Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Railroad tracks near our place in Bannalec

Friday, June 9, 2017

Canonical Reading Plan for Jun 10, Job 32-34

Today's readings are Job 32-34.

Elihu, a young man who seems to have appeared out of nowhere, has the floor for the next six chapters. He makes a long-winded speech.


While Elihu, at first, sounds like he makes a lot of sense, he has his own struggles with pride and self-righteousness (Job 32:9, 17, 21-22; 33:1-5 and 36:4). Furthermore, he brings nothing new to the dialogue. Elihu seems to be recapping all that has been said to this point. However, when he assesses Job, he is just as wrong about him as are Job's friends (Job 34:34-37).

It might be best to see Elihu as a collective reaction to all the dialogue exchanged so far as if Elihu was representing the reader. Apart from what appears in Job 1-2, where Job is declared righteous, both sides sound good. We've heard a lot of worldly wisdom rise up out of supposedly godly men. Listening to Job's counselors, they seem to make sense. Listening to Job, he seems to make sense. Who is correct?

Elihu’s role may be to summarize the situation and set the stage for God's entry into the dialogue. All parties have claimed wisdom. All parties claim righteousness. According to Elihu, none of them are truly righteous. None of them are truly wise. Ironically, Elihu seems to be neither as well. Elihu's dialogue presents us with the major questions of the Book of Job. God is about to answer them. 

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