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!'

New Living Translation
the grave, the barren womb, the thirsty desert, the blazing fire.

English Standard Version
Sheol, the barren womb, the land never satisfied with water, and the fire that never says, “Enough.”

New American Standard Bible
Sheol, and the barren womb, Earth that is never satisfied with water, And fire that 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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Sheol; a childless womb; earth, which is never satisfied with water; and fire, which never says, "Enough!"

International Standard Version
The afterlife, the barren womb, earth that still demands water, and fire—they never say, "Enough".

NET Bible
the grave, the barren womb, land that is not satisfied with water, and fire that never says, "Enough!"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Sheol and her barren womb, the ground that is not filled with water, and fire does not say, “It is enough.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
the grave, a barren womb, a land that never gets enough water, a fire that does not say, "Enough!"

Jubilee Bible 2000
Sheol; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that never says, It is enough.

King James 2000 Bible
The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that says not, It is enough.

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

American Standard Version
Sheol; and the barren womb; The earth that is not satisfied with water; And the fire that saith not, Enough.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Hell, and the mouth of the womb, and the earth which is not satisfied with water: and the fire never saith: 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.

English Revised Version
The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not satisfied with water; and the fire that saith not, Enough.

Webster's Bible Translation
The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that 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,'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

30:10 Slander not a servant to his master, accuse him not in small matters, to make mischief. 11-14. In every age there are monsters of ingratitude who ill-treat their parents. Many persuade themselves they are holy persons, whose hearts are full of sin, and who practise secret wickedness. There are others whose lofty pride is manifest. There have also been cruel monsters in every age. 15-17. Cruelty and covetousness are two daughters of the horseleech, that still cry, Give, give, and they are continually uneasy to themselves. Four things never are satisfied, to which these devourers are compared. Those are never rich that are always coveting. And many who have come to a bad end, have owned that their wicked courses began by despising their parents' authority. 18-20. Four things cannot be fully known. The kingdom of nature is full of marvels. The fourth is a mystery of iniquity; the cursed arts by which a vile seducer gains the affections of a female; and the arts which a vile woman uses to conceal her wickedness. 21-23 Four sorts of persons are very troublesome. Men of low origin and base spirit, who, getting authority, become tyrants. Foolish and violent men indulging in excesses. A woman of a contentious spirit and vicious habits. A servant who has obtained undue influence. Let those whom Providence has advanced from low beginnings, carefully watch against that sin which most easily besets them.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 16. - The four insatiable things are now named: first, the grave, sheol (Proverbs 27:20), which can never be filled with its victims. Horace talks of a man as -

"Victima nil miserantis Orci."
(Carm.,' 2:3, 24.) And Hesiod ('Theog.,' 456) of Hades as -

Νηλεὲς ῆτορ ἔχων
"A heart possessing that no pity knows." The second thing is the barren womb; "the closing of the womb," as Genesis 20:18; Isaiah 66:9. The burning desire for children, characteristic of an Israelitish wife, is here denoted, like the passionate cry of Rachel to Jacob, "Give me children, or else I die" (Genesis 30:1). The barren woman, says Corn. a Lapide, " concubitus magis est avida quam ceterae tum propter desiderium habendae prolis, tum quod foecundae et gravidae naturaliter non appetant concubitum." The third insatiable thing is the earth that is not filled (satisfied) with water; the parched and thirsty soil which no amount of water can satisfy, which drinks in all that is poured upon it and is not benefited, what Virgil ('Georg.,' 1:114) calls "bibula arena." The fourth is the fire that saith not, It is enough; the "devouring element," as the newspapers term it. The more you heap on fire, the more material you supply, the fiercer it rages. Septuagint, "Hades, and the love of woman, and earth not satisfied with water, and water, and fire, will not say, It sufficeth." Cheyne and others quote from the Sanscrit 'Hitopadesa,' "Fire is never satisfied with fuel; nor the ocean with rivers; nor death with all creatures; nor bright-eyed women with men."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

The grave,.... Which is the first of the four daughters, or insatiable things, which resemble the horse leech: the grave is the house appointed for all living; it stands ready for them, it is open to receive them when dead; and though such multitudes have been put into it, since death reigned in the world, yet it is not full, it waits for more; nor will its mouth be shut till the last enemy, death, is destroyed; see Proverbs 27:20; This is an emblem of a covetous man, who enlarges his desire as hell or the grave; and is never satisfied with gold, silver, and increase of substance he has, but is always craving more;

and the barren womb; the second daughter, that cries, Give, give, as Rachel, "give me children, or I die", Genesis 30:1, barren women are oftentimes impatient for children, as she was; and importunate, as Hannah; and as the Israelitish women were before the coming of the Messiah, each hoping he might be born of them; especially before it was so clearly known that he should be born of a virgin: though it may be rather the barren womb of harlots is here meant, and who are generally barren, and whose lust is insatiable; and this may be an emblem of lust, which is never satisfied; whether it be a lust of riches, or of honour, or of uncleanness, or of sensual pleasures;

the earth that is not filled with water; which is dry and parched, and opens and gapes; and though large quantities of rain may fall upon it, which it greedily drinks in; yet is not seen, nor is it filled with it, but it thirsts for more: this may be an emblem of good men, that have received abundance of the grace of God; and though they thirst not after sin, as they before did, and others do; yet thirst after God, more knowledge of him, and communion with him, and for more grace, like the dry and thirsty land, and cannot have enough of it; see John 4:13; or rather of wicked men, who drink up iniquity like water, and yet never have their fill of it to their satisfaction. This is the third thing, and the fourth follows:

and the fire that saith not, It is enough; but let what fuel will be cast into it, it devours it, and still wants more: by the Egyptians, as Herodotus (r) relates, fire is reckoned an animated beast, which devours all it can lay hold on; and when it is filled with food, it dies with that which is devoured by it. Such is the fire of divine wrath, hell fire, in which sinners are, as thorns and briers; and which is unquenchable, everlasting, burns for ever and ever; the Tophet, ordained of old, deep and large, the pile thereof is fire and much wood, kindled by the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, Isaiah 30:33. These are the four daughters of the horse leech which resemble that in its insatiableness. Jarchi makes mention of some that interpret the horse leech of "sheol", or the state of the dead; and the two daughters, of paradise and hell; the one says, "Give me the righteous"; and the other says, "Give me the wicked." Aben Ezra applies these four to the four generations before spoken of; the grave, into which are cast the generation of those that curse their father, and die before their time; the barren womb, the generation of those that are not washed from the filthiness of whoredom, and have no children; the earth not filled with water, the proud and haughty, who are humbled by famine; and the fire is that which descends from heaven, to consume the generation that destroy the poor and oppress the needy, as fire came down upon them in the days of Elijah. Jarchi takes notice of a Midrash, which applies these four things to the four monarchies; as it does also all the four things after mentioned.

(r) Thalia sive, l. 3. c. 16.



Proverbs 30:16 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Words of Agur
15The leech has two daughters, "Give," "Give." There are three things that will not be satisfied, Four that will not say, "Enough": 16Sheol, and the barren womb, Earth that is never satisfied with water, And fire that never says, "Enough." 17The eye that mocks a father And scorns a mother, The ravens of the valley will pick it out, And the young eagles will eat it.…
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.
Treasury of Scripture

The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that said not, It is enough.

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 …

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