Elihu, a type of Jesus

One of the interesting characters in the book of Job is Elihu. Elihu introduces himself to be Job’s spokesman before God and also spoke on God’s behalf – revealing himself to be the mediator between God and Job, a type of Jesus. Elihu itself means, “He is my God”. In this post, we will explore the messianic prophecies of Elihu and God.

Job 31:35 Oh, that I had one to hear me! Here is my mark. Oh, that the Almighty would answer me, That my Prosecutor had written a book!

In chapter 31, Job ends his speech asking God Almighty to answer him. So, God sends Elihu to answer him.

Elihu, the mediator

Job 33:6 Truly I am as your spokesman before God; I also have been formed out of clay. … (36:2) Bear with me a little, and I will show you That there are yet words to speak on God’s behalf.

God sends Elihu as His spokesman because he was neither one of Job’s friends nor did God condemn Elihu for any of his answers as we read in Job 42:7. Yet, Job did not recognize Elihu’s response as God responding through him. Both Elihu and God answer Job in the same way.

Job 32:2 Then the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, was aroused against Job; his wrath was aroused because he justified himself rather than God.

Luke 10:29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” …. (16:15) And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

Elihu points out that Job justifying himself rather than God makes Him unjust because, He makes a righteous man like Job suffer. Hence, Elihu clarifies to Job that he is wrong to accuse that God will pervert justice (Job 34:12).

(Elihu) Job 33:13 Why do you contend with Him? For He does not give an accounting of any of His words.

(God) Job 40:2,8 “Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it.”…. Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?

Job was not like the scribes and Pharisees in the days of Jesus who want to justify themselves before God. However, Job’s justification of himself being righteous (which is indeed true as God Himself said in Eze 14:14 and Job 42:7) undermines God’s judgments and His actions as unjust. Hence, Elihu is addressing this issue first and then God is also addressing the same issue. Then Elihu is  prophesying about the Messiah.

(Job) Job 9:32-33 “For He is not a man, as I am, That I may answer Him, And that we should go to court together. Nor is there any mediator between us, Who may lay his hand on us both.

(Elihu) Job 33:23-30 “If there is a messenger for him, A mediator, one among a thousand, To show man His uprightness, Then He is gracious to him, and says, ‘Deliver him from going down to the Pit; I have found a ransom’; His flesh shall be young like a child’s, He shall return to the days of his youth. He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him, He shall see His face with joy, For He restores to man His righteousness. Then he looks at men and says, ‘I have sinned, and perverted what was right, And it did not profit me.’ He will redeem his soul from going down to the Pit, And his life shall see the light. “Behold, God works all these things, Twice, in fact, three times with a man, To bring back his soul from the Pit, That he may be enlightened with the light of life.

Elihu is addressing Job’s requirement of a mediator by prophesying about the Messiah who will be a mediator between men and God.

  • Christ is our mediator (Heb 9:15)
  • Christ has revealed God’s righteousness (Isa 51:5;Isa 45:19)
  • Christ is our ransom (Mark 10:45)
  • Christ will restore His righteousness by justifying us (Isa 53:11)
  • Christ will free souls of men from the Pit (Isa 42:7)
  • Christ is the light of life (John 8:12)

(Elihu to Job) Job 35:13-16 Surely God will not listen to empty talk, Nor will the Almighty regard it. Although you say you do not see Him, Yet justice is before Him, and you must wait for Him. And now, because He has not punished in His anger, Nor taken much notice of folly, Therefore Job opens his mouth in vain; He multiplies words without knowledge.”

(Job to God) Job 42:3 You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

As we saw earlier, Job did not even know God is speaking through Elihu when he wanted God to answer Him. God did answer through Elihu to stop justifying himself, not accuse God of being injustice, not multiply his words without knowledge and wait for Him. However, Job can only understand this when God directly spoke to Him and confessed to Him.

Prophecy from God

Job 40:8-14 Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified? Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His? Then adorn yourself with majesty and splendor, And array yourself with glory and beauty. Disperse the rage of your wrath; Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him. Look on everyone who is proud, and bring him low; Tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together, bind their faces in hidden darkness. Then I will also confess to you That your own right hand can save you.

Isa 63:5 I looked, but there was no one to help, And I wondered That there was no one to uphold; Therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; And My own fury, it sustained Me.

As in Isaiah 53, it pleased God to condemn Jesus to death so that through His death, He justified many. Jesus is the arm of God (Isa 53:1) who brought salvation to Him. Job having ignored the Messianic prophecy of Elihu, God is again revealing His Messiah who will bring salvation.

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3 years ago

As I read Job yesterday October the 15th 2020 for the first time ever I actually saw Christ in Job and I was thinking am I seeing this right, but it is really really clear but I’ve never seen it before and I had the pleasure of finding your article expounding on Elihu and expounding on the Messianic message of the Mediator Christ Himself!

3 years ago

Thank you for this enlightening article. I have had a hard time figuring out what is good or bad advice from the characters in this book, particularly Elihu, but this article makes a lot of sense.

Albana Alkazraji
2 years ago

Thank you so much for the enlightenment!

2 years ago

Yes! I too have reread Job and have found it prophesies the Messiah. This puts a total different take on how the story unfolds as if it was needed to outline what the Christ would do and what his work looked like in a practical sense. The arm of God. So Good in information. It also interesting that we do not see Elihu again or mentioned after 42. Praise God for your post.

6 months ago

I reread Job today for the first time in a long time and clearly saw Elihu as a type of Christ and wondered if anyone else saw it that way. A quick Google search brought up your excellent post here. I wonder why this isn’t preached more from the pulpits? So many sermons are about the patience of Job, when it’s so clear to me that it is a story about rooting out hidden pride and self-righteousness. Job may follow the letter of the law, but it isn’t until he humbles himself that he could hear God’s voice. Thank you for your post here. It’s reassuring to me that someone else gets it.