This has gone on long enough. Job has been harangued by his so-called friends until he has begun to question himself. He has suffered death in the family, financial loss, and extreme physical illness. His friends have become his judges to condemn him as a sinner. But one young man is angry because the others have not managed to shut Job up.
So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 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. Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job. Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he. When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, then his wrath was kindled. Job 32:1-5
The chief critics have failed to put Job down, and he still defends himself. They assign this to self righteousness, but only God can testify against him. The young man is impatient with the elders who could not corner their prey. He takes up the hunt in their place.
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. I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment. Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will shew mine opinion. Job 32:6-10
So Elihu has the humility to admit that his elders intimidated him a bit. But he goes on to note that not all seniors possess wisdom. (Perhaps not all young men do either?) So he is ready to express his humble opinion too now.
Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say. Yea, I attended unto you, and, behold, there was none of you that convinced Job, or that answered his words: Lest ye should say, We have found out wisdom: God thrusteth him down, not man. Now he hath not directed his words against me: neither will I answer him with your speeches. They were amazed, they answered no more: they left off speaking. Job 32:11-15
None of these experienced men found words to force Job to admit that he was a sinner. In this time Job didn’t attack Elihu, so now Elihu decides to earn a little of Job’s anger. His senior friends are shocked speechless at his brashness. I wonder if that would work to silence the foolishness in congress?
When I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, and answered no more;) I said, I will answer also my part, I also will shew mine opinion. For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me. Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles. I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer. Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away. Job 32:16-22
Elihu waits out this silence briefly and continues. He is bursting to vent his own opinion without patronizing anyone. Elihu is an equal opportunity offender. Remember, that we are now instructed to war against spirits and not against flesh. These friends of Job have opened their minds to suggestion from the accuser of the brethren, Satan. This voice is disappointed when his point men have failed to destroy his target Job. He will recruit and promote a willing new volunteer when it suits him. Elihu is enlisted and ready to serve.