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Job 32:6-8

Elihu Claims Wisdom

32:6 So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite spoke up: 1 

“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.

32:7 I said to myself, ‘Age 5  should speak, 6 

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.

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