Even the guilty will escape punishment, escaping through the purity of your hands. Job 22:21-3072
Finally, Job's friends fall silent in Job's presence (32:1). All their disputation accomplished nothing in moving Job to repentance. Neither did their "appointment to come together to condole with him and comfort him" (2:11) reach its goal. All they accomplished was to incur the wrath of young Elihu, and to condemn God (32:3).73
Elihu is suddenly introduced in Job 32:2.74 His speeches comprise chapters 32 through 37. His responses to Job are not essentially different from those of the friends. The narrator notes that "he was angry at Job because he
71 The final two verses follow the translation of Gordis, p. 242; cf. idem, p. 252; Pope, pp. 164, 168-169; and Chapter 2, n. 142 above.
72 Other admonitions to repentance include 5:8, 17-27; 8:5-7, 20-22; 11:13-20.
73 74 See Chapter 3, n. 42 above. 'The Elihu speeches give every indication of being a later addition to the book, either from the same author (so Gordis, pp.546-553; N. Smith, The Book of Job: Its Origin and Purpose [London: SCM Press,7768), pp. 72-91), or from another hand (so Pope, pp. XXVII-XXVIII; Rowley, pp. 12-13; Westermann, pp. 139-148). Whatever their literary status, of course, they still must be interpreted. Cf. M. Tate, "The Speeches of Elihu," Review and Expositor 68 (1971), 487-495.