Giving someone a chance to respond

Job Bible Background

Old Testament: Job 33.31–33

To read the Bible in a year, read Job 33–34 on July 6, In the year of our Lord 2020

By Don Ruhl

You have witnessed heated arguments where the opponents talk at the same time. Perhaps you have seen two people disagreeing on a television talk show and they just talk over one another and no one listens to what the other says. You do not see that in the Book of Job. Listen to Elihu as he gave Job an opportunity to speak:

“Give ear, Job, listen to me;
Hold your peace, and I will speak.
If you have anything to say, answer me;
Speak, for I desire to justify you.
If not, listen to me;
Hold your peace, and I will teach you wisdom.”

– Job 33.31–33

Elihu wanted Job to listen, but Elihu also wanted Job to speak. Perhaps Job had started to turn away or look down or even to speak, so Elihu told him to listen. Then again, Elihu wanted to hear Job explain himself. If Job decided not to speak, then Elihu would speak and he thought he would tell Job what he needed to hear.

Regardless of who was right and who was wrong for the moment, notice how they let one another speak. May we become more civil as these men were.


  • Do you talk over others?
  • When others talk over you, what do you do?

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