After answering the arguments of Job, as expressed in the quotations, there would seem to have been a pause. Then Elihu commenced his last address.
He first appealed to Job to hear him, as he was about to speak on God's behalf. He was absolutely sure of his ground, and at once plunged into his theme. This opens and closes with a statement of the greatness of God. The first statement of divine greatness concerns His understanding. This he had already declared, but now he proceeded to apply it. It is not true that God "preserveth . . . the life of the wicked." It is true that "He giveth to the afflicted their right." Such as are right with Him are not immune from suffering. In the midst of such suffering God proposes to teach them their own transgressions, and to instruct them. The issue of suffering is determined by man's response to it. If he listens and abandons iniquity, prosperity is the result. If he hearkens not, he dies and perishes miserably. The whole truth is summarized in the words:
He delivereth the afflicted by his affliction, And openeth their ear in oppression.
Rising above mere argument, Elihu proceeded to speak again of the greatness of God, first as to manifestation, and then in application to Job. It has been suggested that this last part of Elihu's speech really consists in a word description of what was happening around him at the moment. When presently God speaks, He speaks out of a whirlwind, and the idea is that it was this great storm in its approach and force which Elihu described.
the Second Week after Epiphany