Book of Job

by

Anonymous

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Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, mysteriously appears after Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar quit arguing with Job. Elihu is angry—both at Job for insisting upon his own righteousness, and at Job’s three friends for failing to answer him adequately. He says that until now, he’s refrained from speaking up out of respect for the older men in the group, but after listening to everyone else, he can no longer contain himself. Elihu argues that God afflicts people in order to bring them back from the brink of Sheol. In some ways, his arguments are similar to the three friends’ arguments, in that he claims that God always repays people according to their deeds and therefore it isn’t right for evildoers to claim they’re righteous in God’s sight; that, indeed, it’s arrogant for anyone to defend themselves before him. In another way, Elihu shifts the debate somewhat, focusing less on human righteousness or wickedness and more on God’s mighty works and unsearchable greatness (setting the stage for God himself to speak after Elihu says his piece).

Elihu Quotes in Book of Job

The Book of Job quotes below are all either spoken by Elihu or refer to Elihu. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford University Press edition of Book of Job published in 2001.
Chapter 32 Quotes

So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became angry. He was angry at Job because he justified himself rather than God; he was angry also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, though they had declared Job to be in the wrong. Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job, because they were older than he. But when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouths of these three men, he became angry.

Page Number: 32:1-5
Explanation and Analysis:
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Elihu Character Timeline in Book of Job

The timeline below shows where the character Elihu appears in Book of Job. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Then Eliphaz the Temanite speaks up. Eliphaz points out that in the past, Job has taught and... (full context)
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Eliphaz goes on to describe a frightening “spirit” he saw in a nighttime vision. The vision... (full context)
Chapter 5
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Eliphaz continues speaking, saying that distress and envy kill a person. The children of fools are... (full context)
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
...He blesses them with many descendants and grants them old age. These things are true; Eliphaz encourages Job to believe them for himself. (full context)
Chapter 6
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Job replies to Eliphaz. He complains that if his calamities were weighed on a scale, they would be heavier... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Eliphaz the Temanite speaks up in reply. He asks if the wise should answer with “windy... (full context)
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Eliphaz continues that he will tell Job wisdom. The wicked suffer all their lives, constantly threatened... (full context)
Chapter 22
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Next, Eliphaz the Temanite speaks up. He asks Job if even the wisest person can be of... (full context)
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
God is in the heavens, Eliphaz points out, beyond the highest stars—so Job probably assumes that God can’t see him and... (full context)
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Eliphaz urges Job to “agree with God, and be at peace.” If he does this, spurning... (full context)
Chapter 32
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...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... (full context)
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Elihu had refrained from speaking up because the other men are older than him. But, angry... (full context)
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Elihu says that he’s listened to the other men for a long time, but that nobody... (full context)
Chapter 33
The Mystery of God Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Now, Elihu tells Job to hear his speech; his words will demonstrate his uprightness. The spirit of... (full context)
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
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Elihu continues that God speaks to humans in two special ways, though people don’t usually perceive... (full context)
Chapter 34
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Elihu continues speaking, saying that the group of men must determine among themselves what’s right. Elihu... (full context)
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
The Mystery of God Theme Icon
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God’s eyes, Elihu continues, are always upon mortals, and he misses nothing; evildoers can’t find darkness deep enough... (full context)
Chapter 35
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
The Mystery of God Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Elihu continues speaking. It’s not right, he says, for Job to assert his righteousness and to... (full context)
Suffering and Divine Justice Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Elihu says that the oppressed cry out because of their suffering, seeking the strong’s help. But... (full context)
Chapter 36
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Elihu keeps talking; he still has something to say on God’s behalf. God, he says, is... (full context)
The Mystery of God Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Elihu urges Job to praise God’s work. God is great, and mortals can’t fully know him;... (full context)
Chapter 37
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Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Elihu says that God’s thundering voice causes his heart to tremble. God unleashes lightning across the... (full context)
The Mystery of God Theme Icon
Human Wisdom vs. Divine Wisdom Theme Icon
Elihu urges Job to stop and consider God’s wonderful works. Does Job know, he asks, how... (full context)