Bible Commentaries

John Brown's Commentary on Selected Book of the Bible

Job 33

Verses 1-33

John Brown

Job 15-37

Elihu"s Speeches


A. In our last study of the book of Job (Chapters11-14), - Job had just replied to Zophar"s speech.

1. Chapter14concludes the "first round" of speeches by Job"s friends.

2. All of their speeches have ended pretty much the same with the accusation that Job is in sin and too proud to admit it!

3. Of course, Job maintains his innocence.

B. In Chapters15 though31, Zophar speaks once more and Eliphaz as well as Bildad speaks two more times!

1. Job answers them all, and maintains his innocence!

C. In Chapters32through37, a young man by the name of Elihuspeaks up because he can no longer contain himself as he listened to the others.

1. In all of his4speeches, he doesn"t help Job either, but he comes a lot closer!

2. He has some things to say about the Lord that are worth listening to!


A. Job 32:1-3 (NKJV) So these three men ceased answering Job, because he [was] righteous in his own eyes.

2Then the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, was aroused against Job; his wrath was aroused because he justified himself rather than God.

3Also against his three friends his wrath was aroused, because they had found no answer, and [yet] had condemned Job.

1. Elihu feels that he has to speak for two reasons:

a) #1Job had spent most his time justifying himself, and not defending the Lord.

(1) Basically, he was accusing the Lord of being unfair in his life!

b) #2He was upset that Job"s three friends had accused Job, but given him no real answers!

(1) This is true, but there is also an underlying assumption that HE CAN do better.

B. Job 32:4-7 (NKJV) Now because they [were] years older than Hebrews, Elihu had waited to speak to Job.

5 When Elihu saw that [there] [was] no answer in the mouth of these three men, his wrath was aroused.

6 So Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, answered and said: "I [am] young in years, and you [are] very old; Therefore I was afraid, And dared not declare my opinion to you.

7 I said, `Age should speak, And multitude of years should teach wisdom."

1. This is quite a different perspective upon youth respecting their elders than we have today.

a) If it were today, this young man would probably have already given his opinion with little concern for his elders!

C. Job 32:9-10 (NKJV) Great men are not [always] wise, Nor do the aged [always] understand justice.

10 "Therefore I say, `Listen to me, I also will declare my opinion."

1. What he is saying at the beginning of these verses is that being old, or powerful (successful) doesn"t necessarily guarantee wisdom and understanding.

a) That is certainly true!And evidenced with Job"s three friends.

D. Job 33:1-8 (NKJV) "But please, Job, hear my speech, And listen to all my words

2Now, I open my mouth; My tongue speaks in my mouth.

3My words [come] from my upright heart; My lips utter pure knowledge.

4The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

5 If you can answer me, Set [your] [words] in order before me; Take your stand.

6 Truly I [am] as your spokesman before God; I also have been formed out of clay.

7 Surely no fear of me will terrify you, Nor will my hand be heavy on you.

8 "Surely you have spoken in my hearing, And I have heard the sound of [your] words, [saying],

1. " Job, I am just a man like you, but you have been asking for a mediator.I will be your mediator! I have listened and heard your story, now you will hear what the Lord thinks!"

a) You have to admire this young man"s boldness in standing up for the Lord, but he is a little to "self-important."

(1) It is an awesome thing to say that you speak for the Lord!

2. There is one of the things Elihu has heard Job say that he wishes to discuss!

E. Job has said in Job 33:9-11 (NKJV) `I [am] pure, without transgression; I [am] innocent, and [there] [is] no iniquity in me.

10 Yet He finds occasions against me, He counts me as His enemy;

11He puts my feet in the stocks, He watches all my paths. "

1. Job say that he is innocent therefore, the insinuation is that God is unjust in dealing with Job the way he has!

F. Job 33:12-17 (NKJV) "Look, [in] this you are not righteous. I will answer you, For God is greater than man.

13Why do you contend with Him? For He does not give an accounting of any of His words.

14For God may speak in one way, or in another, [Yet] [man] does not perceive it.

15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, When deep sleep falls upon men, While slumbering on their beds,

16 Then He opens the ears of men, And seals their instruction.

17 In order to turn man [from] [his] deed, And conceal pride from Prayer of Manasseh,

1. " Job, you have forgotten that God is greater than Prayer of Manasseh, and He doesn"t have to give an account or explain what He does!"

a) This may be hard to take, but it is still true today!

2. Notice that this was before the Bible, and the Lord often spoke through dreams and visions!

a) It is not that He cannot do the same today, but the most effective and most exhaustive instruction the Lord will ever give is in His Word!

b) I for one am very happy that we don not have to solely depend upon dreams and visions to know the will of the Lord!

3. Elihu reminds Job that that the Lord often does what He does In order to turn man [from] [his] deed, And conceal pride from Prayer of Manasseh, VS17

G. Job 33:29-30 (NKJV) "Behold, God works all these [things], Twice, [in] [fact], three [times] with a Prayer of Manasseh,

30 To bring back his soul from the Pit, That he may be enlightened with the light of life.

1. In other words, God"s motivation is ALWAYS just and for our benefit!

2. These verses only reinforce Romans 8:28 (NKJV) And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose.

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Bibliographical Information
Brown, John. "Commentary on Job 33". John Brown's Commentary on Selected Books of the Bible.