He shows up at the end of a long conversation -- a long conversation that's gone nowhere . . .
But he shows up full of certainty, full of answers, full of belief that it's time for a New Generation to Set Their Elders Straight.
And with that, he says . . .
Nothing that hasn't already been said, at any rate.
To be sure, the experts aren't sure what to make of Elihu:
- Is he a gloss by a later writer, eager to give his opinion?
- Is he a symbol of Impetuous Youth (and the way they keep repeating the mistakes of earlier generations)?
- Or is he a convenient way to recap what's already been said - and to point out that nothing more remains to be said, that further argument is useless?
And I doubt if I'll find out anytime soon.
But I've noticed that people like him show up anytime there's a problem - yes, they show up late, make a long speech, and don't add anything new to the conversation.
Yes, there's always an Elihu.
But it doesn't need to be me.