Christian Symbolism of the Ant in a Medieval Bestiary
A Bestiary was a medieval book with allegorical descriptions of real and fabled animals, such as the Ant which were often full of symbolism and contained a moral or religious lesson or allegory. A Bestiary reflected the belief that the world itself was the Word of God, and that every living creature had its own special meaning. Some of the information on this page, about the Ant, is taken from the Aberdeen Bestiary which was written in the 12th Century.
The Definition and Meaning of the Ant as a Religious Christian Symbol - Allegory and Moral
The Meaning of the Ant as a Religious Christian Symbol together with the Allegory / Moral detailed in the Bestiary is as follows:
The ants working together for the common good is to be taken as a lesson to men, who should work in unity.
The splitting of the grain represents the separation that must be made in the interpretation of the Bible, distinguishing the literal from the spiritual meaning, "lest the law interpreted literally should kill you". Some sources compare the ants to the Jews, who have taken the law literally and have "died of hunger".
The barley the ants reject signifies the heresy that Christians are to cast away.
Reference to the Ant in the Bible
The Easton Bible Dictionary provides the following definition, meaning and emblem for the Ant in the Bible.
(Heb. nemalah, from a word meaning to creep, cut off, destroy), referred to in Prov. 6:6; 30:25, as distinguished for its prudent habits. Many ants in Palestine feed on animal substances, but others draw their nourishment partly or exclusively from vegetables. To the latter class belongs the ant to which Solomon refers. This ant gathers the seeds in the season of ripening, and stores them for future use; a habit that has been observed in ants in Texas, India, and Italy.
- Religious Information, Meaning and Definition of the Ant
- Ant Religious symbol and Bible Reference
- Bestiary Religious symbols
- Bestiary and Bible Reference
- Religious Christian Symbolism
- Ancient history and biblical meanings
- Facts, Information, Meanings and Definition