32:1-37:24 ELIHU’S ARGUMENTS
Reasons why Elihu must speak (32:1-22)
People came for various reasons to see Job. Many were merely curious, wanting to see the former leading judge, honoured citizen and respected wise man who was now decaying at the city garbage dump.
Some came to mock, others to listen to the debate. Among this latter group was an intelligent young man named Elihu.
As the debate progressed, Elihu grew restless and angry. He was angry at Job for his self-righteous assertions, and angry at the three friends for their failure to prove Job wrong. He had remained silent while the more learned men spoke, but now that he sees they are either unable or unwilling to argue with Job further, he can keep quiet no longer (32:1-5).
Elihu begins by explaining that he has kept quiet out of respect for the three older men; but, he quickly adds, God gives wisdom to young men as well (6-10). He then rebukes the three friends. He has listened carefully to their speeches and has found that none has answered Job satisfactorily. He warns them against giving up the debate by thinking that further argument with Job is useless. If they think that only God can answer Job, then Elihu is the one through whom God will speak! But Elihu will answer Job with arguments different from theirs (11-14).
The friends may have been silenced, but Elihu feels that he must speak. He is like a wine bottle ready to burst (15-20). He will speak fairly and flatter no one (21-22).