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Job 32 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

VII. Elihu’s Speeches

Chapter 32

Then the three men ceased to answer Job, because in his own eyes he was in the right. But the anger of Elihu,[a] son of Barachel the Buzite, of the clan 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, answered and said:

I am young and you are very old;
    therefore I held back and was afraid
    to declare to you my knowledge.
I thought, days should speak,
    and many years teach wisdom!
But there is a spirit in human beings,
    the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.
It is not those of many days who are wise,
    nor the aged who understand the right.
10 Therefore I say, listen to me;
    I also will declare my knowledge!
11 Behold, I have waited for your words,
    have given ear to your arguments,
    as you searched out what to say.
12 Yes, I followed you attentively:
    And look, none of you has convicted Job,
    not one could refute his statements.
13 So do not say, “We have met wisdom;[b]
    God can vanquish him but no mortal!”
14 For had he addressed his words to me,
    I would not then have answered him with your words.
15 They are dismayed, they make no more reply;
    words fail them.
16 Must I wait? Now that they speak no more,
    and have ceased to make reply,
17 I too will speak my part;
    I also will declare my knowledge!
18 For I am full of words;
    the spirit within me compels me.
19 My belly is like unopened wine,
    like wineskins ready to burst.
20 Let me speak and obtain relief;
    let me open my lips, and reply.
21 I would not be partial to anyone,
    nor give flattering titles to any.
22 For I know nothing of flattery;
    if I did, my Maker would soon take me away.


  1. 32:2 Elihu means “My God is he.” This speaker was from Buz, which, according to Jer 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 locates the place of suffering in the divine plan. Because Elihu’s four speeches (32:6–33:33; 34:2–37; 35:2–16; 36:2–37:24) repeat the substance of the earlier arguments of the three friends and also anticipate the content of the divine speeches (chaps. 39–41), many scholars consider them a later addition to the book.
  2. 32:13 Met wisdom: in Job’s arguments.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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