In the second half of Job, Elihu enters the picture to try to resolve Job’s question
of why there is the innocent sufferer/undeserved suffering.At first, his speech seems
promising. He declares that he is much wiser than Job’s other three friends and that he
will most definitely relieve Job of his pending question. Elihu insists, “Therefore I say,
listen to me; I also will declare my knowledge!” (Job 32:10). He then goes on to say that
Job is incorrect in thinking that God does not hear or listen to his outcries. He asserts that
God indeed does listen and does reply, although not with spoken words. Instead, God
responds and forewarns humans (like Job) through dreams and through dealing out pain:
“Why, then, do you make complaint against him that he gives no reply to their words?
For God does speak, once, even twice, though you do not see it. In a dream, in a vision of
the night… It is then he opens their ears and with a warning, terrifies them… Or he is
chastened on a bed of pain, suffering continually in his bones” (33:13-16, 19). Maybe, he
offers, God is replying to Job though the pain He is causing him. However, this doesn’t
realize address why God is punishing him, and it seems to revert to the same conclusion
that the other friends had – that Job must have erred because God is never cruel or unjust.
Yet, unlike Job’s other friends, Elihu genuinely appears as though he want to help Job and
to relieve his suffering. He begs Job, “Speak out! I should like to see you justified”
(33:32). He later offers Job a new thought that the earlier friends did not. He suggests that
God is so almighty that humans cannot even comprehend His wisdom or reasoning. Elihu
adds, “See, God is great beyond our knowledge, the number of his years past searching
out” (36:26). Elihu seems to say that it is impossible for humans to understand His doings
and that Job should accept this.
Next, God shows up to Job and enters the big debate. God addresses Job and
demands him to listen and answer Him. Then, He basically begins to chastise Job and
asks him endless patronizing, reproaching (and basically rhetorical) questions in order to
establish His power. God uses these questions to assert His mightiness and remind Job
how amazing His powers are as Creator. For example, He asks Job, “Where were you
when I founded the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its size?
Surely you know? Who stretched out the measuring line