“I am young, 2 but you are elderly;
that is why I was fearful, 3
and afraid to explain 4 to you what I know.
and length of years 7 should make wisdom known.’
32:8 But it is a spirit in people,
the breath 8 of the Almighty,
that makes them understand.
1 tn Heb “answered and said.”
2 tn The text has “small in days.”
3 tn The verb זָחַלְתִּי (zakhalti) is found only here in the OT, but it is found in a ninth century Aramaic inscription as well as in Biblical Aramaic. It has the meaning “to be timid” (see H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 208).
4 tn The Piel infinitive with the preposition (מֵחַוֹּת, mekhavvot) means “from explaining.” The phrase is the complement: “explain” what Elihu feared.
5 tn Heb “days.”
6 tn The imperfect here is to be classified as an obligatory imperfect.
7 tn Heb “abundance of years.”
8 tn This is the word נְשָׁמָה (nÿshamah, “breath”); according to Gen 2:7 it was breathed into Adam to make him a living person (“soul”). With that divine impartation came this spiritual understanding. Some commentators identify the רוּחַ (ruakh) in the first line as the Spirit of God; this “breath” would then be the human spirit. Whether Elihu knew that much, however, is hard to prove.