Moses asks Pharaoh again to let his people go. Pharaoh says no, so God kills all Pharaoh’s cattle. Pharaoh still refuses to let the people go. So Moses spreads ashes in the wind that cause boils to erupt on all the Egyptians. The magicians can’t face him to make him stop, because they are covered in boils. Still, Pharaoh will not let the people go. God warns Moses, bring your people and cattle in, I’m going to make it hail. And it does and There is a tremendous rain storm with hail and lightning such as has never been seen in Egypt. Pharaoh finally relents and agrees to let Moses and his people go. But once the rain and hail is stopped, Pharaoh again reneges.
In other words:Pharaoh still won’t let the people despite his cattle being killed, his magicians getting boils and a seriously nasty hail storm.
(Exodus 9: 11) And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.
Most annoying bit:Seriously – what is it going to take to make Pharaoh let these people go. When is enough enough? Clearly, whatever was happening, must not have been that bad or Pharaoh must have though there were natural explanations because if he believed that these were the works of God, he would not be reneging.
What's Interesting about this chapter?
Reading up trying to learn what the different terms mean – apparently this series of plagues from the last several chapters – takes place over a period of about a year. For instance, red tide is a late summer phenomenon. The frogs occur in the fall and yes, lice/mosquitos do follow the fall rains as do the flies. In this chapter, there is a harvest and this happens in the early spring (Feb, March). So, these plagues aren’t occurring back to back – but over the course of a year and it follow the natural progression of naturally occurring annoyances. In other words, all the plagues are basically natural in origin as they occur regularly in Egypt regardless of whether a prophet is prophesizing or not. However, it is the severity which apparently makes these “miracles.” The essentially natural nature of these plagues does explain why Pharaoh feels comfortable reneging on his promises to Moses.
Moral Lesson Learned:
Don’t stop until you get what you want (Exodus 9)