Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Himself. They thought it useless to say any more.
Ver. 2. Buzite, a descendant of Buz, the son of Nachor, Genesis xxii. 21. (Calmet) — Of, &c. Septuagint, “of the country of Hus.” — Ram. Chaldean, “Abraham;” (Menochius) or rather (Haydock) this is put for Aram. Symmachus, “Syria,” 2 Paralipomenon xxii. 5. Some suppose that Eliu sprung from Aram, the son of Esron, of the tribe of Juda. Others think that (Calmet) he was the same with Balaam. (St. Jerome; Ven. Bede) — He is never ranked among the friends of Job, as he perhaps did not come from a distance. His speech, or good intention, is not condemned by God; and Job seems to have acquiesced in what he said. (Calmet) — This silence of the latter might rather proceed from a just (Haydock) contempt, as Eliu said nothing to the purpose; many of his observations being palpably false, and others not at all controverted. Yet with his private spirit he comes forth, not much unlike Protestants and Puritans, who pretend that they will overturn the Catholic faith by arguments which have escaped the sagacity of all preceding ages! (Worthington) — God also did not let Eliu pass entirely unnoticed; but, in one line, showed his displeasure: (chap. xxxviii. 2.; Houbigant) as Job perhaps did likewise, by repeating the same decision, chap. xlii. 3. (Haydock) — Eliu vainly explains why he had not spoken before. He arraigns Job for asserting his own innocence, though the holy man only maintained that he was not punished thus for his crimes, according to the laws of vindictive justice; (chap. xxvii. 2.) much less did he pretend that he was juster than God, (chap. xxxv. 2.) as his adversary asserts; taking thence occasion to praise the divine wisdom and power, as if Job had called them in question. (Calmet) — God, whose eyes behold the smallest faults. (Menochius) — Hebrew, “rather on, or (Haydock) above God.” (Calmet) — This young man, who was learned and proud, is the pattern of those hot disputants who set themselves above their elders. (St. Gregory xxiii. 2.) (Worthington)
Ver. 3. Found. Hebrew, “produced an answer, but had still condemned Job;” (Haydock) or, “had made Job wicked,” by giving him occasion to blaspheme, in order to defend his own righteousness. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “they took it for granted (or laid it down as a fact, ethento) that he was a wretch.” This was not true: (Haydock) but they had also done their best to prove it. (Calmet) — Job. Almost all the Rabbins assert that the original copies read Jehova, “the Lord;” (Haydock) and that the Masorets changed it, to avoid the apparent blasphemy; as if the three friends had rendered themselves guilty by not answering Job. But the Chaldean, &c., are silent on this head, and Abenezra allows that the change is very doubtful. (Calmet)
Ver. 6. Hanging. Hebrew, “I felt a reverential awe, (Septuagint, I was silent) and durst not shew,” &c. (Haydock)
Ver. 8. Spirit, which is communicated to the young, as well as to the old. (Menochius)
Ver. 9. Aged: poluchronioi. Septuagint Rabbim, “the Rabbins,” (Haydock) the “great ones,” placed in authority. These are not always the wisest, as understanding is the gift of God, and not attached to rank. (Calmet)
Ver. 11. Disputing. Hebrew, “searching out words,” or arguments. (Haydock)
Ver. 12. None. A notorious piece of arrogance, to esteem himself wiser than any of his own sect, or of his adversaries. (Worthington)
Ver. 13. Man. You seem to think this a convincing proof that Job is guilty: (Ven. Bede; Haydock) but it is no such thing. You would fain excuse yourselves from saying any more, for fear of causing him pain, which is already very great; and you vainly imagine that you may thus leave him to be judged by God. We must however convince Job. (Calmet)
Ver. 14. He; Job, or God. I do not pretend that I have had any revelation, like Eliphas and Sophar, chap. iv. 12., and xi. 5. Job has addressed himself to you; (Calmet) but I shall not answer him as you have done. (Menochius) — Those who neither believe Catholics, nor their own teachers, but rely on the private spirit, think that the answers which have been given to others, on the same points, do not regard them. (St. Gregory) (Worthington)
Ver. 15. They. Eliu speaks thus contemptuously of the three friends, as if they had been absent. In the former verse he spoke to them: now he turns to Job. Hebrew, “they were amazed.” (Haydock)
Ver. 18. Me. And forces me to speak, Jeremias v. 24., and xx. 9. Thus Juvenal describes a great talker. Tunc immensa cavi spirant mendacia folles.—Conspuiturque sinus. (Sat. vi.) (Calmet)
Ver. 19. Vessels, made of skins. Hebrew oboth. (Haydock)
Ver. 21. Man. Hebrew, “give flattering titles unto man.” Protestants, “I do not respect a mortal.” Septuagint, (Haydock) “nothing shall make me conceal the truth: I will give things their proper names.” Job seemed to him to have arrogated to himself the perfection of God, in maintaining his own innocence. (Calmet) — He promises to stand up in defence of the Almighty, (Menochius) as his advocate. (Calmet)
Ver. 22. Away. I shall therefore speak with the utmost caution, (Haydock) as one who must shortly appear before the divine tribunal. (Menochius) — Hebrew, “For I know not how to call things by their sirnames, (Calmet) or titles of vanity; (Haydock) If I do, may my Creator soon (Calmet) take me away.” Septuagint, “I know not how to admire the face. If it be not so, the worms shall consume me.” (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Eliu is angry both with Job and with his friends. He boasts of himself.
1 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he seemed just to himself.
2 And Eliu, the son of Barachel, the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram, was angry, and was moved to indignation: now he was angry against Job, because he said he was just before God.
3 And he was angry with his friends, because they had not found a reasonable answer, but only had condemned Job.
4 So Eliu waited while Job was speaking, because they were his elders that were speaking.
5 But when he saw that the three were not able to answer, he was exceedingly angry.
6 Then Eliu, the son of Barachel, the Buzite, answered, and said: I am younger in days, and you are more ancient; therefore, hanging down my head, I was afraid to shew you my opinion.
7 For I hoped that greater age would speak, and that a multitude of years would teach wisdom.
8 But, as I see, there is a spirit in men, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth understanding.
9 They that are aged are not the wise men, neither do the ancients understand judgment.
10 Therefore I will speak: Hearken to me, I also will shew you my wisdom.
11 For I have waited for your words, I have given ear to your wisdom, as long as you were disputing in words.
12 And as long as I thought you said something, I considered: but, as I see, there is none of you that can convince Job, and answer his words.
13 Lest you should say: We have found wisdom, God hath cast him down, not man.
14 He hath spoken nothing to me, and I will not answer him according to your words.
15 They were afraid, and answered no more, and they left off speaking.
16 Therefore, because I have waited, and they have not spoken: they stood, and answered no more:
17 I also will answer my part, and will shew my knowledge.
18 For I am full of matter to speak of, and the spirit of my bowels straiteneth me.
19 Behold, my belly is as new wine which wanteth vent, which bursteth the new vessels.
20 I will speak, and take breath a little: I will open my lips, and will answer.
21 I will not accept the person of man, and I will not level God with man.
22 For I know not how long I shall continue, and whether after a while my maker may take me away.