(Exo 9:1 NASB) Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and speak to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me.
Exo 9:1: Keep in mind that the demand from Pharaoh is to let the people serve Elohim. Elohim did not demand total release for Israel from Pharaoh at this time. The demand was only to let them go a three days journey to make sacrifices to Elohim.
(Exo 9:2 NASB) “For if you refuse to let them go, and continue to hold them,
(Exo 9:3 NASB) behold, the hand of the LORD will come with a very severe pestilence on your livestock which are in the field, on the horses, on the donkeys, on the camels, on the herds, and on the flocks.
(Exo 9:4 NASB) “But the LORD will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing will die of all that belongs to the sons of Israel.”‘”
Exo 9:4: Like much of the USA and world today, the Egyptians held almost every animal in idolatrous reverence. But some were held in particular veneration, such as the ox, cow and ram. Apis was a former sacred bull worshiped at Memphis. Mnevis was a former sacred bull worshiped at Heliopolis. Cows were worshiped at Memphis and throughout Egypt.
The plague that struck the animals in the field (it did not affect those in shelters) was probably anthrax or some similar disease. The mention of camels is interesting. Scoffers often claim that camels were not domesticated until centuries after the time of the Exodus. Egyptian texts until about 1530 BCE are silent on camels. However some ancient texts describe a “donkey-of-the-sea-land” that fits the description of a camel. A Sumerian text of that era describes drinking camels milk. A braided chord made of camels hair was found in Egypt dated circa 2000 BCE. A tiny bronze figurine of a camel was found that is believed to be earlier than 2100 BC. Therefore the camel mentioned here is no problem for the literalist.
(Exo 9:5 NASB) And the LORD set a definite time, saying, “Tomorrow the LORD will do this thing in the land.”
Exo 9:5: Elohim is telling them where, upon what, and when this plague will transpire. There will be no doubt where the plague came from.
(Exo 9:6 NASB) So the LORD did this thing on the morrow, and all the livestock of Egypt died; but of the livestock of the sons of Israel, not one died.
(Exo 9:7 NASB) And Pharaoh sent, and behold, there was not even one of the livestock of Israel dead. But the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.
Exo 9:7: Pharaoh inquired whether the livestock of Israel survived to see if the precise prophecy came true. He found that it did. But his heart was again hardened.
(Exo 9:8 NASB) Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Take for yourselves handfuls of soot from a kiln, and let Moses throw it toward the sky in the sight of Pharaoh.
Exo 9:8: Moses and Aaron were to take handfuls of soot from a kiln. They had several cities in Egypt in which at particular seasons they sacrificed men by burning them alive in kilns. The ashes of the victims were then scattered up in the air, which was supposed to bring some sort of blessing.
Therefore, Moses performed a similar act. But there was no blessing involved.
(Exo 9:9 NASB) “And it will become fine dust over all the land of Egypt, and will become boils breaking out with sores on man and beast through all the land of Egypt.”
Exo 9:9: The description of what happened here and the reaction to it appears sounds similar to anthrax. The skin ulcerations and malignant pustules described here are characteristic of anthrax, as well as it’s mode of transmission.
(Exo 9:10 NASB) So they took soot from a kiln, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses threw it toward the sky, and it became boils breaking out with sores on man and beast.
(Exo 9:11 NASB) And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians as well as on all the Egyptians.
Exo 9:11: The magicians could not stand before Moses due to the plague. Paul spoke of this in one of his letters to Timothy (2 Tim. 3:8-9). Notice that Paul says Jannes and Jambres were said to be engaging in “folly.”
(Exo 9:12 NASB) And the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not listen to them, just as the LORD had spoken to Moses.
Exo 9:12: Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. This is obviously an expression being used. Pharaoh had an insensibility of his mind upon which neither judgments nor mercies make any abiding impressions at all.
(Exo 9:13 NASB) Then the LORD said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me.
(Exo 9:14 NASB) “For this time I will send all My plagues on you and your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth.
Exo 9:14: Elohim will not put up with Pharaoh’s disobedience. It took these strong measures to let the world know that there is none like Elohim.
(Exo 9:15 NASB) “For if by now I had put forth My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, you would then have been cut off from the earth.
