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The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough:
– Proverbs 30:15
The saying opens with a figure of the leech, or particularly the horseleach, that has two daughters. The precise meaning of this figure has been debated for centuries. Why two daughters? Does two indicate twins? Is Give, give the names of the daughters or what they say, since there is no word for crying in the underlying Hebrew Masoretic text? Sometimes, wisdom sayings work by ambiguities and trying to button up every detail could miss the point.
The second part of the saying makes the point of the figure clear. The point is to illustrate never being satisfied, never having enough. The leech is a parasite that consumes insatiably and does not produce. We also see a subtle connection to the generation sayings previous to this one, because the figure is not just a leech, but the daughters of a leech. The sayings prior to this have condemned pride and greed within generations, and here the warning goes both ways. We can be quick to point out the faults of the younger generations to us, but wisdom bids us remember that the older generations produced the younger, and so they are a reflection. To the younger generation, the warning is to be aware and careful not to repeat the follies of the older generations.