Elihu’s Angry Response

So these three men quit answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite from the family of Ram became angry. He was angry at Job because he had justified himself rather than God. He was also angry at Job’s three friends because they had failed to refute him and yet had condemned him.[a]

Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were all older than he. But when he saw that the three men could not answer Job, he became angry.

So Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite replied:

I am young in years,

while you are old;

therefore I was timid and afraid

to tell you what I know.

I thought that age should speak

and maturity should teach wisdom.

But it is a spirit in man[b]

and the breath of the Almighty

that give him understanding.

It is not only the old who are wise

or the elderly who understand how to judge.

10 Therefore I say, “Listen to me.

I too will declare what I know.”

11 Look, I waited for your conclusions;

I listened to your insights

as you sought for words.

12 I paid close attention to you.

Yet no one proved Job wrong;

not one of you refuted his arguments.

13 So do not claim, “We have found wisdom;

let God deal with him, not man.”

14 But Job has not directed his argument to me,

and I will not respond to him with your arguments.

15 Job’s friends are dismayed and can no longer answer;

words have left them.

16 Should I continue to wait now that they are silent,

now that they stand there and no longer answer?

17 I too will answer;[c]

yes, I will tell what I know.

18 For I am full of words,

and my spirit[d] compels me to speak.

19 My heart[e] is like unvented wine;

it is about to burst like new wineskins.

20 I must speak so that I can find relief;

I must open my lips and respond.

21 I will be partial to no one,

and I will not give anyone an undeserved title.

22 For I do not know how to give such titles;

otherwise, my Maker would remove me in an instant.


  1. Job 32:3 Ancient Jewish tradition reads condemned God
  2. Job 32:8 Or is the Spirit in a person
  3. Job 32:17 Lit answer my part
  4. Job 32:18 Lit and the spirit of my belly
  5. Job 32:19 Lit belly