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Be Industrious Like the Ant
Proverbs 6:7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
7 Without having any chief,
officer, or ruler,
Without having any chief: Here chief (Heb. qā·ṣîn) is referring to a clan leader or commander of men (Josh 10:24), who rules over or guides, inspires, and motivates others.
officer, or ruler: An officer (שֹׁטֵר shoter) in the Old Testament can be a judicial, civil, or military person, who is like a working foreman who oversees and manages the tasks at hand, be they judicial, civil, or military, depending on the context. (Ex. 5:6, 10, 14-15, 19) The ruler (מָשַׁל mashal) is a general term that refers to one who rules, governs, controls, being in charge, commanding others with primacy authority. The purpose of using all three of these terms (chief, officer, ruler) is to highlight the fact that ants do not need many layers of oversight to carry out their tasks. In 6:6-8, Solomon is talking about himself in relation not to the ant but rather to the sluggard, for he loves his comfortable life, lives in laziness, takes care of no business, doing nothing important, adds nothing of value to the life of others, and in a specific way is uncaring as king or in his worship of God.