What does Proverbs 6:7 mean?
ESV: Without having any chief, officer, or ruler,
NIV: It has no commander, no overseer or ruler,
NASB: Which, having no chief, Officer, or ruler,
CSB: Without leader, administrator, or ruler,
NLT: Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work,
KJV: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
NKJV: Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler,
Verse Commentary:
Pointing to the ant as an example of wisdom for its hard work, Solomon says it doesn't have any chief officer or ruler. The ant doesn't have to be commanded to work, it does so of its own accord. A worker ant is so industrious that it can carry twenty times its body weight in food back to its colony. Just a glance at an ant colony reveals how busy these tiny creatures are.

Christians, too, should not need prodding or supervision to work hard. The apostle Paul admonished Christian slaves to work as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart as unto the Lord (Ephesians 6:6–7). Today, this admonition applies to Christian employees. They should work hard not just when the boss is around, but at all times, because they want to please the Lord. It's tempting to spend an undue amount of time "slacking off," or avoiding actual work, but Christians should be as industrious as the ants Solomon writes about.
Verse Context:
Proverbs 6:6–11 turns Solomon's attention to the subject of laziness. The term translated here as "sluggard" or "slacker" implies something more than being unmotivated; it also includes irresponsibility and laziness. Such persons put themselves at risk of ruin. Even if they can get by, in the present, a lack of preparation means they will not survive a crisis. In contrast, Solomon suggests the example of the ant: a creature who works diligently and is therefore able to endure harder times.
Chapter Summary:
This chapter provides teaching on two aspects of wealth management. The first is avoiding putting one's property in debt for the sake of some other person's risky investment. The other warns against laziness, indicating that it puts a person at risk for sudden ruin. Solomon then poetically explains attitudes and actions which God finds especially repulsive. Next, Solomon returns to the subject of adultery. He reiterates the inherent risks of sexual immorality, including the catastrophic consequences which it brings. That lesson continues into the following chapter.
Chapter Context:
This chapter of Proverbs continues the wise sayings Solomon addresses to his son. In chapter 5 he addresses adultery and marriage. In this chapter he addresses financial matters, work ethics, characteristics and conduct the Lord despises, and sexual immorality. A common theme of these lessons is to avoid the natural consequences of foolish choices. The next chapter describes the adulteress's ways and the pitfalls involved in committing adultery with her.
Book Summary:
Proverbs is best understood in context with the books of Ecclesiastes and Job. In Proverbs, “wisdom” is given in short, simple, general terms. Ecclesiastes represents wisdom based on observation and experience. This often shows how the general principles of the book of Proverbs don’t apply in absolutely every circumstance. Job represents wisdom based on the experience of suffering and injustice. All three come to the conclusion that God does indeed know best, and the most sensible course of action is to follow His will.
Accessed 7/22/2024 1:50:42 AM
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