And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said,
&c.] Since there was no answer in them, he takes upon him to give one himself; but first makes an apology on account of his youth:
I [am] young, and ye [are] very old;
or "few of days"; a few days, comparatively speaking, had he lived in the world; or "small", or "little as two days" F13; he had been but a little time in it, and so could be thought to have but little knowledge and experience; whereas they were old, even very old; with them were the aged and the grayheaded, ( Job 15:10 ) ; in whom it might have been expected was much wisdom and knowledge:
wherefore I was afraid, and durst not show mine opinion;
declare what knowledge he had of the things in dispute, lest it should appear mean, small, and contemptible; or give his sentiments concerning them, lest he should speak wrongly, and not only give offence, but do more harm than good: the first of these words, in the Arabic language F14, as Aben Ezra observes, signifies to go back; it is used of worms, which, through fear, withdraw themselves from men; so mean an opinion had he of himself, and such a sense of his own weakness, that it not only kept him back, but even caused him to draw back, and keep out of the dispute, and at a distance from it, instead of being forward to engage in it: one Jewish commentator F15 paraphrases it
``I humbled myself as one that goes on his belly;''referring to worms that go low and creep upon their belly, or to the prostrate posture of men that humble themselves to their superiors.
F13 (Mymyl yna ryeu) "minimus ego diebus", Montanus; "parvus diebus sum", Mercerus.