A captivating black and white image of an ant delicately traversing a weathered Bible page, symbolizing the profound wisdom and guidance found within the scriptures.

What Does The Bible Say About Ants?

Ants are one of the most remarkable creatures on earth. These tiny insects display great strength, organization, and industry that fascinates humans. It’s no wonder that the Bible references ants several times as examples of wisdom and hard work.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The Bible portrays ants as examples of hard work, wisdom, and preparing for the future. Main Bible verses are Proverbs 6:6-8, Proverbs 30:24-25, and Proverbs 30:25.

Ants as Examples of Hard Work and Diligence

Proverbs 6:6-8

In the book of Proverbs, King Solomon uses the ant as an example of hard work and diligence. Proverbs 6:6-8 says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.”

Ants are held up as models of industriousness, working hard to gather and store up food without needing supervision.

Lessons on Working Hard and Preparing

Ants teach us important lessons about the values of hard work and preparation. They labor intensely during warmer months to gather and store food so they will have enough reserves when food becomes scarce.

Their diligent efforts ensure the survival of the colony despite challenges.Humans should emulate the ant by working hard when possible to prepare for future needs, rather than being lazy and helpless when hardship comes. Wise planning and diligence lead to stability.

Research shows an ant colony can collect about 30,000 food items daily. Studies of ants’ food-gathering activities found that when more food is available, ants work harder to gather more. However, when less food can be found, ants adjust their efforts accordingly.

This reveals an intelligent adaptability. Like ants, we should work hard when opportunity allows, while staying flexible and adaptable when circumstances change.

Being Wise and Diligent

The qualities of wisdom and diligence reflected in ants’ work ethic come from God’s design. Proverbs 30:24-25 says ants are “exceedingly wise” with “little strength” yet they “prepare their food in the summer.”

Being small and physically weak compared to many animals, ants must rely on wisdom and teamwork to survive. Their mental capacities equip them for diligent stewardship of resources. According to insect experts, ants have demonstrated problem-solving skills, memory, learning capacity, and even teaching abilities benefiting their communities.

Studying ants provides insight for human behaviors and relationships. Ants work together in unified, self-organized teams without supervision. Shared commitment to the colony drives their collective action. Their harmonized activities accomplish more than isolated efforts could.

People working cooperatively in positive relationships can achieve more as well. By applying wisdom and diligence in how we treat others at home, church or work, we benefit the groups we belong to.

The book of Proverbs upholds the ant as a model of wisdom, hard work and advance preparation. Their example teaches us to value diligence, adaptability and cooperative relationships. Appreciating their God-given capacities can inspire us to apply similar virtues.

Ants Displaying Great Wisdom

Proverbs 30:24-25

The Bible highlights the wisdom of the ant in Proverbs 30:24-25, stating “Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer.”

This shows that ants are foresighted in preparing for the future even though they are tiny in size.

Lessons on Wisdom and Foresight

Ants give us important lessons on having vision, wisdom and foresight to make provisions for the future instead of just living for the present. Though ants have limited capabilities as tiny insects, they work hard in summer and spring to gather and store food to survive the winter, overcoming their natural limitations through collective coordinated teamwork.

Research shows ants develop complex underground networks and chambers to store food. Studies on ant colonies reveal their activities require complex problem solving and interaction. According to entomologists, ants use pheromone trails to navigate back to food sources, displaying strategic planning abilities to organize and direct group efforts.

Planning Ahead and Storing Provisions

Ant colonies build specialized chambers such as larders to store seeds and fungi gardens to grow food. The ants are diligent in going out to forage for food daily but bring it back to their nests rather than consuming it, revealing their farsightedness.

Certain ants even herd and milk aphids for the honeydew they produce, showing how ingenious they can be in storing sweet nutritious liquids.

Studies show ants deliberately avoid depleting food sources to prevent future shortages, displaying constraint and control. Their activities reveal an outlook to provide for the future of their colonies instead of just temporary gratification in the present.

According to science journals, ants have one of the longest lifespans in the insect world, living up to 30 years, reaping the rewards of their industrious and wise hard work (Thoughtco).

Other References to Ants in the Bible

Ants are referenced a few other times throughout the Bible beyond the well-known verse in Proverbs. Here are some of the other passages that mention these tiny yet hardworking insects:

Job 4:11-12

In the Book of Job, as Job’s friend Eliphaz reflects on the fate of the wicked, he says:

“The old lion perishes for lack of prey, and the cubs of the lioness are scattered. The fierce lion roars for its prey, seeking food for its cubs, but God does not forget the helpless creatures. He provides even for the lowly ant.”

This passage uses the ant as an example of one of God’s “helpless creatures” that He watches over and provides for, despite its small size and perceived insignificance. It emphasizes God’s care and provision for all of His creation, great and small.

Proverbs 30:24-28

In this section of Proverbs, a numerical proverb, the writer Agur marvels at four things that are “small on earth but exceptionally wise.” One of those four small yet wise things is the ants:

“Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer”

Once again, this draws attention to the impressive foresight and diligence displayed by lowly ants as they work hard to store up food for leaner times ahead.

Isaiah 7:18

The prophet Isaiah, prophesying doom for Judah, says:

“In that day the Lord will whistle for flies from the Nile delta in Egypt and for bees from the land of Assyria. They will all come and settle in the steep ravines and in the crevices in the rocks, on all the thornbushes and at all the water holes.”

Some Bible scholars believe the reference to “flies” and “bees” here may symbolize the armies from Egypt and Assyria that would swarm over the land. But others think it could literally refer to insects like flies and bees…and also ants.

The “steep ravines” and “crevices in the rocks” describe terrain that would be fitting for ants’ nests.

So while not directly mentioned, some believe ants could be included in this prophetic warning of judgment coming as swarms of insects and armies.

Proverbs 6:6-8

In this passage, King Solomon points to the ant as an example for lazy people to follow in order to learn wisdom and diligence:

“Go to the ant, you sluggard;

consider its ways and be wise!

It has no commander,

no overseer or ruler,

yet it stores its provisions in summer

and gathers its food at harvest.”

This remains one of the best known biblical references to ants. It emphasizes their hard work, planning, and self-motivation as a model for people who need to learn discipline and diligence.

Beyond these passages, some Bible commentators also see symbolism and lessons about diligence, wisdom, discipline, and God’s provision in other generic references to swarming insects. Ants, as incredibly industrious insects living in highly organized, cooperative societies, represent these qualities well.

So while ants receive just a few direct mentions in Scripture, their appearances are impactful, highlighting spiritual truths God desires His people to learn and emulate.


In conclusion, the Bible uses ants as prime examples of wisdom, diligence, hard work, and planning ahead. Their strong work ethic, organization, and preparing for the future are qualities to be admired and emulated. As Proverbs says, the ant is exceedingly wise – go to her and become wise yourself.

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