Shadows of Messiah – The Ant

Shadows of Messiah - Ant

ant 2


Proverbs 30:25 speaks of ants as a “people”.  In their colonies they display social behavior very much like that of humans. They have workers, farmers, foragers, patrollers, harvesters, scouts and leadership (queen).

Some even estimate that the total weight of all the ants on the earth is about the same as the weight of all the humans on the earth.  They have many parallels to people but display an interesting parable to a particular people. Christ and His people, His body, the Church.

Ants, Wisdom & Hard Work

ants work

“Wisdom is manifest in the smallest creatures as in the largest. The force of wisdom displayed in the creation of the elephant, in its great body size, is not more marvelous than the force of wisdom displayed in the creation of the ant, in its minuteness.” (Chovos HaLevavos, Shaar HaYichud 7)


“Ant. Approximately 100 species of ants live in the Holy Land. Harvester ants are the ones meant in (Pro_6:6-8) and (Pro_30:25). These tiny insects settle near grain fields, carrying seed after seed into their private storehouses. In cold weather these ants cluster together and hibernate. When winter comes, they have food stored up until the next harvest.


God has provided ants with such amazing instincts that they appear to reason and plan ahead. If stored grain gets wet, they haul it out into the sun to dry. Their hard work was considered a worthy example for human beings by the writer of Proverbs (Pro_6:6-8; Pro_30:25).”  {Plants & Animals of the Bible}

Pro 30:24  There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise:
Pro 30:25  The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;

Pro 6:6  Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
Pro 6:7  Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Pro 6:8  Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
Pro 6:9  How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
Pro 6:10  Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
Pro 6:11  So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

Christ is Wisdom

1Co 1:24  But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
1Co 1:30  But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Christ is the personification of hard work

Joh 5:17  But Jesus answered them, My Father works until now, and I work.

Psa 121:4  Behold, He who keeps Israel will not slumber nor sleep.


Work in an ant nest is done on a kind of “shift system”. Worker ants are required to carry out essential jobs within the nest 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,as long as the colony is active (e.g.-not hibernating).  Interestingly, a worker ant spends about a tenth of her time ‘resting’.  What is a tenth of a week?  About 16 hours, the amount of time that man is awake during a day…ie the sabbath = the tithe of time to God.


The body of Christ is to serve Him day and night

Rev 7:13  And one of the elders answered, saying to me, These, the ones having been clothed in the white robes, who are they, and from where did they come?
Rev 7:14  And I said to him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are those coming out of the great tribulation; and they washed their robes and whitened them in the blood of the Lamb.
Rev 7:15  Because of this they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His sanctuary. And He sitting on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them.
Rev 7:16  And they will not hunger still, nor will they thirst still, nor at all shall fall on them the sun, nor any kind of heat.
Rev 7:17  Because the Lamb in the midst of the throne will shepherd them, and will lead them on living springs of waters; and God will wipe off every tear from their eyes.

Being a disciple of Messiah is equated with hard work.


2Ti 2:15 Give diligence (σπουδάζω ‘spoudazō’ KJV – study) to present yourself approved to God, a workman unashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.

Being a student/disciple is hard work.  The word for study/give diligence is σπουδάζω ‘spoudazō’ which means to work hard.

Thayer Definition:
1) to hasten, make haste
2) to exert one’s self, endeavour, give diligence
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G4710

A disciple is one that is yoked with Christ.  The imagery here is a younger ox being yoked to an older one to learn and become mature.  Oxen are synonymous with hard work, whether it be plowing a field (which incidentally, is pictured by the Hebrew word את ‘aleph tav’ – this will be discussed more below) or treading out grain, the oxen is used for work (Proverbs 14:4).


Disciples are linked with the harvest (harvester ants).

Mat 9:37  Then He said to His disciples, The harvest truly is great, but the workers few.
Mat 9:38  Pray then that the Lord of the harvest may send out workers into His harvest.

Mat 28:19  Then having gone, disciple all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Mat 28:20  teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you. And, behold, I am with you all the days until the completion of the age. Amen.

