Friday, May 23, 2008

Elihu in the Book of Job

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of teaching a seminary class on the book of Job. One of the more interesting interpretative decisions that the reader has to make is what to do with Elihu. Do you remember Elihu? He is the young guy who offers Job advice near the end of the book. I have my own opinion regarding what function Elihu's character serves in the overall narrative, but before I reveal my point of view on Elihu, I would like to hear from you. So the question on the table is:

What Role Does Elihu Play in the Book of Job? Is he just regurgitating the previous arguments or is he a wise counselor who speaks an appropriate rebuke?

Leave your opinion in the comments section.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read Elihu as comic relief and a false climax.

For my fuller reasons, you might be interested in this online commentary "Putting God on Trial: The Biblical Book of Job" (http://www.bookofjob.org). It is written by a Canadian criminal defense lawyer, now a Crown prosecutor, and it explores the legal and moral dynamics of the Book of Job with particular emphasis on the distinction between causal responsibility and moral blameworthiness embedded in Job’s Oath of Innocence. It is highly praised by Job scholars (Clines, Janzen, Habel) and the Review of Biblical Literature, all of whose reviews are on the website. The author is an evangelical Christian, denominationally Anglican. He is also the Canadian Director for the Mortimer J. Adler Centre for the Study of the Great Ideas, a Chicago-based think tank.

Robert Sutherland