Eli'hu (Hebrew Elihu', . [but abbreviated ץלֵיתּוּ in Job 32:4; Job 35:1; 1Ch 26:7; 1Ch 27:18], whose God is He, i.e., Jehovah), the name of five men.
1. (Sept. Ε᾿λιούς.) One of Job's friends, described as "the son of Barachel, a Buzite, of the kindred of Ram" (Job 32:2). This is usually understood to imply that he was descended from Buz, the son of Abraham's brother Nahor, from whose family the city called Buz (Jer 25:23) also took its name. The Chaldee paraphrase asserts that Elihu was a relation of Abraham. Elihu's name does not appear among those of the friends who came in the first instance to condole with Job, nor is his presence indicated till the debate between the afflicted man and his three friends had been brought to a conclusion. Then, finding there was no answer to Job's last speech, he comes forward with considerable modesty, which he loses as he proceeds, to remark on the debate, and to deliver his own opinion on the points at issue (Job 32; Job 37). B.C. cir. 2200. It appears, from the manner in which Elihu introduces himself (Job 32:3-7), that he was much the youngest of the party; and it is evident that he had been present from the commencement of the discussion, to which he had paid very close attention.* This would suggest that the debate between Job and his friends was carried on in the presence of a deeply-interested auditory, among which was this Elihu, who could not forbear from interfering when the controversy appeared to have reached an unsatisfactory conclusion (see Kitto's Daily Bible Illust. in loc.). He expresses his desire to moderate between the disputants; and his words alone touch upon, although they do not thoroughly handle, that idea of the disciplinary nature of suffering, which is the key to Job's perplexity and doubt; but, as in the whole book, the greater stress is laid on God's unsearchable wisdom, and the implicit faith which he demands (see Velthuysen, De Elice carmine, Rotterdam, 1789-90). He does not enlarge on any supposable wickedness in Job as having brought his present distresses upon him, but controverts his replies, his inferences, and his arguments. He observes on the mysterious dispensations of Providence, which he insists, however they may appear to mortals, are full of wisdom and mercy; that the righteous have their share of prosperity in this life no less than the wicked;. that God is supreme, and that it becomes us to acknowledge and submit to that supremacy, since "the Creator wisely rules the world he made;" and he draws instances of benignity from the constant wonders of creation, of the seasons, etc. His language is copious, glowing, and sublime; and it deserves notice that Elihu does not appear to have offended God by his sentiments; nor is any sacrifice of atonement commanded for him as for the other speakers in the poem. It is almost pardonable that the character of Elihu has been thought figurative of a personage interposed between God and man — a mediator — one speaking "without terrors," and not disposed to overcharge mankind. This sentiment may have had its influence on the acceptability and preservation of the book of Job (see Hodges's Elihu, Oxford, 1750). SEE JOB (BOOK OF).
2. (Sept. ᾿Ηλιού.) Son of Tohu, and grandfather of Elkanah, Samuel's father (1Sa 1:1). In the statements of the genealogy of Samuel in 1 Chronicles vi the name ELIEL SEE ELIEL (q.v.) occurs in the same position — son of Toah, and father of Jeroham (6:34 [Hebrews 19]); and also ELIAB SEE ELIAB (6:27 [Hebrews 12]), father of Jeroham, and grandson of Zophai. The general opinion is that Elihu is the original name, and the two latter forms but copyists' variations of it.
3. (Sept. Ε᾿λιούδ v.r. Ε᾿λιμούθ.) One of the chiliarchs of Manasseh who joined David at Ziklag (1Ch 12:20), after he had left the Philistine army on the eve of the battle of Gilboa, and who assisted him against the marauding band (גּדוּד) of the Amalekites (comp. 1 Samuel 30). B.C. 1053.
4. (Sept. Ε᾿λιού.) One of the eminently able-bodied members of the family of Obed-edom (apparently a grandson by Shemaiah), who were appointed porters of the Temple under David (1Ch 26:7). B.C. 1043. Terms are applied to all these doorkeepers which appear to indicate that they were not only "strong men," as in A.V., but also fighting men. (See verse 6, 7, 8, 12, in which occur the words חִיַל = army, and גַּבּוֹרַים — warriors or heroes.)
5. (Sept. Ε᾿λιάβ.) A chief of the tribe of Judah, said to be "of the brethren of David" (1Ch 27:18), and hence supposed by some to have been his oldest brother ELIAB SEE ELIAB (1Sa 16:6). B.C. 1013 or ante.