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©Bonnie LaBelle

Chapter 32:6-22 (ESV)

Posted on June 13, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 32:6-22 (ESV) - And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said:

“I am young in years,
    and you are aged;
therefore I was timid and afraid
    to declare my opinion to you.
I said, ‘Let days speak,
    and many years teach wisdom.’
But it is the spirit in man,
    the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.
It is not the old who are wise,
    nor the aged who understand what is right.
Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me;
    let me also declare my opinion.’

“Behold, I waited for your words,
    I listened for your wise sayings,
    while you searched out what to say.
I gave you my attention,
    and, behold, there was none among you who refuted Job
    or who answered his words.
Beware lest you say, ‘We have found wisdom;
    God may vanquish him, not a man.’
He has not directed his words against me,
    and I will not answer him with your speeches.

“They are dismayed; they answer no more;
    they have not a word to say.
And shall I wait, because they do not speak,
    because they stand there, and answer no more?
I also will answer with my share;
    I also will declare my opinion.
For I am full of words;
    the spirit within me constrains me.
Behold, my belly is like wine that has no vent;
    like new wineskins ready to burst.
I must speak, that I may find relief;
    I must open my lips and answer.
I will not show partiality to any man
    or use flattery toward any person.
For I do not know how to flatter,
    else my Maker would soon take me away.

Question to consider: Of what value (if any) is it to consider the age of a person or philosophy when weighing an argument?

Elihu was a young man who loved God and attended this discourse between Job and the elders concerning Job’s verbal objection to the idea that he deserved the calamity which befell him and his family. Elihu gave full opportunity for Job to make his case and for the elders to give their respective responses. He finally decided to speak up because he did not feel the matter was handled properly.

At the beginning of his speech, he presented the idea that wisdom doesn’t necessarily belong strictly to the aged, but it came by the very life-giving spirit given by God to man. While it is true that God breathed in us an ability to reason which He did not give to the other creatures, we should also consider the fact that after the rebellion of Adam, our own hearts have become corrupted so not everything that comes from our own thoughts is rooted in wisdom.

With that said, Elihu went on to reject all of the arguments given by the elders, and was practically bursting at the seams to present his own thoughts on the calamity of Job. We live in an age that rejects ancient wisdom and is slighted against any idea that was presented before the modern age. Science has become the ruling authority, and reason has become antiquated to such a degree that those who lived before this generation are relegated to mere colonizers and bigots. 

While I think we should avoid going in the complete opposite direction and rejecting all modern ideas, I think it is good to point out that if you compare philosophical ideas from the current generation to that which was written a hundred or two hundred years ago, it is almost shocking to witness how simplistic the modern way of thinking has become.


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the ability to reason. Help us to be able to set aside our prejudices and biases in order to judge arguments and not people. As we do this, we ask for Your wisdom in order to discern truth from error. Amen.