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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary

Horse-Leech

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עלוקה , from a root which signifies to adhere, stick close, or hang fast, Proverbs 30:15 . A sort of worm that lives in water, of a black or brown colour, which fattens upon the flesh, and does not quit it till it is entirely full of blood. Solomon says, "The horse-leech hath two daughters, Give, give." This is so apt an emblem of an insatiable rapacity and avarice, that it has been generally used by different writers to express it. Thus Plautus makes one say, speaking of the determination to get money, "I will turn myself into a horse-leech, and suck out their blood;" and Cicero, in one of his letters to Atticus, calls the common people of Rome horse-leeches of the treasury. Solomon, having mentioned those that devoured the property of the poor as the worst of all the generations which he had specified, proceeds to state the insatiable cupidity with which they prosecuted their schemes of rapine and plunder. As the horse-leech had two daughters, cruelty and thirst of blood, which cannot be satisfied, so the oppressor of the poor has two dispositions, rapacity and avarice, which, never say they have enough, but continually demand additional gratifications.


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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Horse-Leech'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/wtd/h/horse-leech.html. 1831-2.

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