I. Elihu's Introduction: He Speaks Primarily to the Three Friends
|The Speaker||So Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite spoke out and said,|
In the Biblical world it was totally inappropriate for the younger to speak before the elder as in Isaiah 3:5c, "The youth will storm against the elder."
|I am young in years and you are old;
Therefore I was shy and afraid to tell you what I think.
I thought age should speak,
And increased years should teach wisdom.
|Wisdom is A Gift of God and Not a Function of Years||But it is a spirit in man,
And the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding.
The abundant in years may not be wise,
Nor may elders understand justice.
|Elihu Asserts He has Listened Carefully to the Three Friends
||So I say, 'Listen to me, I too will tell what I think.'
Behold, I waited for your words, I listened to your reasonings,
While you pondered what to say.
I even paid close attention to you;
|Elihu Believes the Three Friends Lost the Argument to Job||Indeed, there was no one who refuted Job,
Not one of you who answered his words.
Do not say, 'We have found wisdom; God will rout him, not man.
For he has not arranged his words against me,
Nor will I reply to him with your arguments.
They are dismayed, they no longer answer;
Words have failed them.
Shall I wait, because they do not speak,
Because they stop and no longer answer?
|Elihu Pictures Himself in a Prophetic Role:
1) This is very similar to Jeremiah's prophetic experience (Jer. 20:9),
But if I say,
I will not remember Him2) It is my opinion that he must be seen either as a true prophet or a false prophet. If it is the latter, he is speaking from the carnality of youth.
|I too will answer my share,
I also will tell my opinion.
For I am full of words;
The spirit within me constrains me.
Behold, my belly is like unvented wine,
Like new wineskins it is about to burst.
Let me speak that I may get relief;
Let me open my lips and answer.
Let me now be partial to no one,
Nor flatter any man.
For I do not know how to flatter,
Else my Maker would soon take me away.
II. Elihu Turns His Attention/Angry Words on Job (Job 33)
A. Elihu Assures Job of His Sincerity and Integrity and Asks Him to Listen1) Note that Elihu will allow Job to respond to his arguments. This is something that the friends did not seem to really want from Job.
2) He sees that it is legitimate for him to speak because he is God's creation just like Job.
However now, Job, please hear my speech,
And listen to all my words.
Behold now, I open my mouth,
My tongue in my mouth speaks.
My words are from the uprightness of my heart,
And my lips speak aknowledge sincerely.
The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of 1the Almighty gives me life.
Refute me if you can;
Array yourselves before me, take your stand.
Behold, I belong to God like you;
I too have been formed out of the clay.
Behold, no fear of me should terrify you,
Nor should my pressure weigh heavily on you.
B. Elihu has Listened to Job Surely you have spoken in my hearing,
And I have heard the sound of your words:
C. A Summary of Job's Position I am pure, without transgression;
I am innocent and there is no guilt in me.
Behold, He invents pretexts against me;
He acounts me as His enemy.
He puts my feet in the stocks;
He watches all my paths.
D. Reasons are Presented against Job's Position. Elihu will give three arguments of increasing strength. Job sees his treatment as unjust, but Elihu sees it as necessary because man has a history of not listening to God. Behold, let me tell you, you are not right in this, 1) The Sovereignty Argument: God is not required to answer since he is greater. For God is greater than man.
Why do you complain against Him
That He does not give an account of all His doings?
2) The **Deus Absconditus/Freewill Argument: God in his initial dealings with man warns him of spiritual danger through dreams. The sin God was worried about with Job was pride. If one looks at the last speech of God and the last statement he makes, he will see that it deals with pride. Throughout the speeches of God this topic is touched on as well. This is similar to the first speech of Eliphaz who claimed God speaks to men in dreams. The difference is that Elihu has God speaking to to Job and Eliphaz had Him speaking to Eliphaz about Job. Indeed God speaks once,
Or twice, yet no one notices it.
In a dream, a vision of the night,
When sound sleep falls on men,
While they slumber in their beds,
Then He opens the ears of men,
And seals their instruction,
That He may turn man aside from his conduct,
And keep man from pride;
He keeps back his soul from the pit,
And his life from passing over binto Sheol.
3) Pain: The Next Warning of God: Pain is not necessarily bad because it can deliver man from Sheol and death. Man is also chastened with pain on his bed,
And with unceasing complaint in his bones;
So that his life loathes bread,
And his soul favorite food.
His flesh wastes away from sight,
And his bones which were not seen stick out.
Then his soul draws near to the pit,
And his life to those who bring death.
E. God's Sends Messengers as Mediators of Restoration
Is this the task that Elihu sees for himself or is it a heavenly angel? The word %a'l.m; (malak) means messenger but is translated is as follows: ambassadors (2), angel (101), angels (9), envoys (1), messenger (24), messengers (76).
If there is an angel as mediator for him,
One out of a thousand,
To remind a man what is right for him,
Then let him be gracious to him, and say,'Deliver him from agoing down to the pit,Then he will pray to God, and He will accept him,
I have found a ransom';
Let his flesh become fresher than in youth,
Let him return to the days of his youthful vigor;
That he may see His face with joy,
And He may restore His righteousness to man.
F. How the Ransomed Man wil Act Once He has escaped the Evil that Has Befallen Him He will sing to men and say,'I have sinned and perverted what is right,
And it is not proper for me.
'He has redeemed my soul from going to the pit,
And my life shall see the light.'
G. This is God's Standard Modus Operandi Behold, God does all these oftentimes with men,
To bring back his soul from the pit,
That he may be enlightened with the light of life.
H. A Final Exhortation to Listen Pay attention, O Job, listen to me;
Keep silent, and let me speak.
Then if you have anything to say, answer me;
Speak, for I desire to justify you.
If not, listen to me;
Keep silent, and I will teach you wisdom."
Deus Absconditus: This is the doctrine that God hides himself outwardly, but in an unseen/unnoticed fashion still works. The purpose of this hiding is to allow a freewill system.
Spirit/Breath of God: There are passages which show that this concept is rather wide spread in the ancient worl, both geographically and temporally.Genesis 41:38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, "Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?"
Numbers 27:18 So the LORD said to Moses, "Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him;
Daniel 5:11 "There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the Spirit of the Holy God. And in the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, were found in him; and King Nebuchadnezzar your father -- your father the king -- made him chief of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers.