23:27 “I will send my terror 1 before you, and I will destroy 2 all the people whom you encounter; I will make all your enemies turn their backs 3 to you. 23:28 I will send 4 hornets before you that will drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite before you. 23:29 I will not drive them out before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild animals 5 multiply against you. 23:30 Little by little 6 I will drive them out before you, until you become fruitful and inherit the land. 23:31 I will set 7 your boundaries from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert to the River, 8 for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you.
1 tn The word for “terror” is אֵימָתִי (’emati); the word has the thought of “panic” or “dread.” God would make the nations panic as they heard of the exploits and knew the Israelites were drawing near. U. Cassuto thinks the reference to “hornets” in v. 28 may be a reference to this fear, an unreasoning dread, rather than to another insect invasion (Exodus, 308). Others suggest it is symbolic of an invading army or a country like Egypt or literal insects (see E. Neufeld, “Insects as Warfare Agents in the Ancient Near East,” Or 49 : 30-57).
2 tn Heb “kill.”
3 tn The text has “and I will give all your enemies to you [as] a back.” The verb of making takes two accusatives, the second being the adverbial accusative of product (see GKC 371-72 §117.ii, n. 1).
4 tn Heb “and I will send.”
5 tn Heb “the beast of the field.”
6 tn The repetition expresses an exceptional or super-fine quality (see GKC 396 §123.e).
7 tn The form is a perfect tense with vav consecutive.
8 tn In the Hebrew Bible “the River” usually refers to the Euphrates (cf. NASB, NCV, NRSV, TEV, CEV, NLT). There is some thought that it refers to a river Nahr el Kebir between Lebanon and Syria. See further W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:447; and G. W. Buchanan, The Consequences of the Covenant (NovTSup), 91-100.