Job 32:4
Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because they were elder than he.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken.—Literally, Had waited in words for or regarding Job; that is, as some understand it, had waited to speak unto Job, or, more probably, had waited till the argument was closed to declare his opinion with reference to Job. The line taken by Elihu is an intermediate one, and is neither that of Job nor his friends. He admits the integrity of Job—or, at least, he does not deny it—although he uses very strong expressions as to the course which Job has adopted (Job 34:7-9; Job 34:35-37); but he considers that the Divine afflictions have a disciplinary object, and that they may be sent because God has discerned the seeds of unfaithfulness and defection in the sufferer; and this may serve to explain their purpose in the case of Job. He has very lofty ideas of the righteousness of God (Job 34:10, &c.), and of His power and majesty (Job 37:22). He holds that with regard to the Almighty we cannot find Him out, but that we may safely trust His mercy and His justice. This is the position to which he leads Job when the Lord answers him out of the whirlwind.

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.Now Elihu had waited - Margin, as in Hebrew, expected Job in words. The meaning is plain, that he had waited until all who were older than himself had spoken.

Because they were elder than he - Margin, as in Hebrew, older for days. It appears that they were all older than he was. We have no means of determining their respective ages, though it would seem probable that Eliphaz was the oldest of the three friends, as he uniformly spoke first.

4. had spoken—Hebrew, "in words," referring rather to his own "words" of reply, which he had long ago ready, but kept back in deference to the seniority of the friends who spoke. Elihu had waited with patience, as the word notes.

Till Job; add, and his three friends, as appears from the following words. It is a synecdoche, whereof instances have been given before.

They were elder than he; and therefore he expected more satisfaction from them, and gave them the precedency in the discourse; wherein he showed his prudence and modesty.

Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken,.... Made an end of speaking, until he had thus expressed himself, "the words of Job are ended", Job 31:40, and waited likewise until his three friends had said all they had to say, and which is here supposed and implied, as appears by what follows:

because they were elder than he; it may be added, from the original text, "in", or "as two days" (l); they had lived longer in the world than he, and therefore did not take upon him to speak till they had done; he, as became a young man, was swift to hear, and slow to speak; that they were old men, appears from what Eliphaz says, Job 15:10.

(l) "diebus", Beza, Montanus, Mercerus; "quod ad dies", Schultens.

Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken, because {d} they were elder than he.

(d) That is, the three mentioned before.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. waited till Job had spoken] Rather, waited to speak unto Job, lit. waited for Job with words. Elihu had waited (till the friends spoke) prepared to address Job, as he now does.

Verse 4. - Now Elihu had waited till Job had spoken; rather, to speak to Job (see the Revised Version) He had waited impatiently until the three special "friends" had said their say, and be might come forward without manifest presumption. Because they were elder than he. (On the respect paid to age at this time in the land wherein Job lived, see the comment on Job 29:8.) Job 32:44-6 And Elihu had waited for Job with words, for they were older than he in days. And Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of the three men, then his wrath was kindled. And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite began, and said.

He had waited (perf. in the sense of the plusquamperf., Ew. 135, a) for Job with words (בּדברים as elsewhere בּמלּים, בּמלּין), i.e., until Job should have spoken his last word in the controversial dialogue. Thus he considered it becoming on his part, for they (המּה, illi, whereas אלּה according to the usage of the language is hi) were older (seniores) than he in days (לימים as Job 32:6, less harsh here, instead of the acc. of closer definition, Job 15:10, comp. Job 11:9). As it now became manifest that the friends made no reply to Job's last speeches for want of the right solution of problem, and therefore also Job had nothing further to say, he believes that he may venture, without any seeming want of courtesy, to give utterance to his long-restrained indignation; and Elihu (with Mahpach) the son of Barach'el (Mercha) the Buzite (with Rebia parvum) began and spoke (ויּאמר not with Silluk, but Mercha mahpach., and in fact with Mercha on the accented penult., as Job 3:2, and further).

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