Of course, this testimony to the people is the reason God smote Sherem in the first place. Sherem symbolized the movement against Jacob and therefore against true doctrine. Consequently, Sherem’s cursing and death redeems Jacob and calls his people to repentance. They understand that a conflict between religious systems has occurred and that Jacob has emerged as Yahweh’s true messenger.
As a result, those who had doubted Jacob now see him in a different light, and repentance begins for an entire people. Perhaps Yahweh did not need Sherem as a preacher because the need was to reestablish Jacob’s preeminence, something that might have been more difficult had Sherem been healed. Of course, Sherem would have taught the truth from that point on, but Yahweh’s purpose was the restoration of an entire order of things, not just this particular debate. This point becomes clear with Jacob’s next statements.