The younger Elihu in the Book of Job is an enigmatic character to many, especially Bible teachers it seems! The majority of them believe he is a paragon of wisdom! The “star” of the Book!
In Job 36 this man’s “pride” is still on display.
As in the opening paragraph here. “Elihu also proceeded, and said, Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God’s behalf. I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.” Job 36:1-3
He is (self-appointed) God’s very Spokesman in the Book. He is going to “teach” Job about the Lord! (That’s like a 1st grader lecturing a 10th grader, folks!)
Speaking “on God’s behalf,” with the little word (adverb) “yet” suggesting that he could talk for years on the Subject, perpetually! (Elihu likely does not know 1% of the truth Job has acquired through his long years of walking with God! Yet he assumes superiority, again, over the Servant of the Lord Job.)
Note too that he is “ascribing” (in Hebrew “nathan” meaning “giving”) righteousness to God. (Loaning God some righteousness, Elihu?) Fact: God does not need any righteousness. He IS Righteousness. Man’s righteousness (which is all Elihu had to give) is as “filthy rags” anyway!
Then the “proof” text for me. This convinces me undoubtedly that Elihu does NOT speak from a plateau of spiritual maturity. Job 36:4, King James Version: “For truly my words shall not be false: he (Elihu) that is perfect in knowledge is with thee.” Wow!
Did you see that?
“He (obviously meaning himself, Elihu) that is PERFECT in KNOWLEDGE is with thee!” Job, you have no worries, now. Mr. “Perfect Wisdom” is by your side. I can explain it all!
I think he is not Wisdom personified.
I am beginning to wonder if he is PRIDE personified!
I mean it!
The best I can say for Elihu is that he is NOT an atheist.
The rest of the chapter (Job 36) contains information about the Almighty. Good material, but non-applicable in Job’s situation. “He preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the poor. He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous.” Verses 6 and 7, clearly true in general, but Job’s case is unique. God has “withdrawn” from Job! Due to the “conflict” between the Lord and Satan.
One more jab! “But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked: judgment and justice take hold on thee. Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke.” Be careful, Job. God might “kill” you. You are already suffering like the wicked do, verses 17-18. Job is getting exactly what he deserves, believes Elihu!, God’s justice!
Criticism of Job, ad nauseam, to the point of sickness!
Surely even God is tiring of these attacks!
And soon, the Lord Whom Job loves so intently is going to speak!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell