32:1 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.
32:2 Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God.
So these three
Despite minor differences, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar have one view of the problem of Job's afflictions. He is a hypocrite. Outwardly good, he is, they hold, really a bad man. Otherwise, according to their conception of God, Job's sufferings would be unjust. Job, though himself the sufferer, will not so accuse the justice of God, and his self-defence is complete. Before God he is guilty, helpless, and undone, and there is no daysman ( Job 32:9 ). Later, his faith is rewarded by a revelation of a coming Redeemer, and of the resurrection ( Job 32:19 ). But Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar are sinners also as before God, and yet they are not afflicted. Job refutes the theory of the three that he is a secret sinner as against the common moralities, but the real problem, Why are the righteous afflicted remains. It is solved in the last chapter.
Elihu has a far juster and more spiritual conception of the problem than Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar because he has an infinitely higher conception of God. The God of Eliphaz and the others, great though they perceive Him to be in His works, becomes in their thought petty and exacting in His relations with mankind. It is the fatal misconception of all religious externalists and moralizers. Their God is always a small God. Elihu's account of God is noble and true, and it is noteworthy that at the last Jehovah does not class him with Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar (cf) Job 42:7 but he is still a dogmatist, and his eloquent discourse is marred by self-assertiveness (e.g) ; Job 32:8 Job 32:9 ; 33:3 . Jehovah's judgment of Elihu is that he darkened counsel by words Job 38:2 the very charge that Elihu had brought against Job. ; Job 34:35 ; 35:16 . Furthermore, the discourse of Jehovah is wholly free from the accusations of Job with which even Elihu's lofty discourse abounds.
himself Heb. his soul.