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Job 32 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Elihu Rebukes Job’s Friends

32 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became angry. He was angry at Job because he justified himself rather than God; he was angry also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, though they had declared Job to be in the wrong.[a] Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job, because they were older than he. But when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouths of these three men, he became angry.

Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite answered:

“I am young in years,
    and you are aged;
therefore I was timid and afraid
    to declare my opinion to you.
I said, ‘Let days speak,
    and many years teach wisdom.’
But truly it is the spirit in a mortal,
    the breath of the Almighty,[b] that makes for understanding.
It is not the old[c] that are wise,
    nor the aged that understand what is right.
10 Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me;
    let me also declare my opinion.’

11 “See, I waited for your words,
    I listened for your wise sayings,
    while you searched out what to say.
12 I gave you my attention,
    but there was in fact no one that confuted Job,
    no one among you that answered his words.
13 Yet do not say, ‘We have found wisdom;
    God may vanquish him, not a human.’
14 He has not directed his words against me,
    and I will not answer him with your speeches.

15 “They are dismayed, they answer no more;
    they have not a word to say.
16 And am I to wait, because they do not speak,
    because they stand there, and answer no more?
17 I also will give my answer;
    I also will declare my opinion.
18 For I am full of words;
    the spirit within me constrains me.
19 My heart is indeed like wine that has no vent;
    like new wineskins, it is ready to burst.
20 I must speak, so that I may find relief;
    I must open my lips and answer.
21 I will not show partiality to any person
    or use flattery toward anyone.
22 For I do not know how to flatter—
    or my Maker would soon put an end to me!

Footnotes:

  1. Job 32:3 Another ancient tradition reads answer, and had put God in the wrong
  2. Job 32:8 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  3. Job 32:9 Gk Syr Vg: Heb many
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Job 32 New International Version (NIV)

Elihu

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.

Footnotes:

  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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