(1) So these three men ceased.—The next six chapters are taken up with the reply of a fourth person not before mentioned, but who appears to have been present during the discussion, and who is described as Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram. The name appears to mean, He is my God. The person from whom he was descended seems to have been the son of Nahor, Abraham’s brother (Genesis 22:21); and a city of the like name is mentioned in Jeremiah 25:23. There is a Ram mentioned in Ruth 4:19, who was the great grandson of Judah; but we can hardly suppose this was the Ram of whose kindred Elihu was. On the other hand, we have no clue to the identification; for even if, with some, we suppose him to have been the same as Aram, the son of Kemuel, and great nephew of Abraham, it is not easy to see how a descendant of Buz, his uncle, should have been described as of the kindred of Ram. One tradition identifies Ram with Abraham, but this is mere conjecture, and in this case highly improbable; the only inference we can draw is that this specification of Elihu serves to show that he was a real, and not an imaginary, personage. The Targum speaks of Elihu as a relative of Abraham. If we are right in putting the life of Elihu so far back, the whole position and surroundings of Job’s history become the more probable, because what is told us of Abraham and the patriarchs corresponds with the description and character of Job; and then, also, the traditional Mosaic origin of the Book of Job becomes the more probable.
Because he was righteous in his own eyes.—This appears from Job 3:26; Job 6:10; Job 6:29; Job 10:7; Job 13:15; Job 19:6, &c., Job 23:7; Job 23:10-12; Job 27:6; Job 29:12, &c.
And the inspiration of the Almighty.—Rather, And the breath of the Almighty that giveth them understanding. It is the expression used in the Mosaic narrative of the origin of man, and may perhaps show acquaintance on the part of the writer with that narrative (Genesis 2:7). Elihu means to say that it is not years so much as the spirit and illumination of the Almighty that maketh a man pre-eminent in wisdom.
It is to be observed that the last eight verses of this chapter are a kind of soliloquy, unlike the former part of it, which was addressed to the friends, or the next chapter, which is addressed to Job.