Job's three friends now fell silent. They were talked out, stymied because Job wouldn't budge an inch - wouldn't admit to an ounce of guilt.
Then Elihu lost his temper. (Elihu was the son of Barakel the Buzite from the clan of Ram.) He blazed out in anger against Job for pitting his righteousness against God's.
He was also angry with the three friends because they had neither come up with an answer nor proved Job wrong.
Elihu had waited with Job while they spoke because they were all older than he.
But when he saw that the three other men had exhausted their arguments, he exploded with pent-up anger.
This is what Elihu, son of Barakel the Buzite, said: "I'm a young man, and you are all old and experienced. That's why I kept quiet and held back from joining the discussion.
I kept thinking, 'Experience will tell. The longer you live, the wiser you become.'
But I see I was wrong - it's God's Spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty One, that makes wise human insight possible.
The experts have no corner on wisdom; getting old doesn't guarantee good sense.
So I've decided to speak up. Listen well! I'm going to tell you exactly what I think.
"I hung on your words while you spoke, listened carefully to your arguments. While you searched for the right words,
I was all ears. And now what have you proved? Nothing. Nothing you say has even touched Job.
And don't excuse yourselves by saying, 'We've done our best. Now it's up to God to talk sense into him.'
Job has yet to contend with me. And rest assured, I won't be using your arguments!
"Do you three have nothing else to say? Of course you don't! You're total frauds!
Why should I wait any longer, now that you're stopped dead in your tracks?
I'm ready to speak my piece. That's right! It's my turn - and it's about time!
I've got a lot to say, and I'm bursting to say it.
The pressure has built up, like lava beneath the earth. I'm a volcano ready to blow.
I have to speak - I have no choice. I have to say what's on my heart,
And I'm going to say it straight - the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
I was never any good at bootlicking; my Maker would make short work of me if I started in now!
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)