Moses' second speech, Part 27
Aug 23, 2012
Deut. 7:20-22 says,
(20) Moreover, the Lord your God will send the hornet against them, until those who are left and hide themselves from you shall perish. (21) You shall not dread them, for the Lord your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God. (22) And the Lord your God will clear away these nations before you little by little; you will not be able to put an end to them quickly, lest the wild beasts grow too numerous for you.
We see here that God had no intention of driving the seven nations out of Canaan any time soon. The full inheritance was to be given gradually as they grew in population. This explains why God took credit for leaving many Canaanites in the land (Judges 3:1). If the Israelites had remained faithful to God in keeping His laws, the Canaanites would not have been a problem. In fact, in my view, those Canaanites would have seen the glory of God in the Israelites and would have been converted to the God of Israel. But instead, the Israelites converted to the Baal worship of the Canaanites.
But let us draw focus upon the "hornet" of verse 20. The Hebrew word is tsirah, which carries a numeric value of 365. It is spelled in Hebrew:
tsadiy = 90
resh = 200
ayin = 70
hey = 5
The most obvious feature of this number is that it represents the number of days in a solar year. It is also the length of time that Enoch lived (Gen. 5:23). Enoch's reputation was that he received immortality without dying, for Gen. 5:24 says,
(24) And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
Enoch was reputedly the one who received the divine revelation of time and space, the stars, and the circuit of the earth. His revelation was incorporated into the Great Pyramid, which was called in ancient times Pa-Hanoch, "House of Enoch," often referred to in ancient times as the "Pillar of Enoch."
This pillar is called an "altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt" (Is. 19:19), although the Egyptians later turned it into a "Pillar of Horus." So there is a connection between Enoch and Egypt via the Great Pyramid, built on the technology given by divine revelation to Enoch.
Hence, the "hornet" was connected by gematria (365) to Enoch and to his knowledge of the precise length of a solar year (365.242 days), the sidereal year (365.256 days), and the anomalistic year (365.259 days). Each of these slightly different year lengths are found in the measurement of each side (base) of the Great Pyramid.
The Great Pyramid's sides are slightly concave according to the exact curvature of the earth. Hence, if you measure in a straight line from one corner to another, the distance is 365.242 Sacred Cubits, representing the solar year. If you measure along the curvature of the base, it is 365.256 Sacred Cubits, representing the sidereal year (the time it takes for the fixed stars to be repositioned in the exact place as the previous year).
The anomalistic year is the time it takes for the earth to be repositioned at its perhelion--in the same place in its orbit nearest the sun (Jan. 2-3). Speaking of the anomalistic year, Professor E. Raymond Capt says on page 150 of his book, A Study in Pyramidology, "It is five minutes longer than the sidereal year, due to the motion of the Earth's orbit." By measuring from corner to corner of the Pyramid in a slightly different manner, it measures 365.259 Sacred Cubits, which is the anomalistic year.
All of these find their roots in the so-called "Enoch Cycle" of 365, which expressed Time in linear measurements (Sacred Cubits). The relationship between the Sacred Cubit and the Royal Cubit was determined by the area of a circle whose circumference is 365.242 Pyramid Inches. Such a circle encompasses a surface area of 25 square Royal Cubits.
Hence, the "hornet," whose numeric value is 365, became the royal symbol of Egypt, or the Pharaohs in particular. Dr. Bullinger tells us in his notes on Deut. 7:20 (The Companion Bible),
hornet = a fierce kind of wasp. May be taken literally or ... for the terror caused by it... (or) for Egypt; the hornet being the royal symbol.
The Egyptians, therefore, had adopted the hornet or bee as their royal symbol. Egypt was divided into two sections: Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt. (The Great Pyramid was situated at the border of the two sections in the midst.) Pharaoh thus wore a double crown, representing both Upper and Lower Egypt. The symbol for Upper Egypt was a reed; the symbol for Lower Egypt was a bee.
The Egyptian word nsw (he who belongs to the reed) is a symbol for Upper Egypt, and the word bit (he who belongs to the bee) is a symbol for Lower Egypt. When placed together, they represent the domain of the pharaoh, ruler of Upper and Lower Egypt.
For this reason, some have argued that Deut. 7:20 refers to some event where God induced the Egyptians themselves (as hornets) to make war on the Canaanites. Mrs. Sydney Bristowe, in her 1933 book, The Oldest Letters in the World, makes the case that both Egypt and the Kingdom of Mitanni actually helped Joshua conquer Canaan. She says that Egypt helped by refusing to assist the Canaanites when they wrote letters (tablets) to Pharaoh begging him to come to their aid.
Pharaoh refused to help, which confused and discouraged the Canaanites immensely, and their despair is evident in their letters (the Amarna Tablets). Bristowe believed that Pharaoh's motive dated back to the Red Sea experience, which she says brought about three "heretic kings" in Egypt. That is, after the disaster at the Red Sea, brought about by the priests' assurance of victory, three successive Pharaohs essentially were converted to the God of Israel. The priests were understandably upset and later set out to alter Egyptian history to hide this fact.
Anyway, these "heretic" Pharaohs were allied by marriage to the King of Mitanni (north of Canaan), who also became an ally of Joshua, known in the Tablets as Abdasherah, the king of the Haberi (Hebrews). The tablets show that Dusratta, king of Mitanni, helped Joshua conquer Tyre and Sidon north of Canaan. These Phoenician kings could not understand why the Egyptian Pharaoh refused to help them fight Dusratta.
At any rate, this is a possible explanation for the "hornet" in Deut. 7:20. If the hornet represented Egypt at the time, and if the "heretic" Pharaohs believed that Canaan was destined to be conquered by the Israelite "Haberi," then one could say that God caused Egypt to demoralize the Canaanites.
However, we might look at the word as a figurative for "terror" (Bullinger). Gesenius Lexicon says that the word is metaphorical for "ills and calamities of various kinds." Ferrar Fenton thus translates the word in Deut. 7:20 as "fever," implying that God sent illness upon the Canaanites as a war tactic.
After the conquest of Canaan, we read in Joshua 24:12 that the word of Moses had actually been fulfilled:
(12) Then I sent the hornet before you, and it drove out the two kings of the Amorites from before you, but not by your sword or your bow.
This sounds like the "hornet" was a non-Israelite army, for it seems unlikely that a sworm of hornets alone would drive two kings out of their land. More likely, it references the King of Mitanni, allied with Egypt.
This is the twenty-seventh part of a series titled "Moses' Second Speech." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones