|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
32:6-14 Elihu professes to speak by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and corrects both parties. He allowed that those who had the longest experience should speak first. But God gives wisdom as he pleases; this encouraged him to state his opinion. By attention to the word of God, and dependence upon the Holy Spirit, young men may become wiser than the aged; but this wisdom will render them swift to hear, slow to speak, and disposed to give others a patient hearing.
Verse 9. - Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged (always) understand judgment. Elihu lays down the universal law, before applying it to the particular instance. True wisdom is from God, not from observation and experience. Therefore many aged men are not wise; many experienced men, great in position, versed in affairs, do not possess understanding. It is a trite remark, "With how little wisdom the world is governed!"
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Great men are not always wise,.... Men of grandeur and dignity, as Job's friends might be, the rich, the honourable, and noble; the apostle is thought to refer to this, at least to express the sentiment contained in it, 1 Corinthians 1:26; or the great in quantity, the many, the multitude; and therefore are not to be followed in principle or practice; or that are great in years, well stricken in age, have lived long in the world, so some versions (q); or are doctors, teachers of others, masters in Israel, as Nicodemus, and yet ignorant; all these may be wise in natural, civil, and worldly things, though this is not always the case; but not wise and knowing in divine and spiritual things, particularly in those respecting the causes and reasons of God's providential dealings with men, afflicting the righteous, and suffering the wicked to prosper, which is more fully explained in the next clause:
neither do the aged understand judgment; what is right and wrong, the difference between truth and error, and particularly the judgments of God, which are unsearchable, and his ways past finding out; even so to understand them as to observe and acknowledge his sovereignty, wisdom, truth, and faithfulness in them.
(q) Sept. "longaevi", V. L. Mr. Broughton renders it, "as men of not great time may be wise, as the old understand the right."
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. Great—rather, "old" (Job 32:6). So Hebrew, in Ge 25:23. "Greater, less" for the older, the younger.
judgment—what is right.
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