Joh 4:35  Do you not say, It is yet four months and the harvest comes? Behold, I say to you, Lift up your eyes and behold the fields, for they are already white to harvest.
Joh 4:36  And the one reaping receives reward, and gathers fruit to everlasting life, so that both the one sowing and the one reaping may rejoice together.
Joh 4:37  For in this the word is true, that another is the one sowing, and another the one reaping.
Joh 4:38  I sent you to reap what you have not labored over. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.

Psa 126:6  Surely he who walks and weeps, bearing a trail of seed, shall come again with joyful shouting, bearing his sheaves.

Yet another interesting parallel between ants and disciples is math.  The Greek word for disciples is μαθητής ‘mathētēs’ which is related in meaning to μάθημα ‘máthēma’ from whece the word ‘math’ comes.  Both words come from μανθάνω ‘manthanō’ which means to learn or understand.  Amazingly, ants navigate through “advanced mathematics“.

נמלה ‘nemalah’

The Hebrew word for ant is נמלה ‘nemalah.’

BDB Definition:
1) ant
Part of Speech: noun feminine
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H5243

נמלה ‘nemalah’ comes from the root:

נמלה ‘nemalah’  is used in the following verses referring to the flesh that ‘withers’, ‘fades’ or is ‘cut off’.  Job 14:1-2; 24:24; Psalm 37:1-2 and used in Genesis 17:11 as circumcise.


The root of  נמלה ‘nemalah’ is מל ‘mal’.

Through this word נמלה ‘nemalah ‘ we see that circumcision is linked to the flesh and the past.  The cutting of the male member (which has 3 segments, just as the ant) is a picture of being born again, dying to the past, the flesh/carnal nature.


We are to leave the past behind and press forward to the mark/goal (את ‘et’ – mark/goal)

Php 3:14  I press on after a mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Php 2:12  So, then, my beloved, even as you always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much rather in my absence, cultivate {κατεργάζομαι ‘katergazomai’} your salvation with fear and trembling,

Thayer Definition:
1) to perform, accomplish, achieve
2) to work out, i.e. to do that from which something results
2a) of things: bring about, result in
3) to fashion, i.e. render one fit for a thing

Circumcision is connected with the breaking up of the fallow ground (heart) so that we can receive His Word.  Breaking up fallow ground is a specialty of ants.


Jer 4:3  For so says Jehovah to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem, Break up {ניר ‘niyr’} your fallow ground {ניר ‘niyr’}, and do not sow to the thorns.
Jer 4:4  Circumcise yourselves to Jehovah, and take away the foreskin of your heart, O men of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, that My fury not go forth like fire and burn, so that no one can put it out; because of the evil of your doings.

ניר ‘niyr’ comes from the root נר ‘nar.’

נר ‘nar’ is the root word of מנורה ‘menorah’/lamp/candlestick.  It is also the root for the word נהיר ‘nehir’ which means the light of wisdom, linking back to the wisdom portrayed by the ant.  As seen above, being a disciple is linked to hard work and being yoked with the Messiah.  This is pictured in the natural of plowing the field to bring forth light and to plant the seed of the Word.


What are the main functions of ants?  They aerate the ground (plowing/ניר ‘niyr’) and they carry seeds from one place to another…It is said that they turn over and aerate the soil as much or more than earthworms.

Ants & the Word

As seen above, the word נמלה ‘nemalah’ (ant) comes from the root מל ‘mal’ (word).  נמל ‘namal’ also means to circumcise, which is linked to plowing/breaking up fallow ground and the Menorah.  The Hebrew language is an action language where most words come from a 3 letter verb (action/hard work).

Does the 3 segments of the ant point to the 3 letter roots of Hebrew?

Hebrew verbs (action) are in the form of a Menorah




The English word ant comes from ‘emmet’


Another link to the Word?

