Job 32

Talks for Growing Christians

Elihu’s First Speech to Job’s Three Friends

Job 32

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Lesson Number 21

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. In his first speech, Elihu acknowledges his youth.
  2. In his first speech, Elihu answers his colleagues.
  3. In his first speech, Elihu addresses his patient.

Practical Application

  1. Learn from the Elihus!


  1. Who was Elihu, and how was his family connected to the ancestors of David? 6.
  2. As Elihu enters the dialogue between Job and his three counselors, does it appear that he is familiar with all that has taken place in the lengthy discussions?
  3. Why was Elihu angry with Job? Why was he angry with Job’s three friends?
  4. What reason did Elihu give for having withheld his opinions up to this point? What reason did he give for finally speaking up to Job?
  5. What was Elihu’s opinion of the counsel that Job’s three friends had given him?
  6. In verse 18, is Elihu referring to the Holy Spirit, or to his own human spirit?


  1. Elihu was a Buzite of the family of Ram (v 2). According to Genesis 22:21, Buz was the nephew of Abraham, and according to Ruth 4:19-22, Ram was one of the ancestors of David.
  2. Elihu seemed very knowledgeable about the dialogue between Job and his three counselors (vs 3, 5), as though he had been in the presence of Job, listening to the arguments. It could be that Elihu was like a young court stenographer taking notes.
  3. Elihu was angry with Job because, in his opinion, Job dared to justify himself before God (v 2), and was angry with his three friends because they wrongly condemned Job and did not give him any good answers (v 3).
  4. Elihu acknowledged his youth and gives this as the main reason that he had not spoken out sooner (vs 6, 7). Elihu then makes the claim that it is the Almighty who gives wisdom (v 8) and that He may give wisdom to a younger person like himself (vs 9, 10), thereby justifying his counsel to Job.
  5. Elihu told his three older colleagues that they had not given Job adequate answers and had failed to convince him of his wrongdoing (vs 11, 12).
  6. Considering the context of Elihu’s words in verse 18, he is most likely referring to his own human spirit and not the Holy Spirit, compelling him to speak.


  1. Discuss the source of wisdom, the exhortations regarding the receiving of wisdom and the benefits of wisdom. Consider the opening chapters of the book of Proverbs in this connection. Discuss the relevancy of this portion of Scripture to your lives today.


  1. Are you ready and practiced to be a good listener? It requires careful listening and understanding to learn valuable lessons from good counselors, to learn how not to counsel from poor counselors, and to learn how to discern between the two. “Let every man be swift to hear [and] slow to speak . . .” James 1:19a

Key Verses

  • “Let me not, I pray, show partiality to anyone, nor let me flatter any man. For I do not know how to flatter, else my Maker would soon take me away.” Job 32:21, 22

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