The intervention of the angry Elihu (Job 32:1-32:5)

“So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became angry. He was angry at Job because he justified himself rather than God. He was angry also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong. Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than him. When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouths of these three men, he became angry.”

Now this author goes back to prose. This discourse of Elihu is often seen as an insertion in this book because it has a different style with many Aramaic words. On the other hand, it may be an answer to Job, before God answered him later. Who was this Elihu? One of Samuel’s ancestors in 1 Samuel, chapter 1, had the same name. This Elihu was a Buzite, someone from Buz, which was the name of the son of Nahor in Genesis, chapter 22. Thus Buz was the nephew of Abraham. His family probably migrated to Edom. As he is from the family of Ram he maybe an Aramean. He was angry at Job because he had spent too much time self-justifying himself rather than God. He was angry at the 3 friends since they had no solution to the problem of Job. As he was younger than the others, he waited his turn to speak until they were all done. Whether he observed all this, or just happened by is not clear from the text. He seems to imply that suffering can teach us things about God.

4 thoughts on “The intervention of the angry Elihu (Job 32:1-32:5)

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