Livestock, Boils and Hail
The Lord (to Moses): Go in to Pharaoh, and tell him, the Lord God of the Hebrews says this, Let my people go, that they may serve me. For if you refuse to let them go, and will hold them still, the hand of the Lord is on your cattle which are in the field, on the horses, on the donkeys, on the camels, on the oxen, and on the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain (infectious disease). And the Lord shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children’s of Israel.
And the Lord appointed a set time.
The Lord: Tomorrow the Lord shall do this thing in the land.
And the Lord did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but not one of the cattle of the children of Israel died.
And Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.
The Lord (to Moses and to Aaron): Take handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains on man, and on beast, throughout all the land of Egypt.
And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains on man, and on beast.
And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, because the boils were on the magicians and on all the Egyptians.
And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them; as the Lord had spoken to Moses.
The Lord (to Moses): Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, the Lord God of the Hebrews says this, Let my people go, that they may serve me. For I will at this time send all my plagues on your heart, and on your servants, and on your people; that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth. For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may strike you and your people with pestilence; and you shall be cut off from the earth. And in very deed for this cause have I raised you up, to show in you my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. As yet you exalt yourself against my people, that you will not let them go? Tomorrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as has not been in Egypt since the foundation of it even until now. Send therefore now, and gather your cattle, and all that you have in the field; for on every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down on them, and they shall die.
Those who feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh made their servants and cattle go inside: And those who did not regard the word of the Lord left his servants and his cattle in the field.
The Lord (to Moses): Stretch forth your hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, on man, and on beast, and on every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.
And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along on the ground; and the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
And the hail struck throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail struck every herb of the field, and broke every tree of the field. And the flax and the barley was struck: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled (had formed its seed vessels – Ellicott’s Commentary). But the wheat and the rye were not struck, because they were not grown up.
Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.
Note: These crops tell us the time of year. Ellicott’s Commentary says, late January or early February.
Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron.
Pharaoh: I have sinned this time: the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. Entreat the Lord (for it is enough) that there will be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer.
Moses: As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that you may know how that the earth is the Lord’s. But as for you and your servants, I know that you will not fear the Lord God yet.
And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh and spread out his hands to the Lord, and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured on the earth.
And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he would not let the children of Israel go; as the Lord had spoken by Moses.