Book of Job



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Book of Job: Chapter 32 Summary & Analysis

Job’s three companions stop answering him, because Job is “righteous in his own eyes.” Then, another man speaks up—Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite. Elihu is angry at Job for “justifying[] himself rather than God.” He’s also mad at Job’s three friends for failing to give Job a satisfactory answer.
After Job finishes speaking, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar have nothing more to say—either because they’re persuaded by Job or because they see that trying to change Job’s mind is pointless. However, somebody else has something to say. Judging by his self-introduction, the other men don’t know him; he appears to be butting in, and he has strong opinions about everybody involved.
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Elihu had refrained from speaking up because the other men are older than him. But, angry at the failure of Job’s friends, he finally speaks. He prefaces his statement by acknowledging that he is young, but that it’s God’s spirit, not one’s age, that makes for wisdom. On this basis, he implores the group to listen to his opinion.
As a young man, Elihu would be expected to defer to his elders, but now that everyone has said their piece, he defends his right to speak by pointing out that God grants people wisdom regardless of age. But mostly, he comes across as an arrogant young know-it-all.
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Elihu says that he’s listened to the other men for a long time, but that nobody has successfully answered Job. Now that the others have fallen silent, Elihu sees no reason to keep his thoughts to himself—he is “full of words […] ready to burst” and must speak. As he does, he won’t show partiality or flatter anyone—indeed, he doesn’t know how to flatter.
Elihu continues to present himself as a wellspring of objective truth, but he still comes across as a brash, meddling youth who’s sure he can inject fresh insights into the conversation that has been going around and around.
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