Exodus 23:28

Hebrew Bible

26 No woman will miscarry her young or be barren in your land. I will fulfill the number of your days. 27 “I will send my terror before you, and I will alarm all the people whom you encounter; I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. 28 I will send hornets before you that will drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite before you. 29 I will not drive them out before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild animals multiply against you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you become fruitful and inherit the land.

Wisdom of Solomon 12:8


6 these parents who murder helpless lives, you willed to destroy by the hands of our ancestors, 7 so that the land most precious of all to you might receive a worthy colony of the servants of God. 8 But even these you spared, since they were but mortals, and sent wasps as forerunners of your army to destroy them little by little, 9 though you were not unable to give the ungodly into the hands of the righteous in battle, or to destroy them at one blow by dread wild animals or your stern word. 10 But judging them little by little you gave them an opportunity to repent, though you were not unaware that their origin was evil and their wickedness inborn, and that their way of thinking would never change.

 Notes and References

"... Wisdom of Solomon 11:15-12:27 ... The digression which begins at 11:17 appears to have two aims. One is to develop further the disciplinary explanation for suffering adumbrated in verses 9–10 in the context of the theological problems presented by the belief in Israel’s election; the other is to explain certain features of the text of Exodus. Why were there ten plagues, gradually escalating in seriousness, and not one knockout blow of which God was certainly capable (verses 17–20)? Why does Exodus 23:28–30 say that God sent hornets/wasps in advance of the Israelite invasion of Canaan and then only gradually expelled the Canaanites (12:8)? One immediate explanation for the first nine of the ten plagues is the author’s sophisticated version of the lex talionis (11:16; reprised in 12:23), but the real answer is that God was allowing these nations the same opportunity for repentance as was given to Israel ..."

Hayman, A. Peter Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible: Wisdom of Solomon (pp. 58-59) William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2019

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