Elihu's Speech (Part 3)
Elihu continues speaking in Job 34:2-4 - "Hear my words, you wise men; give ear to me, you who have knowledge. For the ear tests words as the palate tastes food. Let us choose justice for ourselves; let us know among ourselves what is good." Elihu's words here are good, but he soon begins a direct attack against Job, leveling charges that are not true. Elihu believes Job is arrogant and ungodly - "What man is like Job, who drinks scorn like water, who goes in company with the workers of iniquity, and walks with wicked men? For he has said, 'It profits a man nothing that he should delight in God'" (34:7-9).

Elihu proceeds to attack Job, implying that he has claimed God acts wickedly:

"Far be it from God to do wickedness, and from the Almighty to commit iniquity. For He repays man according to his work, and makes man to find a reward according to his way. Surely God will never do wickedly, nor will the Almighty pervert justice. Who gave Him charge over the earth? Or who appointed Him over the whole world? If He should set His heart on it, if He should gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust" (34:10-15).

There is a flaw in Elihu's theology here. While one should not question the supremacy of God, he is incorrect to imply that God can do absolutely anything (even to the point of killing off all mankind). God cannot do anything contrary to His revealed will. God cannot break His word or else He is a liar (cf. Heb. 6:18).

Elihu then attacks Job for allegedly despising God's impartiality and for not recognizing His omniscience. God's knowledge is so complete that He doesn't even need to investigate.

"For his eyes are on the ways of man, and He sees all his steps. There is no darkness nor shadow of death where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves. For He need not further consider a man, that he should go before God in judgment. He breaks in pieces mighty men without inquiry, and sets others in their place. Therefore He knows their works; he overthrows them in the night, and they are crushed. He strikes them as wicked men in the open sight of others, because they turned back from Him, and would not consider any of His ways" (34:21-27).

Elihu's words are true, but again, they do not apply to Job's situation.

"For has anyone said to God, I have borne chastening; I will offend no more; teach me what I do not see; if I have done iniquity, I will do no more'? Should He repay it according to your terms, just because you disavow it? You must choose, and not I; therefore speak what you know" (34:31-33). Elihu thinks that Job is hiding sins from them and that he needs to choose to repent.

"Men of understanding say to me, wise men who listen to me: 'Job speaks without knowledge, his words are without wisdom.' Oh, that Job were tried to the utmost, because his answers are like those of wicked men! For he adds rebellion to his sin; he claps his hands among us, and multiplies his words against God" (34:34-37).

Elihu maintains that Job is not teachable, but Elihu is simply wrong on this point. Job has not rejected God's judgments. He merely wants to understand them. Like the other friends, Elihu wishes that Job would get what he really deserves! Like Eliphaz (cf. 15:5,6), Elihu emphasizes that Job is proving his sinfulness by continuing to talk.