Elihu, the newest addition to the gathering around Job, finally gets into his speech in this chapter and offers up a slightly different point of view from that of Job’s three friends. He tells Job that in spite of his protests of innocence, he is indeed guilty, and that he needs to own up to it and accept God’s punishments for the corrective measures that Elihu claims them to be.
Although Job had never claimed to be completely without sin at all, Elihu makes it sound as if he had, and he rebukes Job sternly for his denial. He launches into a long and involved description of the physical punishments that God brings upon people for their sins, explaining that God is to be praised for doing so because by those actions, he is attempting to bring man “back from the pit.” Of course, Elihu gives no explanation of what the authority is by which he has come to know these things – probably because there is none?
All in all, Elihu says nothing in this chapter to improve the assessment that we made of him in the previous chapter. Still, he continues to make such authority claims even in the last verse: “…listen to me; be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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