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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Bible Commentary

Exodus 9

Verses 1-35

Chapter 9

Then the Lord said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, [Now we have the sixth demand.] and tell him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. For if you refuse to let them go, and will hold them still, Behold, the hand of the Lord is upon your cattle which are in the field, and upon the horses, upon the asses, the camels, upon the oxen, and upon all your sheep: there will be a grievous murrain. [or a boil-kind of a disease coming upon the animals.] And the Lord shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die that is the children of Israel's. And the Lord appointed a set time, saying, Tomorrow the Lord shall do this thing in the land. And the Lord did that thing on the morrow, and all [Now that word, all there is in a generic kind of a sense.] the cattle of Egypt died: but the cattle of the children of Israel died not one ( Exodus 9:1-6 ).

That is all of the cattle that died were the Egyptians. It doesn't mean that all the Egyptian's cattle died. But all that died were the Egyptians, not any of the children of Israel's cattle died. You see what I'm trying to tell you? Because later on we're gonna find the cattle of the Egyptians hurt by the hail that God sends. So in the all, that is all of the cattle that died were Egyptian cattle. So it doesn't mean that the cattle were totally wiped out, all of the Egyptian cattle were wiped out.

Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead. And the heart of the Pharoah was hardened, and he did not let the people go. The Lord said unto Moses and unto Aaron, [Now this time they don't, this is one of those again that just comes on the Pharaoh unannounced.] Take your handfuls of ashes from the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it towards heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. And it shall become small dust in the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. [So germ warfare, nothing new.] And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before the Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward the heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast. And the magicians could not stand before Moses because they were covered with boils; and the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not to them; as the Lord had spoken unto Moses. 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, [So another demand, a seventh demand actually.] that they may serve me. For I will at this time send all my plagues upon your heart, and upon your servants, and upon your people; that you may know that there is none like me in all the eaRuth ( Exodus 9:7-14 ).

Again back to Exodus 5:2 ,"Who is the Lord? I don't know the Lord." You're finding out.

For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. For in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power; that my name may be declared throughout all the eaRuth ( Exodus 9:15-16 ).

So this verse sixteen is one of those verses that speaks of the sovereignty of God. "For this very reason I have raised thee up that I might wipe thee out" really "with tremendous power so that all the earth will know." Paul refers to this in the ninth chapter of the book of Romans, as he is talking there of the sovereignty of God. Paul doesn't seek to explain the sovereignty of God, he just declares it.

Now I don't have to explain the sovereignty of God. I can just declare to you that God is sovereign. I can't fully understand God's sovereignty and how that works out with human responsibility, but I know it does. Because even though God is sovereign, we are also responsible for our actions.

In other words, I cannot blame my actions against God. Paul said that there are some here because God hardened the heart of the Pharaoh, or made stiff his heart. And because God said, "Hey look, I've raised thee up for this purpose that I might just actually show My power, that My name may be declared throughout all the earth." So that "If God made me this way than how can I resist the will of God?" You see? If God raised me up for this purpose, then who am I to resist the will of God?

But yet Paul says you cannot take that argument and you can't really reach that conclusion from the sovereignty of God. Yet people do; they say, "Well God is sovereign then who am I? Doesn't make any difference what I do", et cetera, and they use that as an excuse for inactivity, et cetera.

And yet you exalt yourself against my people, and you'll not let them go? Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such has never been in Egypt since the foundation thereof until now. Send therefore now, and gather your cattle, and all that you have in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, [You see there's still some cattle out in the field.] that shall not be brought home, the hail will come down upon them, and they will die. And he that fears the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the barns: And he that regarded not the word of the Lord left his servants and his cattle in the field ( Exodus 9:17-21 ).

So Moses is now giving them a warning. "Tomorrow there's gonna be a hail like you've never seen before and you'd better get your cattle in." Well those who really feared the word of the Lord, obeyed, got their cattle into the barns and they were okay. But there were others who said, "Oh, coincidence", and they left their cattle out in the field with their servants, and of course they got wiped out by the hail.

The Lord said unto Moses, Stretch forth your hand towards the heaven, that there may be a hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, upon beast, upon every vegetable of the field, throughout all the land of Egypt. And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along the ground; and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. So that there was hail, and fire mingled with hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; the hail smote every vegetable of the field, and broke every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail. And Pharaoh sent, and he called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: [What about the other times Pharaoh?] the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. Entreat the Lord (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer. And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands to the Lord; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that you may know how that the earth is the Lord's. But as for thee and thy servants, I know that you will not yet fear the Lord God ( Exodus 9:22-30 ).

So it is interesting that we have now a confession of sin. "I have sinned. The Lord is righteous, I and the people are wicked." But it was an insincere confession of sin. I've heard a lot of people say, "I'm a sinner." Well, it wasn't in any way a repentant kind of a thing. With a confession of sin there must be a real repentance, a turning away from sin in order that there be forgiveness. Confession in and of itself is not enough. There's got to be that turning away from sin. So Pharaoh said, "Hey, I'm a sinner." He'll say it again, but it's an insincere confession.

And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled. But the wheat and the rie were not smitten: for they were not yet grown. And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands to the Lord: and the thunders and the hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth. And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had stopped, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the Lord had spoken by Moses ( Exodus 9:31-35 ).999999999 "

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Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Exodus 9". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/exodus-9.html. 2014.