“The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.”
Different sources disagree as to what a “horseleach” actually is, at least in the context of this verse. However, the general consensus is that what this proverb is referring to is a leach of some sort. Either way you put it, however you define it, a leach is a leach.
I am not a leach expert, so what I am about to say about the nasty parasite should not be taken as the gospel truth, but it seems that leaches have suckers at both ends. This could be why this proverb describes the horseleach as having two “daughters” that cry, “Give! Give!”
Verse sixteen describes four things that are never satisfied. The first is the grave, followed by a “barren womb,” the dry earth, and then fire. All four are linked to the leach, the bloodsucker, that is never satisfied, always wanting more and more.
The grave yards are not getting smaller. As a matter of fact, in some places like Japan grave spaces are rented because space is so limited. Death and the grave keep crying out, “More! More!”
I have known women that cannot have children, yet their desire never goes away. I have watched water get soaked up by dry ground. I have often witnessed the insatiable desire of flames as they burn with increasing fury, yet are never satisfied with what they have destroyed. Perpetual unsatisfaction is a pitiful thing to witness.
I Can’t Get No
Do you remember the old song by the Rolling Stones, “Satisfaction?” In my mind I can hear the famous phrase Mick Jagger repeated over and over throughout the song, “I tried, and I tried, and I tried, and I tried.” And no matter how hard he tried, still he would say, “I can’t get no satisfaction.”
But that’s the world for ya’. Nothing in this world has any lasting effects. No thirst is ultimately quenched…no burning desire is ever fully satisfied…no expectation is ever completely realized. Even when people get what they think they want, they find they “can’t get no satisfaction.”
However, there is hope. There is hope for the weary, the heavy-laden, the lonely, the wounded, the hungry, and those whose thirst is beyond anything a mountain spring can quench.
In the book of John, chapter four, we read about a woman that came to draw water from a well. She was thirsty. But at that well she met Jesus.
Jesus told the Samaritan woman, “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again.” But then he said, “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14).
What is the answer to an undying thirst? The Water of Life.