Job – Chapter 32

That's All I Can Stands 'Cause I Can't Stands No More!

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Job’s friends saw that they were going in circles. Job’s mind was made up and they weren’t going to convince him, so they stopped arguing. This upset a fourth friend, Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram. (Elihu was presumably related to Abraham in some way, as we will soon discuss.) Elihu became angry with Job for thinking that he was more righteous than G-d, and he became angry with the three friends for letting Job win the debate. (It wasn’t just a stalemate because Job actually knew what his deeds were, while his friends could only speculate, so he “won” in the event of a tie.)

“That’s it,” said Elihu. “I’ve held my tongue so far out of respect because you’re all older than I am and I figured you’d work it all out, but now I see that isn’t the case. Apparently wisdom is only G-d-given, not something that necessarily comes with age. So, listen to me and I’ll clear things up.”

“You three had your chance and all you did was beat up on poor Job, telling him he must have sinned. Don’t think you’re doing the right thing by shutting up now and leaving things in G-d’s hands, since you didn’t do such a great job of speaking for Him so far. I wouldn’t handle things the way you three have, so now it’s my turn. I’m so full of things to say, I’m ready to burst and I can no longer contain myself. I must let the words out now. I will not take it easy on anyone and I will not soften my language out of respect for any person. If I did, I would be doing a disservice to G-d.”

As far as the identity of Elihu, “the family of Ram” is taken to mean “the family of Avram,” the original name of Abraham. Some think that Elihu may even be Isaac, and that the name Barachel may mean “the one who was blessed by G-d.” At the very least Elihu is related to Abraham because as a Buzite, he is descended from Buz, the son of Abraham’s brother Nachor (Genesis 22:21).

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