A large, stinging insect, more dangerous than a wasp. The Hebrew term for hornet also means “depression, discouragement.” In (Josh 24:12; Exod 23:28; and Deut 7:20) the term could have a literal meaning or it may symbolize God’s intervention on Israel’s behalf.
12I sent the hornet ahead of you, which drove out before you the two kings of the Amorites; it was not by your sword or by your bow.
28And I will send the pestilence in front of you, which shall drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from before you.
20Moreover, the Lord your God will send the pestilence against them, until even the survivors and the fugitives are destroyed.