Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
HORNET ( Exodus 23:28 , Deuteronomy 7:20 , Joshua 24:12 ). In all three references the hornet is mentioned as an instrument of the Lord to drive out the Canaanites. By most interpreters a literal interpretation is accepted, but a metaphorical use of the word is contended for by some. Sayce has suggested that the reference may be to the armies of Rameses iii., as the standard-bearers wore two devices like flies. The most plentiful hornet in Palestine is the Vespa orientalis . Hornets attack only when interfered with.
E. W. G. Masterman.
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Hastings, James. Entry for 'Hornet'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/h/hornet.html. 1909.