32

Elihu Responds to Job’s Friends

1Job’s three friends refused to reply further to him because he kept insisting on his innocence.

2Then Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the clan of Ram, became angry. He was angry because Job refused to admit that he had sinned and that God was right in punishing him. 3He was also angry with Job’s three friends, for they made God*32:3 As in ancient Hebrew scribal tradition; the Masoretic Text reads Job.  appear to be wrong by their inability to answer Job’s arguments. 4Elihu had waited for the others to speak to Job because they were older than he. 5But when he saw that they had no further reply, he spoke out angrily. 6Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said,

“I am young and you are old,

so I held back from telling you what I think.

7I thought, ‘Those who are older should speak,

for wisdom comes with age.’

8But there is a spirit*32:8 Or Spirit; also in 32:18.  within people,

the breath of the Almighty within them,

that makes them intelligent.

9Sometimes the elders are not wise.

Sometimes the aged do not understand justice.

10So listen to me,

and let me tell you what I think.

11“I have waited all this time,

listening very carefully to your arguments,

listening to you grope for words.

12I have listened,

but not one of you has refuted Job

or answered his arguments.

13And don’t tell me, ‘He is too wise for us.

Only God can convince him.’

14If Job had been arguing with me,

I would not answer with your kind of logic!

15You sit there baffled,

with nothing more to say.

16Should I continue to wait, now that you are silent?

Must I also remain silent?

17No, I will say my piece.

I will speak my mind.

18For I am full of pent-up words,

and the spirit within me urges me on.

19I am like a cask of wine without a vent,

like a new wineskin ready to burst!

20I must speak to find relief,

so let me give my answers.

21I won’t play favorites

or try to flatter anyone.

22For if I tried flattery,

my Creator would soon destroy me.