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Deuteronomy: The Second Law - Speech 2

A commentary on the second speech of Moses in Deuteronomy 5-8. The book of Deuteronomy is a series of 12 speeches that Moses gave just before his death at the end of Israel's wilderness journey.

Category - Bible Commentaries

Chapter 14

The Hornets God Used

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.

Hornets and the House of Enoch

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

TOTAL:    = 365

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 had 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. (See map below.)

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 sides of the Great Pyramid are very slightly concave to mimic the curvature of the earth.



Hence, if you draw a straight line between any two corners, the distance in Sacred Cubits is 365.242. This is also the exact number of days in a solar year. A solar year is the time it takes for the earth to complete a journey around the sun. Hence, the linear distance from one corner to the next (AB along dotted line in Figure 1) represents one solar year in time.

The second way to measure the base side of the Pyramid is to measure along the base line of the structure itself (A to A-1 to B-1 to B in Figure 1). This gives a slightly longer measurement. It is precisely 365.256 Sacred Cubits, or .014 Cubits longer than from one corner to the next. This represents the sidereal year, the time it takes for the fixed stars to be repositioned in the exact place as the previous year. It is about 20 minutes longer than a solar year.

A third way of measuring the distance from one corner to the other is by drawing straight lines from the corners to the center of the side (A to A-B to B in Figure 1). This gives us 365.259 Cubits, the longest measurement of the three. It is .003 Cubits longer than the previous way of measuring, and it presents, in Cubits the exact length of the anomalistic year.

The anomalistic year is the time it takes for the earth to be repositioned at its perhelion—i.e., the same place in its orbit nearest the sun (Jan. 2-3). It is .003 days longer than a sidereal year (about five minutes).

Hence, when Enoch built the Great Pyramid (or someone built it by using his knowledge), he constructed the base to represent the lengths of three different years now known to modern astronomers. This built-in phenomenon in the Great Pyramid was discovered by Sir Flinders Petrie in his survey of the Pyramid and reported in his 1883 book entitled, The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh.

All of these find their roots in the so-called “Enoch Cycle” of 365, which expressed Time in linear measurements (Sacred Cubits).

How Did the Hornets Help Israel?

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 center of the border. (See map on page 74.) For this reason, Pharaoh wore a double crown, representing both Upper and Lower Egypt. The symbol for Upper Egypt was a reed; the symbol for Lower Egypt (the Nile Delta) 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. Mitanni became actual allies with Israel.

The Pharaohs after Israel’s exodus from Egypt are known as the “heretic kings,” which may indicate their conversion in some way to the God of Israel. These “heretic” Pharaohs, says Bristowe, 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 the northern part of Canaan, including Tyre and Sidon. The Tablets express despair, because these Phoenician kings could not understand why the Egyptian Pharaoh refused to help them fight Dusratta, King of Mitanni.

Pharaoh refused to help at all, which confused and discouraged the Canaanites immensely, since they thought they had a military alliance with Egypt. 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 lost confidence in the gods of Egypt and perhaps came to believe that the God of Israel was the true God, the Creator. The priests were understandably upset, calling them “heretics.” The priests later set out to alter Egyptian history to hide this national embarrassment.

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 (“hornets”) to help Israel by demoralizing 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.

It seems unlikely that a “fever” or any illness would be the meaning of “hornet,” because illness makes people too weak to move. The “hornets” in this case are said to drive away the kings, causing them to flee, not to become bedridden. It is more likely that “hornet” was a non-Israelite army. More likely, it is a reference to Egypt and its ally, the King of Mitanni.