Job 32

Elihu now speaks to Job

32:1In the next six chapters, we read the words of a man called Elihu. In chapters 32 and 33, he tries to help Job to understand several things. First, Job had said that God had not answered his questions. Elihu tells Job that God does speak to people. He speaks if people will listen (chapter 33, verses 14 to 17). Second, Job thinks that God has not been fair. This is how Elihu answers that: Sometimes God sends an illness to teach people the right way to live (chapter 33, verses 19 to 28).

1 Job would not agree that he had done anything that was wrong. So his three friends refused to argue with him any more. 2 Another man was also there. His name was Elihu, Barakel's son. Barakel was a descendant of Buz. He belonged to Ram's clan.

Elihu became very angry with Job. He was angry because Job continued to say that he was not guilty. Job said that God was wrong to punish him. 3 Elihu was also angry with Job's three friends. They had not been able to find an answer to Job's problem. But they still said that Job was guilty. 4 Elihu had waited for Job's three friends to speak before he spoke to Job himself. He waited because he was younger than them. 5 But he became angry when Job's three friends had nothing more to say. So he finally decided to speak.

6 Barakel's son, Elihu, said this:

‘I am young and you are old.

So I was afraid to tell you what I was thinking.

7 I thought, “Older men should speak.

They have lived for many years and they should share their wisdom.”

8 But it is a person's spirit that helps them to understand things.

Almighty God has to put his breath into them.

9 Not all old people are wise.

Old people do not always understand what is right.

10 So I say, “Listen to me.

I too will explain what I know.”

11 Yes, I waited for you all to speak.

I listened to your wise thoughts,

as you tried to find the right words to say.

12 I listened carefully to you,

as you argued with Job.

But none of you could show Job that he was wrong.

None of you was able to answer his problems.

13 So do not say, “We are wise.”

Do not say, “God must show Job that he is wrong.

People cannot do that.”

14 Job was not speaking to me about his problems.

So I will not answer him in the way that you did.

15 Now they are upset!

They have no more answers to give.

There is nothing more that they can say.

16 I have waited for them,

and now they say nothing.

They stand there and they have no more answers.

17 So now I will say what I think.

I, too, will tell you what I know.

18 There are many things that I want to say.

The spirit inside me causes me to speak.

19 I cannot keep quiet any longer!

I am like a bag that is full of new wine.

I am ready to break so that everything pours out!

20 So I have to speak or I will become ill.

I must open my mouth and reply to you.

21 I will be fair in what I say.

I will not give honour to anyone to get their help.

22 I am too honest to do that.

If I am not fair,

God, my Maker, would quickly remove me.’