Friday, October 04, 2013

China Goes Biblical


Hornets have killed dozens of people in China and injured more than 1,500 with their powerful venomous sting.  The Asian giant hornet, known scientifically as Vespa mandarinia, carries a venom that destroys red blood cells, which can result in kidney failure and death, said Justin O. Schmidt, an entomologist at the Southwest Biological Institute in Tucson, Arizona.

As we know:

The hornet is mentioned three times in Scripture:
1.     In this week's reading (Ex. 23:27-28):  "I will send forth My terror before you, and I will throw into panic all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn tail before you.  I will send hornet ahead of you, and it shall drive out before you the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites."
2.    Deuteronomy 7:20:  "The Lord your G-d will also send a hornet against them, until those who are left in hiding perish before you."
3.    Joshua 24:12:  "I sent a hornet ahead of you, and it drove them out before you."

How was that?

The gemara, Tractate Sotah 36a, deals with the question of whether or not the hornet crossed the Jordan River:
A Tanna taught:  The hornet did not pass over [Jordan] with them; but behold it is written:  And I will send the hornet before thee! – R. Simeon b. Lakish said:  It stood by the bank of the Jordan and injected a virus [into the Canaanites] which blinded their eyes above and castrated them below…  R. Papa said:  There were two hornets, one in the period of Moses and the other in the period of Joshua; the former did not pass over [Jordan] but the other did.
Rashi and Nahmanides base their commentary to Ex. 23:27-28 on this passage in the gemara.  Rashi writes:
This is a kind of insect which wounded their eyes and injected poison in them, so that they died…  for our Rabbis have explained in Tractate Sotah (36a) that the hornets placed themselves on the [east] bank of the Jordan and [from there] cast the poison against them.

Now do you get the China-Israel cooperation?

Just kidding.



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