Job 32:1-22

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 had said again and again that he was a completely honest man. So his three friends did not argue with him any more. 2 But another man called Elihu was also there. He was the son of Barakel. (Barakel lived in a place called Buz.) And Elihu became very angry with Job because of the things that Job had said. Job had said that he had never done any wrong things. And he had said that God had caused all his troubles. 3 Elihu was also angry with Job's three friends. They had not been able to answer Job's questions. And they had said that Job had caused all his own problems. 4 The three friends were older than Elihu. So he had not spoken to Job. Instead, he had let them speak first. 5 But, in the end, he saw that the three men did not have anything more to say. And he became very angry. 6 So Elihu spoke. And this is what he said:

‘I am young and you are old.

So I was afraid to tell you the things that I know.

7 I thought, “Older men should speak.

They should be able to teach other people how to be wise.”

8 But it is the Spirit of Almighty God that comes to men.

And the Spirit helps men to be wise.

9 It is not only older people who are wise.

It is not only older people who know the right way to live.

10 So I say, listen to me.

I too will tell you the things that I know.

11 I waited while you spoke. I listened while you explained your reasons to Job.

And I listened while you tried to find the right words to say to him.

12 I listened carefully to you. But Job did not believe the things that you said.

And none of you was able to answer his questions.

13 Do not say, “We are wise.”

Do not say, “God, not man, will explain to Job why Job is wrong.”

14 Job was speaking to you and not to me.

But I will not answer his questions in the way that you did.

15 Your friends, Job, are sad and confused. They are quiet now because they cannot help you.

There is nothing more that they can say.

16 They stand there and are not able to answer you.

But surely I need not be quiet because they do not say anything.

17 There are things that I, too, want to say to you.

I, too, will tell you what I know.

18 There are many things that I want to say.

It is now time for me to tell you my thoughts.

19 I cannot keep quiet any longer.

I am like a bottle of wine that is ready to break.

20 Please help me. Let me speak to you.

I must open my mouth and reply to you.

21 I will be fair in what I say about other people.

I will not say good things about anyone who does not deserve it.

22 I am too honest to do that.

If I am not honest, then God will remove me.’