15. The leech has two daughters:
Give and Give.
Comment: One day I remember a child who was very anaemic, passing bright blood from her bottom. The problem – a leech in her mouth sucking her blood to a huge extent. So people who are ‘spongers’ would bleed you dry. I love the phrase – two daughters: give and give.
Three things are never satisfied;
four never say, “Enough”:
16. Sheol, the barren womb,
the land never satisfied with water,
and the fire that never says, “Enough.”
Comment: It is such a Hebrew custom to say three and four. A strategy to draw attention, I presume. In modern language I think we would list them thus: death; the cry of a childless lady wanting a child; a barren desert; bushfires. And they are all heart breaking. How hard life can be for many!
17. The eye that mocks a father
and scorns to obey a mother
will be picked out by the ravens of the valley
and eaten by the vultures.
Gehenna (some times spelt (Gehena) was a valley outside Jerusalem which was consistently smouldering away destroying all sorts of rubbish. It is sometimes likened to hell. The writer suggests that progeny mocking and scornful of their parents should be thrown into this valley where circling birds looking for rodents and other food could pick out their eyes. A gruesome but very strong call for family solidarity.
18. Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand:
19. the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a virgin.
Comment: I picture a man who sits and ponders the wonder of the world around him. Maybe a thing we don’t do often enough!
Prayer: Plenty of tough things happen in life, O God. But thank you for the ability to consider and ponder and see Your hand in things, even if we don’t always understand the whys of life.