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Job 32 Common English Bible (CEB)

Introduction of Elihu

32 These three men stopped answering Job because he thought he was righteous.[a] Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite from the clan of Ram was angry, angry with Job because he considered himself more righteous than God. He was also angry with his three friends because they hadn’t found an answer but nevertheless thought Job wicked. Elihu had waited while Job spoke, for they were older than he. When Elihu saw that there had been no response in the speeches of the three men, he became very angry.

Elihu’s justification for speaking

Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite said:
I’m young and you’re old,
    so I held back, afraid to express my opinion to you.
I thought, Let days speak;
    let multiple years make wisdom known.
But the spirit in a person,
    the Almighty’s breath, gives understanding.
The advanced in days aren’t wise;
    the old don’t understand what’s right.
10 Therefore, I say: “Listen to me;
    I’ll state my view, even I.”
11 Look, I waited while you spoke,
    listened while you reasoned,
    while you searched for words.
12 I was attentive to you,
    but you offered no rebuke to Job,
    no answer from you for his words.
13 Be careful you don’t say, “We’ve found wisdom;
    God, not a person, will defeat him.”

14 Now Job[b] hasn’t addressed me,
    and I won’t quote you to him.
15 They are troubled, no longer answer;
    words now escape them.
16 I waited, but they didn’t speak,
    for they stood but answered no more.
17 I will answer. Indeed, I will state[c] my piece;
    I too will declare my view,
18         for I’m full of words.
The spirit in my belly compels me.
19     Look, my belly is like unopened wine;
        like new wineskins it will burst.
20 I will speak and get relief;
    I will open my lips and respond.
21 I won’t be partial to anyone,
        won’t flatter a person;
22         for I don’t know flattery;
    otherwise my maker would quickly whisk me away.


  1. Job 32:1 Or was righteous in his own eyes
  2. Job 32:14 Or he
  3. Job 32:17 Heb lacks will state.
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Job 32 New International Version (NIV)


32 So these three men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God. He was also angry with the three friends, because they had found no way to refute Job, and yet had condemned him.[a] Now Elihu had waited before speaking to Job because they were older than he. But when he saw that the three men had nothing more to say, his anger was aroused.

So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said:

“I am young in years,
    and you are old;
that is why I was fearful,
    not daring to tell you what I know.
I thought, ‘Age should speak;
    advanced years should teach wisdom.’
But it is the spirit[b] in a person,
    the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.
It is not only the old[c] who are wise,
    not only the aged who understand what is right.

10 “Therefore I say: Listen to me;
    I too will tell you what I know.
11 I waited while you spoke,
    I listened to your reasoning;
while you were searching for words,
12     I gave you my full attention.
But not one of you has proved Job wrong;
    none of you has answered his arguments.
13 Do not say, ‘We have found wisdom;
    let God, not a man, refute him.’
14 But Job has not marshaled his words against me,
    and I will not answer him with your arguments.

15 “They are dismayed and have no more to say;
    words have failed them.
16 Must I wait, now that they are silent,
    now that they stand there with no reply?
17 I too will have my say;
    I too will tell what I know.
18 For I am full of words,
    and the spirit within me compels me;
19 inside I am like bottled-up wine,
    like new wineskins ready to burst.
20 I must speak and find relief;
    I must open my lips and reply.
21 I will show no partiality,
    nor will I flatter anyone;
22 for if I were skilled in flattery,
    my Maker would soon take me away.


  1. Job 32:3 Masoretic Text; an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition Job, and so had condemned God
  2. Job 32:8 Or Spirit; also in verse 18
  3. Job 32:9 Or many; or great
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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