Job 32:8-9

8 But it is the spirit[a] in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.
9 It is not only the old[b] who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right.

Job 32:8 in Other Translations

KJV
8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
ESV
8 But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.
NLT
8 But there is a spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them, that makes them intelligent.
MSG
8 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.
CSB
8 But it is a spirit in man and the breath of the Almighty that give him understanding.

Job 32:8-9 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JOB 32

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 32:8-9 In-Context

6 So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said: “I am young in years, and you are old; that is why I was fearful, not daring to tell you what I know.
7 I thought, ‘Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.’
8 But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.
9 It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right.
10 “Therefore I say: Listen to me; I too will tell you what I know.
11 I waited while you spoke, I listened to your reasoning; while you were searching for words,

Cross References 6

  • 1. ver 18
  • 2. S Job 27:3; Job 33:4
  • 3. S Job 12:13; S Psalms 119:34; James 1:5; Proverbs 2:6
  • 4. 1 Corinthians 1:26
  • 5. Psalms 119:100
  • 6. S Job 12:12,20; Luke 2:47; 1 Timothy 4:12

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or "Spirit" ; also in verse 18
  • [b]. Or "many" ; or "great"
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.