When writing about this chapter, Coffman made the observation that the entire Book of Job appears to have the purpose of showing man that it is a fallacy to believe that God immediately punishes man on this earth for his sins. That does indeed ring out as a clear assessment of one of the biggest lessons we learn from the book. And Elihu does himself make a substantial contribution to that outlook, as his reasoning and his accusations are both more hurtful to Job, and greatly indicative of an outlook on God and His ways that is simply and terribly wrong.
But it is Elihu’s statements attacking Job’s character that are the most surprising about Elihu’s mistakes. He says in verse 35 that “‘Job speaks without knowledge; his words are without insight.’” Then, at the end of the chapter, Elihu makes what are perhaps his cruelest statements considering Job:
Would that Job were tried to the end,
because he answers like wicked men.
For he adds rebellion to his sin;
he claps his hands among us
and multiplies his words against God.”
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com. For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.