And the LORD said to Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, Thus said the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13-19) The plagues fall into triads, or groups of three. This is the first plague of the third group, and presents to us several new features. (1) It is ushered in with an unusually long and exceeding awful message (Exodus 9:13-19), in which Pharaoh is warned that God is now about to “send all His plagues upon his heart,” and that he has been raised up simply that God may show forth His power in his person. (2) It is the first plague that attacks human life; and this it does upon a large scale: all those exposed to it perish (Exodus 9:19). (3) It is more destructive than any previous plague to property. It not only slays cattle, like the murrain. but destroys plants and trees (Exodus 9:25), and ruins half the harvest (Exodus 9:31). (4) It is accompanied with terrible demonstrations—“mighty thunderings,” huge hailstones, rain, and fire that “runs along upon the ground” (Exodus 9:23). (5) It is made to test the degree of faith to which the Egyptians have attained, by means of a revelation of the way whereby it may be escaped (Exodus 9:20). Though the plagues do not form a regularly ascending series, each transcending the last, yet there is a certain progression observable. The earlier ones cause annoyance rather than injury; those which follow cause loss of property; then God’s hand is laid on men’s persons, so as to hurt, but not to kill; lastly, life itself is attacked. The seventh plague was peculiarly astonishing and alarming to the Egyptians, because hail and thunder, even rain, were rare phenomena in their country; and a thunderstorm accompanied by such features as characterised this one was absolutely unknown. The hailstones must have been of an enormous size and weight to kill men and cattle. The “fire infolding itself amid the hail” must indicate a very unusual form of the electric fluid. It is not surprising that the visitation brought down the pride of Pharaoh more than any preceding one, and made him for the time consent unconditionally to the people’s departure (Exodus 9:28).
and say unto him, thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, let my people go, that they may serve me; thus had he line upon line, and precept upon precept, so that he was the more inexcusable, see Exodus 9:1.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13. Rise up early, &c.] cf. Exodus 8:20.
13–35. The seventh plague. The hail. From J, with short passages, probably, from E.
13, 17–18. The announcement of the plague: cf. Exodus 8:1-3; Exodus 8:20-23, Exodus 9:1-4.Verses 13-26. - THE SEVENTH PLAGUE. The sixth plague had had no effect at all upon the hard heart of the Pharaoh, who cared nothing for the physical sufferings of his subjects, and apparently was not himself afflicted by the malady. Moses was therefore ordered to appear before him once more, and warn him of further and yet more terrible visitations which were impending. The long message (vers. 13-19) is without any previous parallel, and contains matter calculated to make an impression even upon the most callous of mortals. First there is an announcement that God is about to send "all his plagues" upon king and people (ver. 14); then a solemn warning that a pestilence might have been sent which would have swept both king and people from the face of the earth (ver. 15); and finally (ver. 18) an announcement of the actual judgment immediately impending, which is to be a hailstorm of a severity never previously known in Egypt, and but rarely experienced elsewhere. Pharaoh is moreover told that the whole object of his having been allowed by God to continue in existence is the glory about to accrue to his name from the exhibition of his power in the deliverance of his people (ver. 16). A peculiar feature of the plague is the warning (ver. 19) whereby those who believed the words of Moses, were enabled to escape a great part of the ill effects of the storm. It is a remarkable indication of the impression made by the previous plagues, that the warning was taken by a considerable number of the Egyptians, who by this means saved their cattle and their slaves (ver. 20). The injury caused by the plague was very great. The flax and barley crops, which were the most advanced suffered complete destruction. Men and beasts were wounded by the hail-stones, which might have been - as hail-stones sometimes are - jagged pieces of ice; and some were even killed, either by the hail (see Joshua 10:11), or by the lightning which accompanied it. Even trees were damaged by the force of the storm, which destroyed the foliage and broke the branches. Verse 13. - Rise up early. Compare Exodus 7:15, and Exodus 8:20. The practice of the Egyptian kings to rise early and proceed at once to the dispatch of business is noted by Herodotus (2:173). It is a common practice of oriental monarchs. And say unto him. The same message is constantly repeated in the same words as a token of God's unchangingness. See Exodus 8:1-20; Exodus 9:1; Exodus 10:3; etc.
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