Moses tells the people that God promises to bless them if they keep His commandments. If the people live up to their end of the covenant, God says He will give them health, wealth, bounty and fertility. He will chase away their enemies and give them victory.
Should the people worry that the enemy is too numerous, Moses reassures them God will be by their side, fighting on their behalf. He Who rained havoc down on Egypt will visit the same tribulations upon Israel’s enemies. God will also only run them out of the land little by little, not all at once. The people will be left to destroy the idols of the enemy.
The Israel Bible asks why it would be comforting for the people to know God will expel their enemies little by little rather than all at once. The answer, the Israel Bible explains, is in the second half of the verse, where it says, “lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee.” If the land is abandoned, it will be taken over by wild animals, making it harder for the Israelites to settle. So, too, in modern times, the return to Israel has taken place little by little.
Virtual Classroom Discussion
Moses says God will chase away Israel’s enemies, then adds in verse 20 that He will send the hornet among them. Why do you think this would be more terrifying? What could the hornet represent?