The Bible is considered by many to be the main book to determine humanity’s moral compass. It is against any kind of injustice, including murder. The Bible is obvious in its stance on murder. However, does this apply to insects as well? Is killing ants a sin?
The Bible does not explicitly suggest that killing ants is a sin. However, in the book of Leviticus, it is implied that some insects were considered clean and unclean. At the time, insects were a source of food. Therefore, people killed them so that they could eat. This is not the case in today’s day and age. These days, people kill insects to keep themselves and their homes safe and clean, as insects are considered pests. It is not a sin to kill ants if the motivation is to protect yourself and to keep your home clean. It is a sin to kill ants out of malicious intent to see them suffer.
Is there a specific bible verse that instructs people not to kill ants? Is there a humane way of getting rid of ants? What do Christians believe about killing ants? To get these questions answered and more, keep reading.
Does the Bible talk about killing ants?
No, it does not. At least, not explicitly. The Bible mentions insects in Leviticus chapter eleven, verses twenty to twenty-three. In these verses, God informs the people of the insects that are considered unclean and clean.
“All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be regarded as unclean by you. There are, however, some flying insects that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground. Of these, you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket, or grasshopper. But all other flying insects that have four legs you are to regard as unclean. Leviticus 11:20-23
As per the descriptions of the insects, we can conclude that ants do not meet any of the criteria of unclean insects, so it implies that they are considered clean. Also, this verse only talks about the insects the people can and cannot eat and does not mention anything about killing any insects. The unclean insects are only told to refrain from eating them. There is no mention of killing them or doing anything to them.
How is killing an ant, not a sin?
Killing an ant would be considered not to be a sin, based on the intention and one’s conscience.
As mentioned earlier, insects are considered annoying pests, and people get rid of them to keep themselves safe and their households clean. Killing them with this intention is not sinful as, ultimately, you are taking care of what God has given you, which demonstrates faithfulness, a core biblical value.
At times, you may kill ants accidentally. For example, as you walk around the street, you’re likely unknowingly stepping on and killing an ant or numerous ants. This is not sinful, as your intention was never to kill the ants.
What do Christians believe about killing an ant?
Christians believe that killing an ant is not sinful unless you intend to make them suffer and destroy God’s creation.
Since ants are tiny little creatures, they have been created by God and belong to God. All peoples, more so Christians, believe in taking care of God’s creation, as it is a responsibility God has given them.
In Genesis 1:25, it is demonstrated that all things, even insects like ants that creep on the ground, were created by God. God did not only create them, but God also called them good.
In the following verse, when God created man, He gave Him dominion over all creatures and the responsibility to take care of them. This is demonstrated in Genesis chapter one, verses twenty-six to twenty-eight.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;
male and female, he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:26-28
Christians believe these instructions still stand and must take care of God’s creation. They may kill an ant accidentally or even to protect themselves but not to destroy God’s creation.
What are the humane ways to remove ants from one’s house?
Ants are foraging animals and are always on a quest to collect food. The first thing that one ought to do is ensure that all their food has been properly stored in sealed containers.
Also, one has to ensure that one keeps a clean home. They have to wipe down any food spillages that may occur and constantly sweep or vacuum the home to keep it clean.
In the scenario whereby ants have invaded one’s space. You can get rid of them humanely by gently sweeping them up into a dustpan and throwing the debris outside. Shake the brush vigorously to eliminate any ants that may have hung on the bristles.
Another humane way to eliminate ants, which is more of a preventative measure, is using a natural ant deterrent. This deterrent is a simple mixture of 50% water and 50% vinegar. Place the mixture in a spray bottle to wipe down surfaces. The strong vinegar smell will keep the ants away without you having to kill them.
Is killing an ant still killing and violating God’s Ten Commandments?
No, it is not. God’s commandment on killing is clear, and we are explicitly instructed in Exodus 20:13 not to kill.
However, this verse implies that the commandment applies to another human being. For a person to kill another, it takes them intentionally conspiring in their hearts and minds to kill, which is already sinful even before they have performed the act.
Killing an ant does not violate the ten commandments because, most of the time, it is done unintentionally. One may kill an ant while walking down the street or sweeping their home to keep it clean.
The only time killing an ant would be considered sinful is if one does it intentionally to see the ant suffer and destroy God’s creation.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.