The groups of travelers from Tema [C an oasis in north Arabia] look for water, and the traders of Sheba [C in south Arabia; both places were well known for their trade through the desert] look for it hopefully.
“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?
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