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Job 32:21-22 meaning...

Elihu, a young man who has been listening to the discussions between Job and his friends, expresses his resolve not to show partiality or offer flattering titles to any person. His words carry a sense of integrity and a commitment to remain impartial in his assessment of the situation.

  • Avoidance of Flattery:

The phrase "neither will I give flattering titles to any man" reveals Elihu's determination to avoid the use of flattery. Flattery often involves insincere praise or exaggerated compliments intended to manipulate or win favor. Elihu distances himself from such practices, emphasizing a commitment to sincerity and truthfulness.

  • Lack of Skill in Flattery:

Elihu goes further by stating, "For I don’t know how to give flattering titles." This admission suggests not only a moral choice but also a lack of skill or inclination in the art of flattery. Elihu's honesty in acknowledging his limitations adds depth to his character and reinforces the sincerity of his intentions.

"For I don’t know how to give flattering titles; or else my Maker would soon take me away." (Job 32:22)

  • The Fear of Divine Consequence:

Elihu concludes his statement with a poignant acknowledgment of divine accountability. He states, "or else my Maker would soon take me away." This reflects a fear of divine consequences for engaging in flattery. Elihu's commitment to integrity is not just a personal preference; it is rooted in a deep sense of reverence for his Creator.

  • Significance of the Passage:

Integrity in Communication: Elihu's resolution reflects the value of integrity in communication. It serves as a reminder of the importance of sincerity and honesty in our interactions with others.

Awareness of Personal Limitations: Elihu's admission that he doesn't know how to give flattering titles adds a layer of humility to his character. It underscores the significance of recognizing and acknowledging our limitations.

Reverence for God: The fear of divine consequence expressed by Elihu highlights the connection between ethical behavior and reverence for God. It suggests that our actions should be guided not only by moral principles but also by a deep awareness of our accountability to our Creator.

Relevance Today:

Ethical Communication: In a world where communication can be influenced by hidden agendas or manipulative tactics, Elihu's commitment to avoid flattery encourages us to uphold ethical standards in our speech.

Humility in Interactions: Elihu's acknowledgment of his inability to engage in flattery reminds us of the importance of humility. Embracing humility allows for genuine and authentic interactions with others.

Recognition of Divine Accountability: The passage prompts us to consider the moral implications of our actions in light of our accountability to God. It encourages a perspective that transcends mere human approval and considers the higher standard of divine scrutiny.


Proverbs 29:5: "A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet." This proverb echoes the potential dangers of flattery and its implications for both the flatterer and the one being flattered.

Psalm 12:2: "Everyone lies to his neighbor. They speak with flattering lips, and with a double heart." This Psalm highlights the prevalence of deceit, including the use of flattering speech, and underscores the importance of sincerity in communication.

Job 32:21-22, nestled within the larger narrative of Job's suffering and the subsequent dialogues, offers a refreshing perspective on integrity, humility, and the awareness of divine accountability.

Job 32:21-22. Please don’t let me respect any man’s person, neither will I give flattering titles to any man. For I don’t know how to give flattering titles; or else my Maker would soon take me away.


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