1These three men stopped trying to answer Job, because he was so sure he was right. 2But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, from the family of Ram, became very angry with Job, because Job claimed he was right instead of God. 3Elihu was also angry with Job’s three friends who had no answer to show that Job was wrong, yet continued to blame him. 4Elihu had waited before speaking to Job, because the three friends were older than he was. 5But when Elihu saw that the three men had nothing more to say, he became very angry.
6So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said this:
“I am young,
and you are old.
That is why I was afraid
to tell you what I know.
7I thought, ‘Older people should speak,
and those who have lived many years should teach wisdom.’
8But it is the spirit in a person,
the breath of the Almighty, that gives understanding.
9It is not just older people who are wise;
they are not the only ones who understand what is right.
10So I say, listen to me.
I too will tell you what I know.
11I waited while you three spoke,
and listened to your explanations.
While you looked for words to use,
12I paid close attention to you.
But not one of you has proved Job wrong;
none of you has answered his arguments.
13Don’t say, ‘We have found wisdom;
only God will show Job to be wrong, not people.’
14Job has not spoken his words against me,
so I will not use your arguments to answer Job.
15“These three friends are defeated and have no more to say;
words have failed them.
16Now they are standing there with no answers for Job.
Now that they are quiet, must I wait to speak?
17No, I too will speak
and tell what I know.
18I am full of words,
and the spirit in me causes me to speak.
19I am like wine that has been bottled up;
I am ready to burst like a new leather wine bag.
20I must speak so I will feel relief;
I must open my mouth and answer.
21I will be fair to everyone
and not flatter anyone.
22I don’t know how to flatter,
and if I did, my Maker would quickly take me away.