Exodus 9:22
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.
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(22) Upon every herb of the field.—The damage that hail can do to crops is well known, and has given rise among ourselves to a special form of insurance. Such a storm as that here described would necessarily have destroyed all vegetation that was more than a few inches high, and must have greatly injured shrubs and fruit-trees. (See Exodus 9:25; Exodus 9:31.)

Exodus 9:22-23. Upon man — Upon those men that presumed to continue in the field after this admonition. The Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt — This was the more extraordinary, as rain seldom falls in Egypt, and in some parts of the country is scarcely known at all. And snow and hail are still more rare, the climate not being so cold as to produce them. Sometimes, however, they do fall, as is implied in the next verse, and is attested by eye-witnesses.

9:22-35 Woful havoc this hail made: it killed both men and cattle; the corn above ground was destroyed, and that only preserved which as yet was not come up. The land of Goshen was preserved. God causes rain or hail on one city and not on another, either in mercy or in judgment. Pharaoh humbled himself to Moses. No man could have spoken better: he owns himself wrong; he owns that the Lord is righteous; and God must be justified when he speaks, though he speaks in thunder and lightning. Yet his heart was hardened all this while. Moses pleads with God: though he had reason to think Pharaoh would repent of his repentance, and he told him so, yet he promises to be his friend. Moses went out of the city, notwithstanding the hail and lightning which kept Pharaoh and his servants within doors. Peace with God makes men thunder-proof. Pharaoh was frightened by the tremendous judgment; but when that was over, his fair promises were forgotten. Those that are not bettered by judgments and mercies, commonly become worse.The word of the Lord - This gives the first indication that the warnings had a salutary effect upon the Egyptians.20, 21. He that feared the word of the Lord … regarded not, &c.—Due premonition, it appears, had been publicly given of the impending tempest—the cattle seem to have been sent out to graze, which is from January to April, when alone pasturage can be obtained, and accordingly the cattle were in the fields. This storm occurring at that season, not only struck universal terror into the minds of the people, but occasioned the destruction of all—people and cattle—which, in neglect of the warning, had been left in the fields, as well as of all vegetation [Ex 9:25]. It was the more appalling because hailstones in Egypt are small and of little force; lightning also is scarcely ever known to produce fatal effects; and to enhance the wonder, not a trace of any storm was found in Goshen [Ex 9:26]. Upon man, i.e. upon those men that presumed to continue in the field after this admonition.

And the Lord said unto Moses,.... When the morrow was come, the fifth day of the month Abib:

stretch forth thine hand toward heaven; with his rod in it, as appears from the next verse, to show that the following plague would come from the heaven, that is, the air, and from God, who dwells in the heaven of heavens:

that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt; not only in that spot, and near it, where Moses stood, and from that part of the heaven towards which he stretched forth his hand, but from the whole heaven all over the land of Egypt; which shows it to be an unusual and extraordinary hail, for a hail storm seldom reaches far, a mile it may be, or some such space; but never was such an one heard of as to reach through a whole country, and so large an one as Egypt:

upon man and upon beast; such as belonged to those who would take no warning, nor attend to the word of the Lord to fetch home their servants and cattle:

and upon every herb of the field throughout the land of Egypt; it should fall so thick, that scarce an herb would escape it.

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.
Verse 22. - Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven. The action was appropriate, as the plague was to come from the heaven. Similarly, in the first and second plagues, Aaron's hand had been stretched out upon the waters (Exodus 7:19, 20; Exodus 8:6); and in the third upon "the dust of the ground" (Exodus 8:17). And upon every herb of the field - i.e., upon all forms of vegetable life. (Compare Genesis 1:30; Genesis 9:3.) Exodus 9:22The good advice to be given by Moses to the king, to secure the men and cattle that were in the field, i.e., to put them under shelter, which was followed by the God-fearing Egyptians (Exodus 9:21), was a sign of divine mercy, which would still rescue the hardened man and save him from destruction. Even in Pharaoh's case the possibility still existed of submission to the will of God; the hardening was not yet complete. But as he paid no heed to the word of the Lord, the predicted judgment was fulfilled (Exodus 9:22-26). "Jehovah gave voices" (קלת); called "voices of God" in Exodus 9:28. This term is applied to the thunder (cf. Exodus 19:16; Exodus 20:18; Psalm 29:3-9), as being the mightiest manifestation of the omnipotence of God, which speaks therein to men (Revelation 10:3-4), and warns them of the terrors of judgment. These terrors were heightened by masses of fire, which came down from the sky along with the hail that smote man and beast in the field, destroyed the vegetables, and shattered the trees. "And fire ran along upon the ground;" תּהלך is a Kal, though it sounds like Hithpael, and signifies grassari, as in Psalm 73:9.
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