Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Read Chapter 38
George Leo Haydock
Words. Many explain this as a condemnation (Calmet) of the last speaker, (Du Hamel) who would otherwise pass without any reproach, (Haydock) though he had spoken with less reserve than the rest. (Calmet)
Pineda allows that this opinion is very plausible; but he thinks that Job himself is reprehended, not for any grievous offence, but for indiscreet expressions, chap. xli. The context also seems to require this, as Job takes it to himself, chap. xxxix. 33. (Calmet)
The change of persons might rather imply the contrary: Who is this? Eliu. 3. Gird up thy loins. Job. (Haydock)
Can we admit that the devil got the victory; or, that God falsely declared that Job had spoken right? chap. xlii. (Houbigant)
Did not the latter maintain the truth with greatest zeal, while his friends certainly mixed unskilful words or inferences with sentences of the greatest consequence? His face I will accept, that your folly be not imputed to you; for you have not spoken right things before me, as my servant...
As often happens with one who incorrectly says right words and correctly bad words, so Elihu, in his arrogance, does not speak right words correctly, because in his defense of God he speaks humble sentences with an arrogant tone. So he is the perfect example of those who, in the universal church, look for vainglory. While they believe themselves to be more expert than anybody else, they are accused of being ignorant by the judgment of God, because, as the apostle says, “If one believes to know something, he still has to learn how to know.” - "Morals on the Book of Job 28.11"
11. As we have said also in the former part, an interrogative of this kind, in which it is said, Who is this? is the beginning of a reproof. For Eliu had spoken arrogantly. And we say not, Who is this, excepting expressly of him whom we know not. But knowledge on God’s part is approval; His not knowing is rejection. Whence He says to certain whom He rejects, I know you not whence ye are; depart from Me, all ye workers of iniquity. [Luke 13, 27] What then is the enquiring about this haughty man, Who is this? except saying openly, I know not the arrogant: that is, I approve not of their life in the loftiness of My wisdom. Because while they are puffed up by human praise, they are deprived of the true glory of eternal retribution. But in that He said sentences, and added not of what kind, we certainly understand them to be good. And He asserts that these were involved in unskilful words, because they had been brought forward with language of boasting. For it is a fault of unskilfulness, t...