Job 32

Listen to Job 32

Elihu Rebukes Job's Three Friends

1 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was 1righteous in his own eyes.
2 Then Elihu the son of Barachel 2the Buzite, of the family of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself 3rather than God.
3 He burned with anger also at Job's three friends because they had found no answer, although they had 4declared Job to be in the wrong.
4 Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he.
5 And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he burned with anger.
6 And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said: "I am young in years, and you are 5aged; therefore I was timid and afraid to declare my opinion to you.
7 I said, 'Let days speak, and many years teach wisdom.'
8 But it is 6the spirit in man, 7the breath of the Almighty, that makes him 8understand.
9 9It is not the old[a] who are wise, nor the aged who understand what is right.
10 Therefore I say, 'Listen to me; let me also declare my opinion.'
11 "Behold, I waited for your words, I listened for your wise sayings, while you searched out what to say.
12 I gave you my attention, and, behold, there was none among you who refuted Job or who answered his words.
13 Beware 10lest you say, 'We have found wisdom; God may vanquish him, not a man.'
14 He has not directed his words against me, and I will not answer him with your speeches.
15 "They are dismayed; they answer no more; they have not a word to say.
16 And shall I wait, because they do not speak, because they stand there, and answer no more?
17 I also will answer with my share; I also will declare my opinion.
18 For I am full of words; the spirit within me constrains me.
19 Behold, my belly is like wine that has no vent; like new 11wineskins ready to burst.
20 12I must speak, that I may find 13relief; I must open my lips and answer.
21 I will not 14show partiality to any man or use flattery toward any person.
22 For I do not know how to flatter, else my Maker would soon take me away.

Job 32 Commentary

Chapter 32

Elihu is displeased at the dispute between Job and his friends. (1-5) He reproves them. (6-14) He speaks without partiality. (15-22)

Verses 1-5 Job's friends were silenced, but not convinced. Others had been present. Elihu was justly displeased with Job, as more anxious to clear his own character than the justice and goodness of God. Elihu was displeased with Job's friends because they had not been candid to Job. Seldom is a quarrel begun, more seldom is a quarrel carried on, in which there are not faults on both sides. Those that seek for truth, must not reject what is true and good on either side, nor approve or defend what is wrong.

Verses 6-14 Elihu professes to speak by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and corrects both parties. He allowed that those who had the longest experience should speak first. But God gives wisdom as he pleases; this encouraged him to state his opinion. By attention to the word of God, and dependence upon the Holy Spirit, young men may become wiser than the aged; but this wisdom will render them swift to hear, slow to speak, and disposed to give others a patient hearing.

Verses 15-22 If we are sure that the Spirit of God suggested what we are about to say, still we ought to refrain, till it comes to our turn to speak. God is the God of order, not of confusion. It is great refreshment to a good man, to speak for the glory of the Lord, and to edify others. And the more we consider the majesty of God, as our Maker, and the more we dread his wrath and justice, the less shall we sinfully fear or flatter men. Could we set the wrath Lord always before us, in his mercies and his terrors, we should not be moved from doing our duty in whatever we are called to do.

Cross References 14

  • 1. See Job 33:9
  • 2. Genesis 22:21; Jeremiah 25:23
  • 3. Job 4:17; [Job 34:5; Job 35:2; Job 40:8]
  • 4. Job 8:6; Job 22:5
  • 5. Job 15:10
  • 6. Job 33:4; Job 34:14
  • 7. Job 33:4; Genesis 2:7
  • 8. Job 35:11; Job 38:36; Job 39:17; 1 Kings 3:12; 1 Kings 4:29; Proverbs 2:6; Ecclesiastes 2:26; Daniel 1:17; Daniel 2:21; James 1:5
  • 9. 1 Corinthians 1:26; [Job 12:20; Matthew 11:25]
  • 10. Jeremiah 9:23
  • 11. Matthew 9:17; [Joshua 9:4]
  • 12. [Psalms 39:3]
  • 13. 1 Samuel 16:23
  • 14. Leviticus 19:15

Footnotes 1

Chapter Summary


Job's three friends being silenced, and having no more to say in reply to him, Elihu, of whose descent some account is given, a bystander and hearer of the whole dispute between them, rises up as a moderator, and expresses some anger both against them and Job, Job 32:1-5; he makes an apology for engaging in this controversy, by reason of his youth, and they being advanced in years, Job 32:6,7; but since there is a spirit in man, that gives understanding to men of every age, and old men are not always wise, he desires they would hearken to him while he delivered his sentiments on the subject in debate, Job 32:8-10; and hopes to be heard patiently, since he had waited until they had said all they had to say, and had closely attended to it, and which fell short of convincing Job; and this he was obliged to say, lest they should be wise in their own conceit, and attribute that to men which belongs to God, Job 32:11-13; he proposes to take a new method with Job, different from theirs; and now they hearing all this from a young man, they were filled with amazement, and struck with silence; and after he had waited a while to observe whether they would say anything or not, he determined to take his turn, and show his opinion also, Job 32:14-17; and the rather because he was full of arguments, he was desirous to propose them, and was uneasy until he had brought them out; and which he was resolved to do with all impartiality and integrity, Job 32:18-22.

Job 32 Commentaries