מָשָׁל Strong’s #4912 mashal

And he took up his parable, and said, From Aram hath Balak brought me, The king of Moab from the mountains of the East: Come, curse me Jacob, And come, defy Israel.

Numbers 23:7

A ruler is someone or something that defines a standard of measure. This can be a stick with incremental lines on it for measuring or a person who defines the standard by which people live. The Hebrew verb meaning “to rule” is mashal and, when used in the participle form, it means “a ruler,” or “one who rules.” (Possibly the origin of our word marshal?) The noun form, also pronounced mashal, is a parable or proverb. The function of a parable or proverb is to define a standard of measure that one is to live by. For example, In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he will direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:6).