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Who Is Elihu?

In the article, “Elihu—A Witness in Defense of Jah,” IN MEDIO 1.3 (September, 2006 [Revised April 17, 2008]), it is said that the name “Elihu” refers to three persons mentioned in several books of the Bible. The most famous of these is Elihu “the son of Barachel the Buzite of the family of Ram,” from the book of Job (32:2). It is this Elihu after which our publishing company was named in 1997. The reason for choosing “Elihu” had nothing to do with giving inappropriate attention or glory to a man, and especially not to Elihu, who is recorded as saying:

Job 32:21-22 (NWT)
Let me not, please, show partiality to a man;
And on an earthling man I shall not bestow a title;
For I certainly do not know how I can bestow a title.

It is the spirit or character of Elihu, as expressed and recorded in the book of Job, that in many ways parallels the aims and the efforts of Elihu Books. At least, that is our intent.

Elihu also stood up as a witness for the biblical God Jah, when others would not. Whether it was against the false witnesses Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Na’amathite, witnesses who ‘did not speak what was truthful concerning Jehovah’ (Job 42:7-8), or against Job himself, who “declared his own soul righteous rather than God” (Job 32:2), Elihu ‘opened his lips in answer’ against those who were older than him in days (Job 33:6-7, 20). But at all times Elihu did so with the right heart and with a sound mind:

Job 33:5-7 (NWT)
If you are able, make reply to me, array [words] before me; do take your station. Look! I am to the [true] God just what you are; from the clay I was shaped, I too. Look! No frightfulness in me will terrify you, and no pressure by me will be heavy upon you.

When speaking up on behalf of someone else, or when resisting those who speak what is not true, it is not always easy to be balanced. It can be hard to keep from thinking more of oneself than it is good to think (compare Galatians 6:3). We all make mistakes. We all keep trying to get better. Or at least, we should try. But some harden themselves in ways of unrighteousness and they resist correction of any kind, preferring instead to think more of themselves than they should, like Job, or blaming God instead of accepting blame themselves, as can be seen in Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar.

Given their ‘wisdom in years’ these four should have been the ones who spoke rightly about Jah. But instead it fell to the younger Elihu to speak truthfully about God and to try and convince Job in particular that it was not God who “takes [us] for an enemy of his” (Job 33:10); it is not Jah who “puts [our] feet in the stocks” (Job 33:11). Elihu believed for good reasons given in the book of Job that Jah should be praised for his “justice and abundance of righteousness.”—Job 37:23.

It is our hope that Elihu Books will continue to publish what is true about the biblical God Jah, his Son Jesus of Nazareth, and those who bear witness to them for good reasons. If we ever fail to do so, we will do our best with Jah’s help to correct matters and do what can be shown to be right. As Christian Witnesses of Jah, it is in his ‘righteousness we take delight’ (Job 33:32). We will strive ever to do so by what we publish online, in print, or whenever we speak before others about our faith, hope, and love.—1 Corinthians 13:13.