December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Then the three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.
- 1 But the anger of Elihu, son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, was kindled. He was angry with Job for considering himself rather than God to be in the right.
- He was angry also with the three friends because they had not found a good answer and had not condemned Job.
- But since these men were older than he, Elihu bided his time before addressing Job.
- When, however, Elihu saw that there was no reply in the mouths of the three men, his wrath was inflamed.
- So Elihu, son of Barachel the Buzite, spoke out and said: I am young and you are very old; therefore I held back and was afraid to declare to you my knowledge.
- Days should speak, I thought, and many years teach wisdom!
- But it is a spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.
- It is not those of many days who are wise, nor the aged who understand the right.
- Therefore I say, hearken to me; let me too set forth my knowledge!
- Behold, I have waited for your discourses, and have given ear to your arguments.
- Yes, I followed you attentively as you searched out what to say; And behold, there is none who has convicted Job, not one of you who could refute his statements.
- 2 Yet do not say, "We have met wisdom. God may vanquish him but not man!"
- For had he addressed his words to me, I should not then have answered him as you have done.
- They are dismayed, they make no more reply; words fail them.
- Must I wait? Now that they speak no more, and have ceased to make reply,
- I too will speak my part; I also will show my knowledge!
- For I am full of matters to utter; the spirit within me compels me.
- Like a new wineskin with wine under pressure, my bosom is ready to burst.
- Let me speak and obtain relief; let me open my lips, and make reply.
- I would not be partial to anyone, nor give flattering titles to any.
- For I know nought of flattery; if I did, my Maker would soon take me away.
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1  Elihu means "My God is he." This speaker was from Buz, which, according to Jeremiah 25:23 was near Tema and Dedan. A young man, he impetuously and impatiently upbraids Job for his boldness toward God, and the three friends for not successfully answering Job. He undertakes to defend God's absolute justice and to explain more clearly why there is suffering. While fundamentally his position is the same as that of the three friends, he does locate more definitely, though not perfectly, the place of suffering in the divine plan.
2  Met wisdom: in Job's arguments.
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