9:13 1 The Lord said 2 to Moses, “Get up early in the morning, stand 3 before Pharaoh, and tell him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: “Release my people so that they may serve me! 9:14 For this time I will send all my plagues 4 on your very self 5 and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. 9:15 For by now I could have stretched out 6 my hand and struck you and your people with plague, and you would have been destroyed 7 from the earth. 9:16 But 8 for this purpose I have caused you to stand: 9 to show you 10 my strength, and so that my name may be declared 11 in all the earth. 9:17 You are still exalting 12 yourself against my people by 13 not releasing them. 9:18 I am going to cause very severe hail to rain down 14 about this time tomorrow, such hail as has never occurred 15 in Egypt from the day it was founded 16 until now. 9:19 So now, send instructions 17 to gather 18 your livestock and all your possessions in the fields to a safe place. Every person 19 or animal caught 20 in the field and not brought into the house – the hail will come down on them, and they will die!”’”
9:20 Those 21 of Pharaoh’s servants who feared the word of the Lord hurried to bring their 22 servants and livestock into the houses, 9:21 but those 23 who did not take 24 the word of the Lord seriously left their servants and their cattle 25 in the field.
9:22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Extend your hand toward the sky 26 that there may be 27 hail in all the land of Egypt, on people and on animals, 28 and on everything that grows 29 in the field in the land of Egypt.” 9:23 When Moses extended 30 his staff toward the sky, the Lord 31 sent thunder 32 and hail, and fire fell to the earth; 33 so the Lord caused hail to rain down on the land of Egypt. 9:24 Hail fell 34 and fire mingled 35 with the hail; the hail was so severe 36 that there had not been any like it 37 in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation. 9:25 The hail struck everything in the open fields, both 38 people and animals, throughout all the land of Egypt. The hail struck everything that grows 39 in the field, and it broke all the trees of the field to pieces. 9:26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived, was there no hail.
[9:13] 1 sn With the seventh plague there is more explanation of what God is doing to Pharaoh. This plague begins with an extended lesson (vv. 13-21). Rain was almost unknown in Egypt, and hail and lightning were harmless. The Egyptians were fascinated by all these, though, and looked on them as portentous. Herodotus describes how they studied such things and wrote them down (1.2.c.38). If ordinary rainstorms were ominous, what must fire and hail have been? The Egyptians had denominated fire Hephaistos, considering it to be a mighty deity (cf. Diodorus, 1.1.c.1). Porphry says that at the opening of the temple of Serapis the Egyptians worshiped with water and fire. If these connections were clearly understood, then these elements in the plague were thought to be deities that came down on their own people with death and destruction.
[9:14] 4 tn The expression “all my plagues” points to the rest of the plagues and anticipates the proper outcome. Another view is to take the expression to mean the full brunt of the attack on the Egyptian people.
[9:15] 6 tn The verb is the Qal perfect שָׁלַחְתִּי (shalakhti), but a past tense, or completed action translation does not fit the context at all. Gesenius lists this reference as an example of the use of the perfect to express actions and facts, whose accomplishment is to be represented not as actual but only as possible. He offers this for Exod 9:15: “I had almost put forth” (GKC 313 §106.p). Also possible is “I should have stretched out my hand.” Others read the potential nuance instead, and render it as “I could have…” as in the present translation.
[9:15] 7 tn The verb כָּחַד (kakhad) means “to hide, efface,” and in the Niphal it has the idea of “be effaced, ruined, destroyed.” Here it will carry the nuance of the result of the preceding verbs: “I could have stretched out my hand…and struck you…and (as a result) you would have been destroyed.”
[9:16] 9 tn The form הֶעֱמַדְתִּיךָ (he’emadtikha) is the Hiphil perfect of עָמַד (’amad). It would normally mean “I caused you to stand.” But that seems to have one or two different connotations. S. R. Driver (Exodus, 73) says that it means “maintain you alive.” The causative of this verb means “continue,” according to him. The LXX has the same basic sense – “you were preserved.” But Paul bypasses the Greek and writes “he raised you up” to show God’s absolute sovereignty over Pharaoh. Both renderings show God’s sovereign control over Pharaoh.
[9:16] 10 tn The Hiphil infinitive construct הַרְאֹתְךָ (har’otÿkha) is the purpose of God’s making Pharaoh come to power in the first place. To make Pharaoh see is to cause him to understand, to experience God’s power.
[9:17] 12 tn מִסְתּוֹלֵל (mistolel) is a Hitpael participle, from a root that means “raise up, obstruct.” So in the Hitpael it means to “raise oneself up,” “elevate oneself,” or “be an obstructionist.” See W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:363; U. Cassuto, Exodus, 116.
[9:18] 15 tn Heb “which not was like it in Egypt.” The pronoun suffix serves as the resumptive pronoun for the relative particle: “which…like it” becomes “the like of which has not been.” The word “hail” is added in the translation to make clear the referent of the relative particle.
[9:19] 18 tn הָעֵז (ha’ez) is the Hiphil imperative from עוּז (’uz, “to bring into safety” or “to secure”). Although there is no vav (ו) linking the two imperatives, the second could be subordinated by virtue of the meanings. “Send to bring to safety.”
[9:22] 29 tn The noun refers primarily to cultivated grains. But here it seems to be the general heading for anything that grows from the ground, all vegetation and plant life, as opposed to what grows on trees.
[9:23] 32 tn The expression נָתַן קֹלֹת (natan qolot) literally means “gave voices” (also “voice”). This is a poetic expression for sending the thunder. Ps 29:3 talks about the “voice of Yahweh” – the God of glory thunders!
[9:23] 33 sn This clause has been variously interpreted. Lightning would ordinarily accompany thunder; in this case the mention of fire could indicate that the lightning was beyond normal and that it was striking in such a way as to start fires on the ground. It could also mean that fire went along the ground from the pounding hail.
[9:24] 34 tn The verb is the common preterite וַיְהִי (vayÿhi), which is normally translated “and there was” if it is translated at all. The verb הָיָה (hayah), however, can mean “be, become, befall, fall, fall out, happen.” Here it could be simply translated “there was hail,” but the active “hail fell” fits the point of the sequence better.
[9:24] 35 tn The form מִתְלַקַּחַת (mitlaqqakhat) is a Hitpael participle; the clause reads, “and fire taking hold of itself in the midst of the hail.” This probably refers to lightning flashing back and forth. See also Ezek 1:4. God created a great storm with flashing fire connected to it.
[9:24] 37 tn A literal reading of the clause would be “which there was not like it in all the land of Egypt.” The relative pronoun must be joined to the resumptive pronoun: “which like it (like which) there had not been.”
[9:25] 38 tn The exact expression is “from man even to beast.” R. J. Williams lists this as an example of the inclusive use of the preposition מִן (min) to be rendered “both…and” (Hebrew Syntax, 57, §327).