Exo 9:15: If Elohim wanted to actually put forth His hand, He would have struck them all dead. They would have been totally cut off from the face of the earth. But He did not do that. Why didn’t He?
(Exo 9:16 NASB) “But, indeed, for this cause I have allowed you to remain, in order to show you My power, and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth.
Exo 9:16: Elohim allows those who are evil to remain in order to show His power. Paul quotes this passage to prove that very same point.and in order to demonstrate the sovereignty of Elohim (Romans 9:17-23).
(Exo 9:17 NASB) “Still you exalt yourself against My people by not letting them go.
Exo 9:17: The stubbornness of Pharaoh was his way of exalting himself as a god before Elohim.
(Exo 9:18 NASB) “Behold, about this time tomorrow, I will send a very heavy hail, such as has not been seen in Egypt from the day it was founded until now.
Exo 9:18: This plague would have been particularly upsetting to the Egyptians because they got virtually no rain in their land. Water was supplied by the flooding of the Nile and by morning dew.
This also would have destroyed their crops. They would have lost their barley which they used for food and trade and they would have lost their flax which they made their linen clothing out of.
(Exo 9:19 NASB) “Now therefore send, bring your livestock and whatever you have in the field to safety. Every man and beast that is found in the field and is not brought home, when the hail comes down on them, will die.”‘”
(Exo 9:20 NASB) The one among the servants of Pharaoh who feared the word of the LORD made his servants and his livestock flee into the houses;
Exo 9:20: There were those among the servants of Pharaoh who feared the Word of Yahweh. They believed what He said and acted upon it.
(Exo 9:21 NASB) but he who paid no regard to the word of the LORD left his servants and his livestock in the field.
(Exo 9:22 NASB) Now the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that hail may fall on all the land of Egypt, on man and on beast and on every plant of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.”
(Exo 9:23 NASB) And Moses stretched out his staff toward the sky, and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth. And the LORD rained hail on the land of Egypt.
Exo 9:23: The Egyptians probably would have expected their gods such as Nut and Shu and Seth (the protector of the skies) to protect them from something like this. They were powerless against Elohim.
(Exo 9:24 NASB) So there was hail, and fire flashing continually in the midst of the hail, very severe, such as had not been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
(Exo 9:25 NASB) And the hail struck all that was in the field through all the land of Egypt, both man and beast; the hail also struck every plant of the field and shattered every tree of the field.
Exo 9:25: It is amazing that the structures in Egypt survived this hail. Even the trees were shattered. It is likely that the plague only struck the fields in Egypt, and not the residences.
(Exo 9:26 NASB) Only in the land of Goshen, where the sons of Israel were, there was no hail.
Exo 9:26: Once again, the hail did not strike the land of Goshen at all. Israel was not harmed.
(Exo 9:27 NASB) Then Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “I have sinned this time; the LORD is the righteous one, and I and my people are the wicked ones.
(Exo 9:28 NASB) “Make supplication to the LORD, for there has been enough of God’s thunder and hail; and I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer.”
(Exo 9:29 NASB) And Moses said to him, “As soon as I go out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the LORD; the thunder will cease, and there will be hail no longer, that you may know that the earth is the LORD’S.
Exo 9:29: Moses repeats the reason for these plagues.
(Exo 9:30 NASB) “But as for you and your servants, I know that you do not yet fear the LORD God.”
(Exo 9:31 NASB) (Now the flax and the barley were ruined, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in bud.
(Exo 9:32 NASB) But the wheat and the spelt were not ruined, for they ripen late.)
Exo 9:32: The vivid eyewitness detail is provided to explain why there were any crops left after the earlier plague of locusts.
(Exo 9:33 NASB) So Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread out his hands to the LORD; and the thunder and the hail ceased, and rain no longer poured on the earth.
(Exo 9:34 NASB) But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned again and hardened his heart, he and his servants.
(Exo 9:35 NASB) And Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not let the sons of Israel go, just as the LORD had spoken through Moses.
Exo 9:35: Pharaoh’s heart was hardened again. His servants hearts were hardened also. He did not let the people go. This is just what Elohim said would happen.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas