Elihu Adds to the Argument
Then Job’s three friends gave up trying to answer him, because he was so sure that he was innocent. But there was a young man there named Elihu son of Barakel. He was a descendant of a man named Buz. Elihu was from the family of Ram. He became very angry because Job kept saying he was innocent—that he was right and God was wrong. Elihu was also angry with Job’s three friends because they could not answer him, and yet they still considered him guilty of doing wrong. Elihu was the youngest one there, so he had waited until everyone finished talking. But when he saw that Job’s three friends had nothing more to say, his anger forced him to speak. So here’s what Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said:
“I am only a young man, and you are all older.
That is why I was afraid to tell you what I think.
I thought to myself, ‘Older people should speak first.
They have lived many years, so they have learned many things.’
But it is the spirit in people, the breath from God All-Powerful,
that makes them understand.
Old men are not the only wise people.
They are not the only ones who understand what is right.
10 “So please listen to me,
and I will tell you what I think.
11 I waited patiently while you men talked.
I listened to the answers you gave as you searched for the right words.
12 I listened carefully to what you said.
Not one of you proved Job wrong.
Not one of you answered his arguments.
13 You men cannot say that you have found wisdom.
The answer to Job’s arguments must come from God, not people.
14 Job was arguing with you, not me,
so I will not use your arguments to answer him.
15 “Job, these men lost the argument.
They don’t have anything more to say.
They don’t have any more answers.
16 I waited for them to answer you.
But now they are quiet.
They stand there with nothing more to say.
17 So now I will give you my answer.
Yes, I will tell you what I think.
18 I have so much to say
that I cannot hold it in.
19 I feel like a jar of wine that has never been opened.
I am like a new wineskin ready to burst.
20 I must speak so that I will feel better.
I must answer your arguments.
21 I will treat you the same as I would treat anyone else.
I will not praise you to win your favor.
22 I cannot treat one person better than another.
If I did, God my Maker would punish me!