Saturday, July 11, 2009

Elihu's Four Speeches

David Freedman asks the question, why does Elihu have four speeches? But what's particularly striking about Elihu's four speeches is that his speeches are not broken up by responses or answers from anyone else. His speeches are only delineated by Elihu reaffirming that he has something important to say and that he ought to be listened to (32:6-33:1ff/33:31-33; 34:1-2ff; 35:1ff; 36:1-4/37:14). 35:1 doesn't include the usual profession of intelligence, but there is the introduction in which he is rather humorously said to "answer," which of course could refer to the entire collection of speeches (constituting an answer to Job and the three friends), but the immediate context suggests that Elihu is answering none other than himself! The dialogue has descended into a monologue.

Even Yahweh's two speeches are briefly divided by a short response from Job (40:3-5).

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