Exodus 9:13 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Bible Comments

With the plague of hail begins the last series of plagues, which differ from the former both in their severity and their effects. Each produced a temporary, but real, change in Pharaoh’s feelings.

Exodus 9:14

All my plagues - This applies to all the plagues which follow; the effect of each was foreseen and foretold. The words “at this time” point to a rapid and continuous succession of blows. The plagues which precede appear to have been spread over a considerable time; the first message of Moses was delivered after the early harvest of the year before, when the Israelites could gather stubble, i. e. in May and April: the second mission, when the plagues began, was probably toward the end of June, and they went on at intervals until the winter; this plague was in February; see Exodus 9:31.

Exodus 9:15

For now ... - Better, For now indeed, had I stretched forth my hand and smitten thee and thy people with the pestilence, then hadst thou been cut off from the earth. Exodus 9:16 gives the reason why God had not thus inflicted a summary punishment once for all.

Exodus 9:16

Have I raised thee up - See the margin. God kept Pharaoh “standing”, i. e. permitted him to live and hold out until His own purpose was accomplished.

Exodus 9:18

A very grievous hail - The miracle consisted in the magnitude of the infliction and in its immediate connection with the act of Moses.

Exodus 9:19

In Egypt the cattle are sent to pasture in the open country from January to April, when the grass is abundant. They are kept in stalls for the rest of the year.

Exodus 9:20

The word of the Lord - This gives the first indication that the warnings had a salutary effect upon the Egyptians.

Exodus 9:27

The Lord - Thus, for the first time, Pharaoh explicitly recognizes Yahweh as God (compare Exodus 5:2).

Exodus 9:29

The earth is the Lord’s - This declaration has a direct reference to Egyptian superstition. Each god was held to have special power within a given district; Pharaoh had learned that Yahweh was a god, he was now to admit that His power extended over the whole earth. The unity and universality of the divine power, though occasionally recognized in ancient Egyptian documents, were overlaid at a very early period by systems alternating between Polytheism and Pantheism.

Exodus 9:31

The flax was bolled - i. e. in blossom. This marks the time. In the north of Egypt the barley ripens and flax blossoms about the middle of February, or at the latest early in March, and both are gathered in before April, when the wheat harvest begins. The cultivation of flax must have been of great importance; linen was preferred to any material, and exclusively used by the priests. It is frequently mentioned on Egyptian monuments.

Exodus 9:32

Rie - Rather, “spelt,” the common food of the ancient Egyptians, now called “doora” by the natives, and the only grain represented on the sculptures: the name, however, occurs on the monuments very frequently in combination with other species.

Exodus 9:13-34

13 And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.

14 For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth.

15 For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth.

16 And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.

17 As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go?

18 Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now.

19 Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die.

20 He that feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses:

21 And he that regardeda not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field.

22 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.

23 And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt.

24 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.

25 And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.

26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.

27 And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.

28 Intreat the LORD (for it is enough) that there be no more mightyb thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer.

29 And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the LORD; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the LORD'S.

30 But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the LORD God.

31 And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled.

32 But the wheat and the rie were not smitten: for they were not grown up.

33 And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the LORD: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth.

34 And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants.