Proverbs 30:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, 'Enough!'

King James Bible
The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.

Darby Bible Translation
-- Sheol, and the barren womb; the earth which is not filled with water, and the fire which saith not, It is enough.

World English Bible
Sheol, the barren womb; the earth that is not satisfied with water; and the fire that doesn't say, 'Enough.'

Young's Literal Translation
Sheol, and a restrained womb, Earth -- it is not satisfied with water, And fire -- it hath not said, 'Sufficiency,'

Proverbs 30:16 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

The horseleech hath two daughters, crying, Give, give - "This horseleech," says Calmet, "is Covetousness, and her two daughters are Avarice and Ambition. They never say, It is enough; they are never satisfied; they are never contented."

Many explanations have been given of this verse; but as all the versions agree in render ing עלוקה alukah the horseleech or blood-sucker, the general meaning collected has been, "There are persons so excessively covetous and greedy, that they will scarcely let any live but themselves; and when they lay hold of any thing by which they may profit, they never let go their hold till they have extracted the last portion of good from it." Horace has well expressed this disposition, and by the same emblem, applied to a poor poet, who seizes on and extracts all he can from an author of repute, and obliges all to hear him read his wretched verses.

Quem vero arripuit, tenet, occiditque legendo,

Non missura cutem, nisi plena cruoris,

Hirudo. De arte poet., ver. 475.

"But if he seize you, then the torture dread;

He fastens on you till he reads you dead;

And like a leech, voracious of his food,

Quits not his cruel hold till gorged with blood."


The word אלוקה alukah, which we here translate horseleech, is read in no other part of the Bible. May it not, like Agur, Jakeh, Ithiel, and Ucal, be a proper name, belonging to some well-known woman of his acquaintance, and well known to the public, who had two daughters notorious for their covetousness and lechery? And at first view the following verse may be thought to confirm this supposition: "There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough." The grave, the barren womb the earth, the fire. What an astonishing simiiarity there is between this and the following institute, taken from the Code of Hindoo Laws, chapter 20, sec. i., p. 203.

"A woman is never satisfied with the copulation of man, no more than a fire is satisfied with burning fuel; or the main ocean is with receiving the rivers; or death, with the dying of men and animals." You can no more satisfy these two daughters of Alukah than you can the grave, etc.

Some of the rabbins have thought that alukah signifies destiny, or the necessity of dying, which they say has two daughters, Eden and Gehenna, paradise and hell. The former has never enough of righteous souls; the latter, of the wicked. Similar to them is the opinion of Bochart, who thinks alukah means destiny, and the two daughters, the grave and hell; into the first of which the body descends after death, and into the second, the soul.

The Septuagint gives it a curious turn, by connecting the fifteenth with the sixteenth verse: Τῃ Βδελλῃ θυγατερες ησαν αγαπησει αγαπωμεναι, και αἱ τρεις αὑται ουκ ενεπιμπλασαν αυτην, και ἡ τεταρτη ουκ ηρκεσθη ειπειν· Ἱκανον; "The horseleech had three well-beloved daughters; and these three were not able to satisfy her desire: and the fourth was not satisfied, so as to say, It is enough."


Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Proverbs 27:20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

Habakkuk 2:5 Yes also, because he transgresses by wine, he is a proud man, neither keeps at home, who enlarges his desire as hell, and is as death...

A Homily for Humble Folks
A Sermon (No. 2140) delivered on Lord's Day, April 27th, 1890 by C.H. Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. "Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man."--Proverbs 30:2. Sometimes it is necessary for a speaker to refer to himself, and he may feel it needful to do so in a way peculiar to the occasion. When Elihu addressed himself to Job and the three wise men, he commended himself to them saying, "I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth
C.H. Spurgeon—Sermons on Proverbs

The Tenth Commandment
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.' Exod 20: 17. THIS commandment forbids covetousness in general, Thou shalt not covet;' and in particular, Thy neighbour's house, thy neighbour's wife, &c. I. It forbids covetousness in general. Thou shalt not covet.' It is lawful to use the world, yea, and to desire so much of it as may keep us from the temptation
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

A Book for Boys and Girls Or, Temporal Things Spritualized.
by John Bunyan, Licensed and entered according to order. London: Printed for, and sold by, R. Tookey, at his Printing House in St. Christopher's Court, in Threadneedle Street, behind the Royal Exchange, 1701. Advertisement by the Editor. Some degree of mystery hangs over these Divine Emblems for children, and many years' diligent researches have not enabled me completely to solve it. That they were written by Bunyan, there cannot be the slightest doubt. 'Manner and matter, too, are all his own.'[1]
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Thoughts Upon Worldly Riches. Sect. I.
HE that seriously considers the Constitution of the Christian Religion, observing the Excellency of its Doctrines, the Clearness of its Precepts, the Severity of its Threatnings, together with the Faithfulness of its Promises, and the Certainty of its Principles to trust to; such a one may justly be astonished, and admire what should be the reason that they who profess this not only the most excellent, but only true Religion in the World, should notwithstanding be generally as wicked, debauched and
William Beveridge—Private Thoughts Upon a Christian Life

Cross References
Genesis 30:1
When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, "Give me children, or I'll die!"

Proverbs 27:20
Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are human eyes.

Proverbs 30:15
"The leech has two daughters. 'Give! Give!' they cry. "There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, 'Enough!':

Isaiah 5:14
Therefore Death expands its jaws, opening wide its mouth; into it will descend their nobles and masses with all their brawlers and revelers.

Habakkuk 2:5
indeed, wine betrays him; he is arrogant and never at rest. Because he is as greedy as the grave and like death is never satisfied, he gathers to himself all the nations and takes captive all the peoples.

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