pressed in the spirit," Acts 18:5; Psalms 58:11; Exodus 4:15; Revelation 22:19.

Verse 19 witnesses that he was stirred like one whose belly was full of wine which had no vent or release. He must speak or burst; He added that he was ready to burst, explode like bottles of new wine, as also expressed Matthew 9:17; Acts 12:22. He was moved like the apostles who had to speak or witness what they had seen and heard, Acts 4:20; Jeremiah 20:9.

Verse 20 continues Elihu’s declaration that he will now set forth to unburden his soul that he may be refreshed, or relieved of the weight of the message on his heart. He stated he was ready to open his lips and give an answer on the question "why the righteous suffer," He needed an air of relief, 1 Samuel 16:23.

Verse 21 recounts Elihu’s resolve not to accept any man’s person, to avoid partiality toward either Job or God, a thing Job’s three friends had not done, Job 13:8-10. He also asked them to excuse him from giving flattering titles to any man; For such is unbecoming in matters of impartial judgment, Proverbs 24:23.

Verse 22 states Elihu’s claim that he did not know how to give or dole out flattering titles, Proverbs 24:23. For in so doing he declared that his maker, his God, would soon take him away to be judged for using deceit in judgment, Psalms 102:24. He feared to engage in such, Proverbs 29:25. See also Psalms 78:36; Proverbs 2:16; Proverbs 24:24; Ezekiel 33:31; Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:8-9; Mr 7:6, 7.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Job 32". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/job-32.html. 1985.