But my ·brothers [C Job’s three friends] cannot be counted on. They are like ·streams that do not always flow [L wadis; C seasonal riverbeds that are dry in the summer], streams that sometimes run over.
My brother, you have proved as unreliable as a brook; it floods when there is ice and snow, but in hot weather, disappears. The caravans turn aside to be refreshed, but there is nothing there to drink, and so they perish.
“When desperate people give up on God Almighty, their friends, at least, should stick with them. But my brothers are fickle as a gulch in the desert— one day they’re gushing with water From melting ice and snow cascading out of the mountains, But by midsummer they’re dry, gullies baked dry in the sun. Travelers who spot them and go out of their way for a drink end up in a waterless gulch and die of thirst. Merchant caravans from Tema see them and expect water, tourists from Sheba hope for a cool drink. They arrive so confident—but what a disappointment! They get there, and their faces fall! And you, my so-called friends, are no better— there’s nothing to you! One look at a hard scene and you shrink in fear. It’s not as though I asked you for anything— I didn’t ask you for one red cent— Nor did I beg you to go out on a limb for me. So why all this dodging and shuffling?
My brethren passed from me, as a strand doeth, that passeth (by) rushingly in great valleys. (My brothers, that is, my kinsmen, have passed by me, like a stream doeth, which rusheth through great valleys.)
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