The ants [are] a people not strong
Far from it; what is weaker than an ant? a multitude of them may be destroyed at once, with the crush of a foot. Pliny calls it "minimum animal", the least animal; and the Arabians use it as a proverb, to call a weak man one weaker than an ant: and there is one sort of ants called "dsar", so small that one hundred of them will not weigh more than a barley corn F7: they are called a people, because they associate together in great numbers; though small in bulk, and weak as to power and strength; and which is a figure elsewhere used in the sacred Scriptures; see ( Joel 1:6 ) ; and by profane writers, as Homer and Virgil, who speak of bees as a people and nation F8; and of nations of flies, and of flying birds, geese, cranes, and swans F9; yet their prepare their meat in the summer;
build granaries with great art and wisdom, carry in grains of corn with great labour and industry, in the summer season, when only to be got, and lay them up against winter. Phocylides F11 the poet says much the same things of them; he calls them a tribe or nation, small but laborious, and says, they gather and carry in their food in summer for the winter, which is a proof of their wisdom. Cicero F12 says, the ant has not only sense, but mind, reason, and memory. Aelianus F13 ascribes unspeakable wisdom to it; and Pliny F14 discourse and conversation; (See Gill on Proverbs 6:6), (See Gill on Proverbs 6:7); (See Gill on Proverbs 6:8). It is a pattern of industry and diligence both as to temporal and spiritual things, ( Ecclesiastes 9:10 ) ( Matthew 6:19 Matthew 6:20 ) .
F7 Bochart. Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 4. c. 22. col. 598.
F8 (eynea melissawn) Iliad. 2. v. 87. "Et populos et proelia dicam", Georgic. l. 4. v. 4, 5.
F9 Iliad. 2. v. 459, 469. & 15. v. 690, 691.
F11 Poem. Admon. v. 158, 159.
F12 De Natura Deorum, l. 3.
F13 De Animal. l. 16. c. 15.
F14 Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 30.