Elihu was one of the friends of Job who explained that Job’s illness could be a discipline from God.
Job was a righteous man whose faith in God was tested with adversities.
During his sickness, Elihu and some of his other friends tried to explain the possible causes of Job’s predicament.
Now Elihu had waited before speaking to Job because they were older than he. But when he saw that the three men had nothing more to say, his anger was aroused. JOB 32:4–5
Elihu in the book of Job is a bit of an enigma. He seems to come out of nowhere, ready to set things straight with both Job and Job’s friends, yet in the end, he, too, seems to fall short of truly addressing Job’s concerns.
We don’t hear about Elihu until the last several chapters of Job (Job 32–37). By this point in the story, Job has experienced great suffering, the reasons for which are not at all clear to him, for he was a righteous man. Three of Job’s friends have come to visit him and then begin to
offer various reasons why Job must be experiencing suffering. For the most part, their reasons boil down to a basic belief that all suffering is the result of sin on the part of the sufferer, so Job must have sinned in some way.
Finally, with no previous mention of his existence in the story, Elihu speaks. He begins by saying that he was waiting to speak because he is younger than the other friends, but he has become frustrated by their failure to adequately explain the reason for Job’s troubles. Then he begins his monologue, mostly saying that there is a disciplinary role in
suffering and that this should be accepted. But even if Elihu’s words are
true, why would Job, a righteous man, be disciplined by God?
Eventually Elihu’s words are cut off by the Lord (Job 38:1), who speaks from the storm to address Job, and this brings all disputing to a close.
Elihu is described as a Buzite, which may mean that he was descended from Nahor, Abraham’s brother (Genesis 22:20–21).The descendants of Buz appear to have lived somewhere in the desert of Arabia near the desert oases of Tema and Dedan.