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Print Version Main Index : Commentaries : JFB Commentary : Job Index : Chapter 32

Job, Chapter 32
Chapter 31 | Chapter 33
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Bible Version
Cross Reference
Matthew Henry
JFB Commentary
Wesley's Notes
Geneva Study Bible
View Job 32 in the note window.

      Job 32:1-37:24. SPEECH OF ELIHU.

      1-6. Prose (poetry begins with "I am young").
      because, &c.--and because they could not prove to him that he was unrighteous.

      2. Elihu--meaning "God is Jehovah." In his name and character as messenger between God and Job, he foreshadows Jesus Christ (Job 33:23-26).
      Barachel--meaning "God blesses." Both names indicate the piety of the family and their separation from idolaters.
      Buzite--Buz was son of Nahor, brother of Abraham. Hence was named a region in Arabia-Deserta (Jer 25:23).
      Ram--Aram, nephew of Buz. Job was probably of an older generation than Elihu. However, the identity of names does not necessarily prove the identity of persons. The particularity with which Elihu's descent is given, as contrasted with the others, led LIGHTFOOT to infer Elihu was the author of the book. But the reason for particularity was, probably, that Elihu was less known than the three called "friends" of Job; and that it was right for the poet to mark especially him who was mainly to solve the problem of the book.
      rather than God--that is, was more eager to vindicate himself than God. In Job 4:17, Job denies that man can be more just than God. UMBREIT translates, "Before (in the presence of) God."

      3. Though silenced in argument, they held their opinion still.

      4. had spoken--Hebrew, "in words," referring rather to his own "words" of reply, which he had long ago ready, but kept back in deference to the seniority of the friends who spoke.

      6. was afraid--The root meaning in Hebrew is "to crawl" (De 32:24).

      7. Days--that is, the aged (Job 15:10).

      8. Elihu claims inspiration, as a divinely commissioned messenger to Job (Job 33:6,23); and that claim is not contradicted in Job 42:4,5. Translate: "But the spirit (which God puts) in man, and the inspiration . . . is that which giveth," &c.; it is not mere "years" which give understanding (Pr 2:6 Joh 20:22).

      9. Great--rather, "old" (Job 32:6). So Hebrew, in Ge 25:23. "Greater, less" for the older, the younger.
      judgment--what is right.

      10. Rather, "I say."
      opinion--rather, "knowledge."

      11. Therefore Elihu was present from the first.
      reasons--literally, "understandings," that is, the meaning intended by words.
      whilst--I waited until you should discover a suitable reply to Job.

      13. This has been so ordered, "lest you should" pride yourselves on having overcome him by your "wisdom" (Jer 9:23, the great aim of the Book of Job); and that you may see, "God alone can thrust him down," that is, confute him, "not man." So Elihu grounds his confutation, not on the maxims of sages, as the friends did, but on his special commission from God (Job 32:8 33:4,6).

      14. I am altogether unprejudiced. For it is not I, whom he addressed. "Your speeches" have been influenced by irritation.

      15. Here Elihu turns from the friends to Job: and so passes from the second person to the third; a transition frequent in a rebuke (Job 18:3,4).
      they left off--Words were taken from them.

      17. my part--for my part.

      18. "I am full of words," whereas the friends have not a word more to say.
      the spirit--(Job 32:8 Job 33:4 Jer 20:9 Ac 18:5).

      19. belly--bosom: from which the words of Orientalists in speaking seem to come more than with us; they speak gutturally. "Like (new) wine (in fermentation) without a vent," to work itself off. New wine is kept in new goatskin bottles. This fittingly applies to the young Elihu, as contrasted with the old friends (Mt 9:7).

      20. refreshed--literally, "that there may be air to me" (1Sa 16:23).

      21. "May I never accept," &c. Elihu alludes to Job's words (Job 13:8,10), wherein he complains that the friends plead for God partially, "accepting His person." Elihu says he will not do so, but will act impartially between God and Job. "And I will not give flattery," &c. (Pr 24:23).

      22. take me away--as a punishment (Ps 102:24).

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