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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia

Elihu

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Name of several Biblical personages. It has two forms— and — and its meaning is "He is my God," i.e. , "He remains my God and does not change," not as G. Hoffmann ("Hiob," 1891, p. 23) renders it: "He is my God," i.e. , "My God is the only true God." The most famous bearer of this name is found in the Book of Job (xxxii:2-6, 34:1, 35:1, 36:1), where he is described as the son of Barachel (), and a descendant of Buz (). Since the latter, according to Genesis 22:21 , was a son of Abraham's brother Nachor and a brother of Huz (), the ancestor of Job, it follows that Elihu, the Buzite, was a distant relative of Job. The Assyrian equivalent of the land of Buz is "Bazu," designating a region probably east of Damascus (Friedrich Delitzsch, "Assyrische Lesestü cke," 4th ed., 1901, p. 192). Elihu is therefore described as a non-Israelite living during the patriarchal period, like Job and other personages of the book named after him. Elihu is the speaker in ch. xxxii.-xxxvii., and his argument is as follows: God is the educator of mankind, who punishes only until the sinner has atoned for his sin and recognizes his wrong-doing. Then God has attained His object, to "bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living" (xxxiii:17-30). Elihu, therefore, holds a middle ground, maintaining that God neither "takes away judgment," nor sends suffering merely as a punishment, but acts as the educator and teacher of mankind (xxxiv:5 35:1,14 36:10,22). As regards the relation of Elihu's speeches to the Book of Job, see Job, Book of .

Among the Israelites the following bore the name of Elihu: (1) Samuel's great-grandfather (1Samuel 1:1 ) (2) a brother of David (1Chronicles 27:18 ) (3) a chief of the tribe of Manasseh, who joined David when the latter fled to Ziklag (1Chronicles 12:20 ) (4) one of the Korhites (1Chronicles 26:7 ).

E. G. H. E. K.

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Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Elihu'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tje/e/elihu.html. 1901.

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