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Job 32 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Elihu Is Upset with Job’s Friends

32 Finally, these three men stopped arguing with Job, because he refused to admit that he was guilty.

Elihu from Buz[a] was there, and he had become upset with Job for blaming God instead of himself. He was also angry with Job’s three friends for not being able to prove that Job was wrong. Elihu was younger than these three, and he let them speak first. But he became irritated when they could not answer Job, and he said to them:

I am much younger than you,
so I have shown respect
    by keeping silent.
I once believed age
    was the source of wisdom;
now I truly realize
    wisdom comes from God.
Age is no guarantee of wisdom
    and understanding.
10 That’s why I ask you
    to listen to me.

I Eagerly Listened

11 I eagerly listened
    to each of your arguments,
12 but not one of you proved
    Job to be wrong.
13 You shouldn’t say,
“We know what’s right!
    Let God punish him.”
14 Job hasn’t spoken against me,
and so I won’t answer him
    with your arguments.

15 All of you are shocked;
    you don’t know what to say.
16 But am I to remain silent,
just because you
    have stopped speaking?
17 No! I will give my opinion,
18 because I have so much to say,
    that I can’t keep quiet.
19 I am like a swollen wineskin,
and I will burst[b]
20     if I don’t speak.
21 I don’t know how to be unfair
    or to flatter anyone—
22 if I did, my Creator
    would quickly destroy me!


  1. 32.2 Elihu from Buz: The Hebrew text has “Elihu son of Barachel from Buz of the family of Ram.” Buz may have been somewhere in the territory of Edom; in Jeremiah 25.23 it is mentioned along with Dedan and Tema (see 6.19).
  2. 32.19 swollen wineskin. . . burst: While the juice from grapes was becoming wine, it would swell and stretch the skins in which it had been stored; sometimes the swelling would burst the wineskins.

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)

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