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Mishpatim

  
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 23:27
 23:28
 23:29
23:28 I will send deadly wasps ahead of you, and they will drive out the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites before you.
Veshalachti et-hatsir'ah lefaneycha vegereshah et-haChivi et-haKna'ani ve'et-haChiti milfaneycha.
23:29 I will not drive them out in a single year, however, lest the land become depopulated, and the wild animals become too many for you [to contend with].
Lo agarshenu mipaneycha beshanah echat pen-tihyeh ha'arets shmamah verabah aleycha chayat hasadeh.



Commentary:

deadly wasps
  Some authorities identify the tzir'ah here with the hornet, Vespa Orientalis, a species that is known to multiply in time of war. It was known as a honey-producing insect (Makh'shirim 6:4), and in Talmudic times, was known to be dangerous (Shabbath 80b; Taanith 14a). Also see Deuteronomy 7:20, Joshua 24:12; Wisdom of Solomon 12:8.

According to others, tzir'ah denotes a type of plague (Saadia; Ibn Janach; Radak, Sherashim), perhaps related to leprosy (Ibn Ezra).

Hivites...
  Only the nations to the east of the Jordan (Rashi). Cf. Joshua 24:12.





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