Exodus 9:34
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.
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(34) Pharaoh . . . sinned yet more, and hardened his heart.—As Pharaoh had never been so much moved previously, so it now required a greater effort of his will to “harden his heart” than it had ever done before; and thus he now “sinned yet more” than he had as yet sinned. It seems strange that the mercy of God should still have allowed him one other chance (Exodus 10:3-6).

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.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. 31, 32. the flax and the barley was smitten, &c.—The peculiarities that are mentioned in these cereal products arise from the climate and physical constitution of Egypt. In that country flax and barley are almost ripe when wheat and rye (spelt) are green. And hence the flax must have been "bolled"—that is, risen in stalk or podded in February, thus fixing the particular month when the event took place. Barley ripens about a month earlier than wheat. Flax and barley are generally ripe in March, wheat and rye (properly, spelt) in April. No text from Poole on this verse. And when Pharaoh saw that the rain, and the hail, and the thunders were ceased,.... And there was a clear sky and a fine serene heaven, the black clouds were dispersed and gone, and he heard no more the clattering of the hailstones, and the terrible claps of thunder, and saw no more the flashes of lightning, but all was calm and composed:

he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants; instead of giving glory to God, who had heard the prayers of Moses and Aaron for them, and had delivered them from their frights and fears, and the terror and horror they were in, and of letting the people of Israel go, see Revelation 16:21.

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.
34. hardened his heart] made his heart stubborn (lit. heavy), J’s regular word: see on Exodus 7:13.

35 (E). was hardened] waxed strong (or firm), the word used by E: cf. Exodus 10:20; Exodus 10:27, Exodus 4:21 b.

as Jehovah had spoken] This is P’s formula (Exodus 7:13; Exodus 7:22, Exodus 8:15; Exodus 8:19, Exodus 9:12): the clause was probably added here, on the basis of the passages quoted, by the compiler who combined JE with P.

by the hand of Moses. Moses is never said to have foretold what is here referred to him: in Exodus 9:12unto Moses’ is said, which agrees with Exodus 7:3 f. Perhaps the words are intended as a reference to v. 30.

Thunder and hail are not common in Egypt: nevertheless they occur occasionally. Different travellers (see Di., or DB. iii. 891) speak of storms of heavy rain, hail, or thunder in Egypt occurring during the winter months; and Sayce (EHH. 169) states that in the spring of 1895 a violent storm of thunder and hail swept along the valley of the Nile and desolated 3000 acres of cultivated land. Vv. 31 f. shew that the plague took place in Jan., or thereabouts; and with this date agrees the statement in v. 19 that the cattle were at the time in the fields, for the cattle in Egypt are from Jan. to April on their pastures, while from May to Dec. they are commonly kept in their stalls.Verse 34. - He sinned yet more, and hardened his heart. Altogether there are three different Hebrew verbs, which our translators have rendered by "harden," or "hardened" - kabad, qashah, and khazaq. The first of these, which occurs in Exodus 7:14; Exodus 8:15, 32; Exodus 9:7 and 34, is the weakest of the three, and means to be "dull" or "heavy," rather than "to be hard." The second, which appears in Exodus 7:3, and Exodus 13:15, is a stronger term, and means "to be hard," or, in the Hiphil, "to make hard." But the third has the most intensive sense, implying fixed and stubborn resolution. It occurs in Exodus 4:21; Exodus 7:22; Exodus 8:19; Exodus 9:35; and elsewhere. He and his servants. Pharaoh's "servants," i.e. the officers of his court, still, it would seem, upheld the king in his impious and mad course, either out of complaisance, or because they were really not yet convinced of the resistless might of Jehovah. After the eighth plague, we shall find their tone change (Exodus 10:7). Ver 35. - As the Lord had spoken by Moses. Compare Exodus 3:19; Exodus 4:21; and Exodus 7:3, 4

The expressions, "every herb," and "every tree," are not to be taken absolutely, just as in Exodus 9:6, as we may see from Exodus 10:5. Storms are not common in Lower or Middle Egypt, but they occur most frequently between the months of December and April; and hail sometimes accompanies them, though not with great severity. In themselves, therefore, thunder, lightning, and hail were not unheard of. They also came at the time of year when they usually occur, namely, when the cattle were in the field, i.e., between January and April, the only period in which cattle are turned out for pasture (for proofs, see Hengstenberg, Egypt and the Books of Moses). The supernatural character of this plague was manifested, not only in its being predicted by Moses, and in the exemption of the land of Goshen, but more especially in the terrible fury of the hail-storm, which made a stronger impression upon Pharaoh than all the previous plagues. For he sent for Moses and Aaron, and confessed to them, "I have sinned this time: Jehovah is righteous; I and my people are the sinners" (Exodus 9:27.). But the very limitation "this time" showed that his repentance did not go very deep, and that his confession was far more the effect of terror caused by the majesty of God, which was manifested in the fearful thunder and lightning, than a genuine acknowledgment of his guilt. This is apparent also from the words which follow: "Pray to Jehovah for me, and let it be enough (רב satis, as in Genesis 45:28) of the being (מהית) of the voices of God and of the hail;" i.e., there has been enough thunder and hail, they may cease now.
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