I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them,
&c.] Deprive them of inhabiting the land; so as many as died of the pestilence were even all the spies who brought an evil report of the good land, ( Numbers 14:37 ) ; with respect to the body of the people, this is to be considered not as a peremptory decree or a determined point; but is delivered partly by way of proposal to Moses, to draw out from him what he would say to it; and partly by way of threatening to the people, to bring them to a sense of their sin and repentance for it:
and will make of thee a greater nation, and mightier than they:
this anticipates an objection that might be made, should the people of Israel be cut off by the plague, and so disinherited of the land of Canaan, what will become of the oath of God made to their fathers? to which the answer is, it would be fulfilled in making the posterity of Moses as great or a greater and more powerful nation than Israel now was, and by introducing them into the land of Canaan, who would be of the seed of the fathers of Israel, as Jarchi observes, as those people were; and this was said to prove Moses, and try his affection to the people of Israel; and give him an opportunity of showing his public and disinterested spirit.