New Defender's Study Bible Notes
32:2 Elihu. Elihu was considerably younger than Job and his three friends (Job 32:4,6), and seems to have come to observe Job’s situation because of its theological interest. He was evidently from a pious family—his name seems to mean “Jehovah is God” and his father’s name, Barachel, means “Blessed be God.” As a novice theologian, he was spiritually minded, with a high conception of God’s majesty and righteousness, but understood little of His grace and redemptive love. Although the terms “Buzite” and “Ram” are difficult to identify, it is possible that Buz was Abraham’s nephew (Genesis 22:21), and that the Buzite family was a unit in the tribe descended from Aram (assuming Ram is the same as Aram), one of the sons of Shem (Genesis 10:22-23). Since Uz was a son of Aram, this would make Elihu a distant relative of Job’s. All this is uncertain but, in any case, Elihu lived in some region not too far from Uz, in order to be present to listen to the dialogue between Job and his three friends.
32:8 inspiration. Elihu is claiming that his words were divinely inspired, an attitude resulting probably from youthful arrogance against the older generation (an attitude not altogether absent among modern theological students!). His wordy exposition of the whole situation, aside from his own extended boasting, consists mostly of rephrasing the same charges made by Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. Since these arguments were wrong (Job 42:7), it is absurd for Elihu to have claimed his were inspired by God.
32:18 the spirit within me. Whatever or whoever this “spirit” animating young Elihu may have been, it was not God’s Holy Spirit, for Elihu’s spirit “inspired” him merely to repeat the same old false charges against Job that had been originated by the wicked spirit in Eliphaz (Job 4:15). They were reworded and given a few new wrinkles, but they were basically the same lies.