16 when darkened by thawing ice and swollen with melting snow, 17 but that stop flowing in the dry season, and in the heat vanish from their channels. 18 Caravans turn aside from their routes; they go off into the wasteland and perish.
16 Which are blackish by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow is hid: 17 What time they wax warm, they vanish:
16 which are dark with ice, and where the snow hides itself. 17 When they melt, they disappear; when it is hot, they vanish from their place. 18 The caravans turn aside from their course; they go up into the waste and perish.
16 From melting ice and snow cascading out of the mountains, 17 But by midsummer they're dry, gullies baked dry in the sun. 18 Travelers who spot them and go out of their way for a drink, end up in a waterless gulch and die of thirst.
16 Which are dark because of the ice, And into which the snow vanishes. 17 When it is warm, they cease to flow; When it is hot, they vanish from their place. 18 The paths of their way turn aside, They go nowhere and perish.
16 when it is swollen with ice and melting snow. 17 But when the hot weather arrives, the water disappears. The brook vanishes in the heat. 18 The caravans turn aside to be refreshed, but there is nothing to drink, so they die.
Matthew Henry's Commentary on Job 6:16-18
Commentary on Job 6:14-30
(Read Job 6:14-30)
In his prosperity Job formed great expectations from his friends, but now was disappointed. This he compares to the failing of brooks in summer. Those who rest their expectations on the creature, will find it fail when it should help them; whereas those who make God their confidence, have help in the time of need, Hebrews 4:16. Those who make gold their hope, sooner or later will be ashamed of it, and of their confidence in it. It is our wisdom to cease from man. Let us put all our confidence in the Rock of ages, not in broken reeds; in the Fountain of life, not in broken cisterns. The application is very close; "for now ye are nothing." It were well for us, if we had always such convictions of the vanity of the creature, as we have had, or shall have, on a sick-bed, a death-bed, or in trouble of conscience. Job upbraids his friends with their hard usage. Though in want, he desired no more from them than a good look and a good word. It often happens that, even when we expect little from man, we have less; but from God, even when we expect much, we have more. Though Job differed from them, yet he was ready to yield as soon as it was made to appear that he was in error. Though Job had been in fault, yet they ought not to have given him such hard usage. His righteousness he holds fast, and will not let it go. He felt that there had not been such iniquity in him as they supposed. But it is best to commit our characters to Him who keeps our souls; in the great day every upright believer shall have praise of God.