‘Emmet’ = the Hebrew word for truth



Notice the link to this word, אמת ‘emet,’ (truth) and the current study. אמת ‘emet’ consists of  את ‘et,’ which means to plow and the middle (body) letter of the word מ ‘mem’ which means water.  “Plowing to the waters.”  This fits perfectly with the word ניר ‘nir’ which means breaking up fallow ground where the waters are found beneath which reflect the light of the sun.  The Word = Truth  = Wisdom (here portrayed by the ant)  = Light (menorah)


The ant, נמלה ‘nemalah,’ is also linked to the Arabic word for “clever.” The Arabs put ants in the new-born infant’s hand, saying, “May he prove clever!”  This point back to the connection of wisdom and the ant.

Ants & the Body of Messiah

James Fausset Commentary

There is no monarch, such as the queen is among bees; but ants labor together as a republic, having “no ruler” as Solomon describes.

Smith Bible Dictionary

They show many other proofs of their skill. Some of them build wonderful houses; these are often several stories high, sometimes five hundred times the height of the builders, with rooms, corridors, and vaulted roofs supported by pillars. Some species keep a kind of cows; others have a regular army of soldiers; some keep slaves — “No closer imitation of the ways of man could be found in the entire animal economy.”

Ants as a picture of the body of Messiah?  The body of Messiah consists of those who have had their hearts circumcised (נמל ‘namal’) and have died to the flesh in order to live to the Spirit.  Their fallow ground has been broken up and the Seed of the Word has been implanted into their hearts (1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18-21).  The body consists of many different parts with many different gifts of the Spirit, just as the ant community has many different parts and functions yet doesn’t have an overseer or ruler, just instinct to guide them.


The body of Messiah doesn’t need rulers and overseers, only the Holy Spirit to lead and guide them (1 John 2:27).  The Body of Messiah is seen in the Menorah as mentioned above as well as in those concept who are circumcised in heart.


Divided into 3 sections…3 is the number of resurrection.  The earth came forth from the waters on day 3, Messiah was resurrected on the 3rd day (Matthew 12:40), His people are raised up on the 3rd day (Hosea 6:3).  The earth comes out of the water with 7 land masses, Jerusalem is a land with 7 mountains (1 Enoch 17:6-8).  His body, pictured by the Menorah has 7 branches, the Messiah was anointed with the 7 Spirits of God (Revelation 5:6; Isaiah 11:1-3).


Ant Hill

ant hill

Mic 4:1  But it shall be in the end of the days, the mountain of the house of Jehovah shall be established on the top of the mountains; and it shall be lifted up from the hills; and peoples shall flow on it.
Mic 4:2  And many nations shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, and to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach us from His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For the Law shall go forth out of Zion, and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.

Ants & Time

ant time

James Fausset Commentary


(Pro_6:6-8; Pro_30:25; “provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.”)

Solomon implies, the ant providently and diligently uses the proper seasons for obtaining her food, though she has “no guide, overseer, or ruler,” such as man has in parents, teachers, and masters; therefore men are inexcusable in sluggishness. “Redeem the time” (Greek favorable season) is the spiritual lesson (Eph_5:16).

Amazingly, ants follow the course of the sun in moon in their paths, finding their way back home (to the ant hill/Mountain of God). {Marvels and Mysteries of Our Animal World pg 232}


The Biblical calendar is based upon the movements of the sun, moon and stars and are used for the feasts of the LORD.  These feasts are cyclical and come from the Hebrew root word עד ‘ad’ which means to see the door/ie the door of the Temple/Tabernacle.


Disciples are those who are yoked with Messiah walking in cycles of righteousness.


Psa 23:3  He restores my soul; He guides me in paths {מעגּל ‘ma`agal’} of righteousness for His name’s sake.



ma‛gâl  /  ma‛gâlâh

BDB Definition:

1) entrenchment, track

מעגּלה  /  מעגּל


מעגּל ‘ma`agal’ comes from the root עגּל ‘agal’ which means round or a bullock as in a bullock circling around in play.  מעגּל ‘ma`agal’ literally means the trench made from the wheels of carts that are pulled by oxen to tread grain, thus making trenches or ruts.


Shadows of Messiah book 3b


blessing 4



One comment

  1. exllent topit brothers. God bless you and your ministry.
    Praise the Lord brothers
    I was surching some picture for wisdom for ppt for teaching.
    Thanks for uploading these picture.

    God bless you and your ministry.


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