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Job 32

Elihu is displeased at the dispute between Job and his friends. (1-5) He reproves them. (6-14) He speaks without partiality. (15-22)

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Elihu is displeased at the dispute between Job and his friends

1 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.

2 Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God.

3 Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.

4 Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he.

5 When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, then his wrath was kindled.

He reproves them

6 And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion.

7 I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.

8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

9 Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.

10 Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will shew mine opinion.

11 Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say.

12 Yea, I attended unto you, and, behold, there was none of you that convinced Job, or that answered his words:

13 Lest ye should say, We have found out wisdom: God thrusteth him down, not man.

14 Now he hath not directed his words against me: neither will I answer him with your speeches.

He speaks without partiality

15 They were amazed, they answered no more: they left off speaking.

16 When I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, and answered no more;)

17 I said, I will answer also my part, I also will shew mine opinion.

18 For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me.

19 Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles.

20 I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer.

21 Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.

22 For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Himself. They thought it useless to say any more.

Ver. 2. Buzite, a descendant of Buz, the son of Nachor. Gen. xxii. 21. C. — Of, &c. Sept. “of the country of Hus.” — Ram. Chal. “Abraham;” (M.) or rather (H.) this is put for Aram. Sym. “Syria.” 2 Par. xxii. 5. Some suppose that Eliu spring from Aram, the son of Esron, of the tribe of Juda. Others think that (C.) he was the same with Balaam. S. Jer. Ven. Bede. — He is never ranked among the friends of Job, as he perhaps did not come from a distance. His speech, or good intention, is not condemned by God; and Job seems to have acquiesced in what he said. C. — This silence of the latter might rather proceed from a just (H.) contempt, as Eliu said nothing to the purpose; many of his observations being palpably false, and others not at all controverted. Yet with his private spirit he comes forth, not much unlike Prot. and Puritans, who pretend that they will overturn the Catholic faith by arguments which have escaped the sagacity of all preceding ages! W. — God also did not let Eliu pass entirely unnoticed; but, in one line, showed his displeasure: (C. xxxviii. 2. Houbigant) as Job perhaps did likewise, by repeating the same decision. C. xlii. 3. H. — Eliu vainly explains why he had not spoken before. He arraigns Job for asserting his own innocence, though the holy man only maintained that he was not punished thus for his crimes, according to the laws of vindictive justice; (C. xxvii. 2.) much less did he pretend that he was juster than God, (C. xxxv. 2.) as his adversary asserts; taking thence occasion to praise the divine wisdom and power, as if Job had called them in question. C. — God, whose eyes behold the smallest faults. M. — Heb. “rather on, or (H.) above God.” C. — This young man, who was learned and proud, is the pattern of those hot disputants who set themselves above their elders. S. Greg. xxiii. 2. W.

Ver. 3. Found. Heb. “produced an answer, but had still condemned Job;” (H.) or, “had made Job wicked,” by giving him occasion to blaspheme, in order to defend his own righteousness. C. — Sept. “they took it for granted (or laid it down as a fact, ethento) that he was a wretch.” This was not true: (H.) but they had also doe their best to prove it. C. — Job. Almost all the Rabbins assert that the original copies read Jehova, “the Lord;” (H.) and that the Masorets changed it, to avoid the apparent blasphemy; as if the three friends had rendered themselves guilty by not answering Job. But the Chal. &c. are silent on this head, and Abenezra allows that the change is very doubtful. C.

Ver. 6. Hanging. Heb. “I fest a reverential awe, (Sept. I was silent) and durst not shew,” &c. H.

Ver. 8. Spirit, which is communicated to the young, as well as to the old. M.

Ver. 9. Aged: poluchronioi. Sept. Rabbim, “the Rabbins,” (H.) the “great ones,” placed in authority. These are not always the wisest, as understanding is the gift of God, and not attached to rank. C.

Ver. 11. Disputing. Heb. “searching out words,” or arguments. H.

Ver. 12. None. A notorious piece of arrogance, to esteem himself wiser than any of his own sect, or of his adversaries. W.

Ver. 13. Man. You seem to think this a convincing proof that Job is guilty: (Ven. Bede. H.) but it is no such thing. You would fain excuse yourselves from saying any more, for fear of causing him pain, which is already very great; and you vainly imagine that you may thus leave him to be judged by God. We must however convince Job. C.

Ver. 14. He; Job, or God. I do not pretend that I have had any revelation, like Eliphas and Sophar. C. iv. 12. and xi. 5. Job has addressed himself to you; (C.) but I shall not answer him as you have done. M. — Those who neither believe Catholics, nor their own teachers, but rely on the private spirit, think that the answers which have been given to others, on the same points, do not regard them. S. Greg. W.

Ver. 15. They. Eliu speaks thus contemptuously of the three friends, as if they had been absent. In the former verse he spoke to them: now he turns to Job. Heb. “they were amazed.” H.

Ver. 18. Me. And forces me to speak. Jer. v. 24. and xx. 9. Thus Juvenal describes a great talker. Tunc immensa cavi spirant mendacia folles.—Conspuiturque sinus. Sat. vi. C.

Ver. 19. Vessels, made of skins. Heb. oboth. H.

Ver. 21. Man. Heb. “give flattering titles unto man.” Prot. “I do not respect a mortal.” Sept. (H.) “nothing shall make me conceal the truth: I will give things their proper names.” Job seemed to him to have arrogated to himself the perfection of God, in maintaining his own innocence. C. — He promises to stand up in defence of the Almighty, (M.) as his advocate. C.

Ver. 22. Away. I shall therefore speak with the utmost caution, (H.) as one who must shortly appear before the divine tribunal. M. — Heb. “For I know not how to call things by their sirnames, (C.) or titles of vanity; (H.) If I do, may my Creator soon (C.) take me away.” Sept. “I know not how to admire the face. If it be not so, the worms shall consume me.” H.