hornet Summary and Overview
hornet in Easton's Bible Dictionary
Heb. tsir'ah, "stinging", (Ex. 23:28; Deut. 7:20; Josh. 24:12). The word is used in these passages as referring to some means by which the Canaanites were to be driven out from before the Israelites. Some have supposed that the word is used in a metaphorical sense as the symbol of some panic which would seize the people as a "terror of God" (Gen. 35:5), the consternation with which God would inspire the Canaanites. In Israel there are four species of hornets, differing from our hornets, being larger in size, and they are very abundant. They "attack human beings in a very furious manner." "The furious attack of a swarm of hornets drives cattle and horses to madness, and has even caused the death of the animals."
hornet in Smith's Bible Dictionary
The hornet bears a general resemblance to the common wasp, only it is larger. It is exceedingly fierce and voracious, especially in hot climates and its sting is frequently dangerous. In Scripture the hornet is referred to only by the means which Jehovah employed for the extirpation of the Canaanites. #Ex 23:28; De 7:20; Jos 24:12| Wisd. 12:8. (It is said that the Phaselitae, a Phoenician people, were driven from their locality by hornets; and other examples are given in Paxton's "Illustrations of Scripture," 1:303.--ED.)
hornet in Schaff's Bible Dictionary
HOR'NET , a very large, strong, and bold insect of the wasp family, remarkable for its irritability and for the severity of its sting. Deut 7:20. Hornets were employed as the instruments of the divine judgments upon the enemies of Israel, Ex 23:28; Josh 24:12. The furious attack of these insects often drives horses or cattle to madness, and profane history tells of districts rendered almost uninhabitable by them. Capt. Warren says: "The hornets in Palestine are very numerous, and attack human beings in the most furious manner. I can readily conceive the rout of an army being occasioned by them."
hornet in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
tsireah. Whence Zoreah is named (Joshua 15:38). In Exodus 23:28, "I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite," etc., is perhaps figurative for I will send terror on them (Joshua 2:11; Deuteronomy 2:25), so that they will flee as if before a swarm of hornets. So "bees" (Deuteronomy 1:44; Psalm 118:12).