My brothers 1 have been as treacherous 2 as a seasonal stream, 3 and as the riverbeds of the intermittent streams 4 that flow away. 5
But my brothers are as undependable as intermittent streams, as the streams that overflow
"My brothers have acted deceitfully like a wadi, Like the torrents of wadis which vanish,
My brother, you have proved as unreliable as a seasonal brook that overflows its banks in the spring
But my brothers are fickle as a gulch in the desert--one day they're gushing with water
My friends have been false like a stream, like streams in the valleys which come to an end:
My companions are treacherous like a torrent-bed, like freshets that pass away,
My brothers have dealt deceitfully like a brook, Like the streams of the brooks that pass away,
have dealt deceitfully
as a brook
[and] as the stream
they pass away
|NET © [draft] ITL|
have been as treacherous
a seasonal stream
, and as the riverbeds
of the intermittent streams
that flow away.
|NET © Notes||
1 sn Here the brothers are all his relatives as well as these intimate friends of Job. In contrast to what a friend should do (show kindness/loyalty), these friends have provided no support whatsoever.
2 tn The verb בָּגְדוּ (bagÿdu, “dealt treacherously) has been translated “dealt deceitfully,” but it is a very strong word. It means “to act treacherously [or deceitfully].” The deception is the treachery, because the deception is not innocent – it is in the place of a great need. The imagery will compare it to the brook that may or may not have water. If one finds no water when one expected it and needed it, there is deception and treachery. The LXX softens it considerably: “have not regarded me.”
3 tn The Hebrew term used here is נָחַל (nakhal); this word differs from words for rivers or streams in that it describes a brook with an intermittent flow of water. A brook where the waters are not flowing is called a deceitful brook (Jer 15:18; Mic 1:14); one where the waters flow is called faithful (Isa 33:16).
4 tn Heb “and as a stream bed of brooks/torrents.” The word אָפִיק (’afiq) is the river bed or stream bed where the water flows. What is more disconcerting than finding a well-known torrent whose bed is dry when one expects it to be gushing with water (E. Dhorme, Job, 86)?
5 tn The verb is rather simple – יַעֲבֹרוּ (ya’avoru). But some translate it “pass away” or “flow away,” and others “overflow.” In the rainy season they are deep and flowing, or “overflow” their banks. This is a natural sense to the verb, and since the next verse focuses on this, some follow this interpretation (H. H. Rowley, Job [NCBC], 15). But this idea does not parallel the first part of v. 15. So it makes better sense to render it “flow away” and see the reference to the summer dry spells when one wants the water but is disappointed.