The Seventh Plague-Hail

Jan 11, 2015

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה הַשְׁכֵּם בַּבֹּקֶר וְהִתְיַצֵּב לִפְנֵי פַרְעֹה וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו כֹּה־אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי הָעִבְרִים שַׁלַּח אֶת־עַמִּי וְיַעַבְדֻנִי׃

Hashem said to Moshe, “Early in the morning present yourself to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says Hashem, the God of the Hebrews: Let My people go to worship Me.

Exodus 9:13

וַיֶּחֱזַק לֵב פַּרְעֹה וְלֹא שִׁלַּח אֶת־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה בְּיַד־מֹשֶׁה׃

So Pharaoh's heart stiffened and he would not let the Israelites go, just as Hashem had foretold through Moshe.

Exodus 9:35

The final plague in our portion this week (the remaining three appear next week) is hail. God again sends Moses to warn Pharaoh of the impending plague early in the morning. What makes this plague different, however, is that God gives the Egyptians an escape: bring everything you own indoors, and it will stay safe. Those who fail to heed to warning will see their crops destroyed, their cattle killed, and worse.

 

The hail of the plague is unlike anything we have ever experienced, let alone the Egyptians, who live in a warm climate. The Torah tells us the hail combines ice with fire, a combination which does not typically exist in nature. As the Israel Bible relates, the miraculous combination shows us that anything can exist in harmony to do God’s bidding.

 

The hail terrified Pharaoh, who offered to allow the Hebrew slaves to leave and worship God, but once the danger passed, the Egyptian ruler again reneged on his promise and hardened his resolve to keep his slaves.

 

Virtual Classroom Discussion

The Torah relates that every time Moses entreats God to end a plague, he first leaves Pharaoh’s presence. In fact, by our plague Moses says he must first leave the city! Why do you think that is? After all, isn’t God present everywhere?

 

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