Elihu Offers an Alternative
Job 32 Psalms 17:13-15; Proverbs 4:23
So these three men ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 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. Also against his three friends his wrath was aroused, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.
Now because they were years older than he, Elihu had waited to speak to Job. When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, his wrath was aroused.
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.
I said, 'Age should speak,
And multitude of years should teach wisdom.'
But there is a spirit in man,
And the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.
Great men are not always wise,
Nor do the aged always understand justice.
"Therefore I say, 'Listen to me,
I also will declare my opinion.'
Indeed I waited for your words,
I listened to your reasonings, while you searched out what to say.
I paid close attention to you;
And surely not one of you convinced Job,
Or answered his words-
Lest you say,
'We have found wisdom';
God will vanquish him, not man.
Now he has not directed his words against me;
So I will not answer him with your words.
"They are dismayed and answer no more;
Words escape them.
And I have waited, because they did not speak,
Because they stood still and answered no more.
I also will answer my part,
I too will declare my opinion.
For I am full of words;
The spirit within me compels me.
Indeed my belly is like wine that has no vent;
It is ready to burst like new wineskins.
I will speak, that I may find relief;
I must open my lips and answer.
Let me not, I pray, show partiality to anyone;
Nor let me flatter any man.
For I do not know how to flatter,
Else my Maker would soon take me away.
"But please, Job, hear my speech,
And listen to all my words.
Now, I open my mouth;
My tongue speaks in my mouth.
My words come from my upright heart;
My lips utter pure knowledge.
The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
If you can answer me,
Set your words in order before me;
Take your stand.
Truly I am as your spokesman before God;
I also have been formed out of clay.
Surely no fear of me will terrify you,
Nor will my hand be heavy on you.
"Surely you have spoken in my hearing,
And I have heard the sound of your words, saying,
'I am pure, without transgression;
I am innocent, and there is no iniquity in me.
Yet He finds occasions against me,
He counts me as His enemy;
He puts my feet in the stocks,
He watches all my paths.'
"Look, in this you are not righteous.
I will answer you,
For God is greater than man.
Why do you contend with Him?
For He does not give an accounting of any of His words.
For God may speak in one way, or in another,
Yet man does not perceive it.
In a dream, in a vision of the night,
When deep sleep falls upon men,
While slumbering on their beds,
Then He opens the ears of men,
And seals their instruction.
In order to turn man from his deed,
And conceal pride from man,
He keeps back his soul from the Pit,
And his life from perishing by the sword.
"Behold, God is exalted by His power;
Who teaches like Him?
Who has assigned Him His way,
Or who has said, 'You have done wrong'?"
Arise, O LORD,
Confront him, cast him down;
Deliver my life from the wicked with Your sword,
With Your hand from men, O LORD,
>From men of the world who have their portion in this life,
And whose belly You fill with Your hidden treasure.
They are satisfied with children,
And leave the rest of their possession for their babes.
As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness;
I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.
Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
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