The Second Book of Moses, Called Exodus

Chapter 9

The murrain of beasts, 1-7. The plague of boils and sores, 8-12. The message of Moses about the hail, 13-21. The plague of hail, 22-26. Pharaoh appeals to Moses, but yet is hardened, 27-35.

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh and tell him, 'Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: "Let my people go so that they may serve me. 2 For if you refuse to let them go and will hold them still, 3 Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon your livestock which are in the field, and also upon the horses, upon the donkeys, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep, and there shall be a very grievous murrain. 4 And the LORD shall make a distinction between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt, and there shall nothing die of all that belongs to the children of Israel."'" 5 And the LORD appointed a set time, saying, "Tomorrow the LORD will do this thing in the land." 6 And the LORD did that thing on the next day, and all the cattle of Egypt died, but of the cattle of the children of Israel, not one died. 7 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.

8 And the LORD said to Moses and to Aaron, "Take for yourselves handfuls of ashes of the furnace and let Moses sprinkle it toward heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. 9 And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt and shall be a boil breaking forth with sores upon man and upon beast throughout all the land of Egypt." 10 And they took ashes of the furnace and stood before Pharaoh, and Moses sprinkled it toward heaven, and it became a boil breaking forth with sores upon man and upon beast. 11 And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boil, for the boil was upon the magicians and upon all the Egyptians. 12 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had spoken to Moses.

13 And the LORD said to Moses, "Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh and say to him, 'Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: "Let my people go so that they may serve me. 14 For I will at this time send all my plagues upon your heart, upon your servants, and upon your people so that you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. 15 For now I will stretch out my hand so that I may smite you and your people with pestilence, and you shall be cut off from the earth. 16 And indeed for this cause I have raised you up: to show in you my power so that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. 17 Still you exalt yourself against my people so that you will not let them go. 18 Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail such as has not been in Egypt since its foundation even until now. 19 Now therefore, send and gather your cattle and all that you have in the field, for upon every man and beast which is found in the field and is not brought home, the hail shall come down upon them and they shall die."'" 20 He who feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses. 21 And he who did not regard the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field.

22 And the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch forth your hand toward heaven so that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt upon man, 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 had been none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. 25 And throughout all the land of Egypt the hail smote all that was in the field, both man and beast, and the hail smote every herb of the field and broke every tree of the field. 26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.

27 And Pharaoh sent and called for Moses and Aaron and said to them, "I have sinned this time. The LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. 28 Entreat the LORD (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail, and I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer." 29 And Moses said to him, "As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands to the LORD, and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail, so that you may know that the earth is the LORD'S. 30 But as for you and your servants, I know that you will not yet fear the LORD God." 31 And the flax and the barley were smitten, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in bloom. 32 But the wheat and the spelt were not smitten, for they were not grown up. 33 And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh and spread abroad his hands to 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 had ceased, he sinned yet more and hardened his heart—he and his servants. 35 And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go, as the LORD had spoken by Moses.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Exodus, Chapter 9


[v.13-16] - In this passage, God warns Pharaoh of the tribulation He has in store for Egypt. He then reveals to Pharaoh why He is causing such tribulations to come upon Egypt, which is, in a nutshell, to show His glory. God often times uses tribulations for the revealing of His glory to both the obstinate and His elect. To the obstinate, such as Pharaoh, God reveals His glory through tribulation as a warning of His impending wrath. The Apostle Paul gives a good account of God's wrath for those who are in rebellion towards God in Romans 2:4-11. In addition to revealing His wrath, God uses tribulation to reveal His glory to His elect for their salvation. Paul made this clear in several passages. For instance, Romans 5:3-4 says, "tribulation works patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope." Then, in 2nd Corinthians 1:4, Paul says that God is our comforter in tribulation so that we may offer to others such consolation as we had from God in those troubling times. Finally, in Acts 14:22, Paul reveals that those who are to enter into the kingdom of God must do so through much tribulation. God puts us through adversity in order to base our pride to acknowledge Him as our sole Provider and Savior. This is made evident throughout The Trial of Job, as God had afflicted Job by the hand of Satan in order to prove Job's faith in Him. Through much tribulation, Job's pride was based and he received the blessings of God. Peter referred to this as the "trial of your faith," which is designed to solidify your faith in Jesus Christ for the salvation of your soul (1st Peter 1:3-9). Again, this can all be tied back to Paul's explanation of the purposes of the vessels in Romans, chapter 9. Whether the vessel was made for honor or destruction, they were both created to make God's glory known.

[v.16] - Quoted in Romans 9:17.

[v.21] - From Robert Hawker's Commentary: "I think it worthy observation, that the LORD who has all hearts at his disposal, not only made a difference between the believing Israelite and the unbelieving Egyptian; but between one Egyptian and another. Some of the cattle of Egypt would be needed for the chariots and horsemen in the pursuit of Israel, which by and by was to take place. Hence the LORD inclined some of the Egyptians to take home their cattle to their houses."

[v.27-30] - In verses 27 and 28, we see the first instance of Pharaoh acknowledging that God is more righteous than he is, and that he and his people are wicked. Pharaoh then tells Moses that he will let the people go after he entreats God to stop the thunderings and the hail. Moses then believes the word of Pharaoh and assures him that he will ask God to stop the hail. However, Moses shows good discernment, remembering that God told him that Pharaoh would not yet let the people go (verse 17), for Pharaoh's heart was still hardened. Matthew Henry injects some good pastoral advice concerning Moses' willingness to pray for Pharaoh, despite his stubbornness. He said, "Even those whom we have little hopes of, yet we should continue to pray for, and to admonish." He cites the exemplification of this by Samuel in 1st Samuel 12:23.

[v.33] - Robert Hawker posits that in this verse, Moses is a type of Christ. When Christ was crucified, He was led out of the city and His arms were spread wide to God on the cross. In that moment, Christ fulfilled the law of Moses as the perfect sacrifice and made the way for His elect to be freed from the curse of sin and death. See John 19:17-30, Hebrews 10:1-18 (especially verses 8-10 and verse 14), and 1st Corinthians 15:56-57.