Ant – Day 11 of 30 Days [Biblically] Wild

harvester ant

Antנְמָלָה (nemalah)

ant header

This post has been adapted from an earlier post: Verse of the Month: Proverbs 6:6 “Go to the ant…”

A trail of ants along the kitchen floor; a ragged column climbing the legs of the garden chair; picnics spoilt by the steady and unrelenting invasion of this tiny army. Who can forget that itchy feeling on those muggy evenings of flying ants? Unfortunately we usually encounter ants as an often unwelcome irritation to our lives. This is a pity as it means that we can easily overlook their breathtakingly complex and remarkable lives which still keeps modern scientists intrigued.

Go to the ant, you lazybones;
   consider its ways, and be wise. 

Proverbs 6:6 (NRSV)

This proverb not only suggests that the ant can be a guide for living, it can also help us uncover the intriguing world of biblical wisdom literature by giving us an insight into how these types of text were composed, developed and circulated.

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Verse of the Month: Psalm 84:11a “For the LORD God is a sun and shield”

For the LORD God is a sun and shield;

   he bestows favour and honour.

(NRSV)

When I was an undergraduate, in order to get us all to think about the power of language, my philosophy lecturer (always one to deliver as much bang for your buck as possible) drew out a large rock from behind his lectern and proclaimed, “We are told in the Bible that God is a rock… cold, hard and lifeless.” In so doing, he encapsulated the problem with metaphor. They can be incredibly powerful, but they can also disastrously backfire. Metaphors must be handled very carefully. In this psalm we can see the real/perceived concerns of its users in Antiquity that continue to influence our reading of the text even today… Continue reading

Verse of the Month: Proverbs 6:6 “Go to the ant…”

ant header

Go to the ant, you lazybones;

               consider its ways, and be wise.

(NRSV)

This post has been developed and reposted as Ant – Day 11 of 30 Days [Biblically] Wild.

This proverb not only suggests that the ant can be a guide for living, it can also help us uncover the intriguing world of biblical wisdom literature by giving us insights into how these types of text were composed, developed and circulated. Continue reading