Summary: This is a study into Job chapter thrity two.
Job chapter 32 could be outlined -
Introduction of Elihu (Job_32:1-5)
Elihu’s disappointment in the debate (Job_32:6-16)
Elihu’s promise to speak without partiality (Job_32:17-22)
At this point the three friends of Job discontinue their discourse with Job. Why? The answer is found in verse one. “Because Job found that he was righteous in his own eyes.” Job was walking with a clear conscious. Clarke says, “He defended, not only the whole of his conduct, but also his motives, thoughts, etc.” But – Elihu believes that Job is a sinner and is being punished for his sin. Why not – no one who is righteous would suffer – would they?
1 So these three men ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 2 Then the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, was aroused against Job; his wrath was aroused because he justified himself rather than God. 3 Also against his three friends his wrath was aroused, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job. 4 Now because they were years older than he, Elihu had waited to speak to Job. 5 When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, his wrath was aroused. Job 32:1-5 (NKJV)
INTRODUCTION OF ELIHU
Elihu becomes very angry at the whole situation – so much so that the he speaks for six chapters. We should remember at this point that the chapter divisions are not part of the original text. The divisions were added later so that passages of scripture could be found easier. Therefore the discourse of Elihu is quite long – and there were no breaks.
Verse one has been handled in a couple of ways. Some treat it in the sense that the three friends of Job now were quite because they found Job more righteous than they. However, the way the NKJV states it – (and most other translations) – is that Job was convinced that he had not committed any sin that was deserving of the problems he was going through. Job therefore would have a clear conscious; “He was righteous in his own eyes.”
Notice that four times in this section it is mentioned that Elihu responds with “wrath”. It is not that he was just angry – he was furious. You can tell a lot about the character of person by what they get angry at.
1. Elihu’s wrath was against Job because Job felt he was justified before God and he had said this plainly to all.
2. Elihu’s wrath was against his three friends because they could not convince Job he was wrong even though they considered him wrong.
3. Elihu’s wrath was against his three friends because they could think of no other arguments against Job.
How would you like to be known as a person of anger? Maybe you are! Maybe some of those you know tell others to stay away from you because, “you have a hot temper.” You get angry because the leaves fall from the trees in the fall – so now you have to rake them up. You get angry because the wind offers a gentle breeze to cool you – yet it messes up your hair. You get angry because on your day off it rains and ruins your plans – even though you have been in drought and it has not rained in weeks.
Should we never get angry? Should we never get up-set? If that is the case why does the scripture say?
“Be ye angry, and sin not.” Ephesians 4:26a (ASV) There are times when we will get angry – but we must be quite certain that it is anger that God Himself would approve of and this condition should also exist – “let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” Ephesians 4:26b (ASV)
Before we move on let us also note that Elihu had kept silent for quite a long time because Job’s friends – “were years older than he” and he wanted to give them the respect that age deserved in dealing with the situation. He respected the age of the others involved in the debate. He allowed those with more experience to speak first. He stood back listened and watched the whole encounter. But then he could hold back no more.
6 So Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, answered and said: "I am young in years, and you are very old; Therefore I was afraid, And dared not declare my opinion to you. 7 I said, ’Age should speak, And multitude of years should teach wisdom.’ 8 But there is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding. 9 Great men are not always wise, Nor do the aged always understand justice. 10 "Therefore I say, ’Listen to me, I also will declare my opinion.’ 11 Indeed I waited for your words, I listened to your reasonings, while you searched out what to say. 12 I paid close attention to you; And surely not one of you convinced Job, Or answered his words-- 13 Lest you say, ’We have found wisdom’; God will vanquish him, not man. 14 Now he has not directed his words against me; So I will not answer him with your words. 15 "They are dismayed and answer no more; Words escape them. 16 And I have waited, because they did not speak, Because they stood still and answered no more. Job 32:6-16 (NKJV)