We learn in today’s reading that Elihu has been in Job’s company for a while now, listening to the dialog. Elihu believes he has the answers, but they are not answers. They are all statements. Job wants to know why God has afflicted him so. Elihu does not reply specifically any more than Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar did. Once more, Job’s friend spends his time exalting God.
Job has complained that God has not answered his prayers. Elihu maintains God answers prayers in a variety of ways – but he doesn’t specifically say how God has answered Job. Job doesn’t understand why evil doers prosper, and Elihu takes this to mean that Job would rather be an evil doer (something Job never said).
In truth, you will see everything that has been said by Job and his friends repeated by Elihu. Every mistake they have made, he makes too, including a failure to comfort Job. Don’t miss these two salient points: First, Job’s friends have failed to comfort him in his agony. Second, they have defended God by attacking an innocent man. While Job has been upset with God, his discomfort is not an attack on God, but a defense of Him. Job, throughout his speeches, says: “I know God is good. I know God is just. What has happened to me just doesn’t make sense.” It doesn’t lead Job to doubt God. The whole scene does, however, lead us to doubt that Job’s friends are really his friends.