Job 32:3
Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.
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(3) They had found no answer.—They could not reply unto Job, nor deny that he had been in conduct such as he said he had been, and yet they concluded that he must be wicked because God had smitten him.

32:1-5 Job's friends were silenced, but not convinced. Others had been present. Elihu was justly displeased with Job, as more anxious to clear his own character than the justice and goodness of God. Elihu was displeased with Job's friends because they had not been candid to Job. Seldom is a quarrel begun, more seldom is a quarrel carried on, in which there are not faults on both sides. Those that seek for truth, must not reject what is true and good on either side, nor approve or defend what is wrong.Because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job - They held Job to be guilty, and yet they were unable to adduce the proof of it, and to reply to what he had said. They still maintained their opinion, though silenced in the argument. They were in that state of mind, not uncommon, in which they obstinately held on to an opinion which they could not vindicate, and believed another to be guilty, though they could not prove it. 3. Though silenced in argument, they held their opinion still. They had found no answer to Job’s allegations and arguments, as to the main cause.

Had condemned Job as a hypocrite or ungodly, man.

Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled,.... He did not take part with either side, but blamed both, and took upon him to be a moderator between them, and deal impartially with them: what highly displeased him, and raised his spirit against the three friends of Job, was,

because they had found no answer; they were at a loss for one, for a sufficient one; they had all of them been answering him in their turns again and again, but with nothing to the purpose, not with anything conclusive and convincing; and particularly they could find and give no answer to Job's last vindication of himself:

and yet had condemned Job; as a very wicked man, and an hypocrite, for no other reason but because he was afflicted; and they still persisted in their sentiment, though Job had so fully cleared himself, and put them to entire silence; this exasperated Elihu, to observe these men to retain so unreasonable a sentiment, to pronounce such a rash sentence, and yet could make no reply to Job's defence of himself. Jarchi says, this place is one of the corrections of the Scribes, it having been formerly written "God" instead of "Job"; as if the sense was, that Elihu was provoked with them, because by their silence they had condemned the Lord, not vindicating his honour and glory as became them; but Aben Ezra declares his ignorance of that correction, and observes, that they that say so knew what was hid from him.

Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.
3. had found no answer, and yet had condemned] Rather, had not found an answer and condemned, i. e. found no answer wherewith to condemn Job. Elihu’s anger was kindled against the three friends because they had not found such an answer as effectively to put Job in the wrong in his charges against God; comp. Job 32:5; Job 32:12. Elihu is more deeply pained and offended by Job’s charges against God than even the three friends were (ch. Job 34:7 seq., Job 34:35 seq.); he is far from blaming them for condemning Job; neither does he hold the balance between Job and them and blame them for condemning him without good reasons; he blames them for not finding such good reasons as effectively to condemn him, as he deserves. Coverdale: because they had found no reasonable answer to overcome him.

Verse 3. - Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer. Elihu thought that Job's reasonings and complaints admitted of being satisfactorily answered, and was vexed that the three "friends" had not made the right replied It is the main object of his speech to supply them. And yet had condemned Job. They had condemned him on wrong grounds and of sins that he had not committed (Job 22:6-9). Elihu condemns him as much (Job 33:9-12; Job 34:7-9, etc.), but for entirely different reasons. Job 32:31-3 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. And the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, was kindled: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself at the expense of God. And against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they found no answer, and condemned Job.

The name of the speaker is אליהוּא (with Mahpach), son of בּרכאל (with Munach) the buwziy (with Zarka). The name Elihu signifies "my God is He," and occurs also as an Israelitish name, although it is not specifically Israelitish, like Elijah (my God is Jehovah). Brach'el (for which the mode of writing בּרכאל with Dag. implic. is also found) signifies "may God bless!" (Olsh. 277, S. 618); for proper names, as the Arabian grammarians observe, can be formed both into the form of assertory clauses (ichbâr), and also into the form of modal (inshâ); the name ברכאל is in this respect distinguished from the specifically Israelitish name בּרכיה (Jehovah blesseth). The accompanying national name defines the scene; for on the one side בּוּז and עוּץ, according to Genesis 22:21, are the sons of Nahor, Abraham's brother, who removed with him (though not at the same time) from Ur Casdim to Haran, therefore by family Aramaeans; on the other side, בּוּז, Jeremiah 25:23, appears as an Arab race, belonging to the קצוּצי פאה (comp. Jeremiah 9:25; Jeremiah 49:32), i.e., to the Arabs proper, who cut the hair of their heads short all round (περιτρόχαλα, Herodotus iii. 8), because wearing it long was accounted as disgraceful (vid., Tebrzi in the Hamsa, p. 459, l. 10ff.). Within the Buzite race, Elihu sprang from the family of רם. Since רם is the name of the family, not the race, it cannot be equivalent to ארם (like רמּים, 2 Chronicles 22:5, equals ארמים), and it is therefore useless to derive the Aramaic colouring of Elihu's speeches from design on the part of the poet. But by making him a Buzite, he certainly appears to make him an Aramaean Arab, as Aristeas in Euseb. praep. ix. 25 calls him Ἐλιοῦν τὸν Βαραξηιὴλ τὸν Ζωβίτην (from ארם צובה). It is remarkable that Elihu's origin is given so exactly, while the three are described only according to their country, without any statement of father or family. It would indeed be possible, as Lightfoot and Rosenm. suppose, for the poet to conceal his own name in that of Elihu, or to make allusion to it; but an instance of this later custom of Oriental poets is found nowhere else in Old Testament literature.

The three friends are silenced, because all their attempts to move Job to a penitent confession that his affliction is the punishment of his sins, have rebounded against this fact, that he was righteous in his own eyes, i.e., that he imagined himself righteous; and because they now (שׁבת of persons, in distinction from חדל, has the secondary notion of involuntariness) know of nothing more to say. Then Elihu's indignation breaks forth in two directions. First, concerning Job, that he justified himself מאלהים, i.e., not a Deo (so that He would be obliged to account him righteous, as Job 4:17), but prae Deo. Elihu rightly does not find it censurable in Job, that as a more commonly self-righteous man he in general does not consider himself a sinner, which the three insinuate of him (Job 15:14; Job 25:4), but that, declaring himself to be righteous, he brings upon God the appearance of injustice, or, as Jehovah also says further on, Job 40:8, that he condemns God in order that he may be able to maintain his own righteousness. Secondly, concerning the three, that they have found no answer by which they might have been able to disarm Job in his maintenance of his own righteousness at the expense of the divine justice, and that in consequence of this they have condemned Job. Hahn translates: so that they should have represented Job as guilty; but that they have not succeeded in stamping the servant of God as a רשׁע, would wrongly excite Elihu's displeasure. And Ewald translates: and that they had nevertheless condemned him (345, a); but even this was not the real main defect of their opposition. The fut. consec. describes the condemnation as the result of their inability to hit upon the right answer; it was a miserable expedient to which they had recourse. According to the Jewish view, ויּרשׁיעוּ את־איּוב is one of the eighteen תקוני סופרים (correctiones scribarum), since it should be וירשׁיעו את־האלהים. But it is not the friends who have been guilty of this sin of הרשׁיע against God, but Job, Job 40:8, to whom Elihu opposes the sentence אל לא־ירשׁיע, Job 34:12. Our judgment of another such tiqqûn, Job 7:20, was more favourable. That Elihu, notwithstanding the inward conviction to the contrary by which he is followed during the course of the controversial dialogue, now speaks for the first time, is explained by what follows.

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