Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning, confront Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me, or this time I will send the full force of my plagues against you and against your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth. But I have raised you up[a] for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. You still set yourself against my people and will not let them go. Therefore, at this time tomorrow I will send the worst hailstorm that has ever fallen on Egypt, from the day it was founded till now. Give an order now to bring your livestock and everything you have in the field to a place of shelter, because the hail will fall on every person and animal that has not been brought in and is still out in the field, and they will die.’”
Those officials of Pharaoh who feared the word of the Lord hurried to bring their slaves and their livestock inside. But those who ignored the word of the Lord left their slaves and livestock in the field.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that hail will fall all over Egypt—on people and animals and on everything growing in the fields of Egypt.” When Moses stretched out his staff toward the sky, the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed down to the ground. So the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt; hail fell and lightning flashed back and forth. It was the worst storm in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation. Throughout Egypt hail struck everything in the fields—both people and animals; it beat down everything growing in the fields and stripped every tree. The only place it did not hail was the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were.
Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron. “This time I have sinned,” he said to them. “The Lord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. Pray to the Lord, for we have had enough thunder and hail. I will let you go; you don’t have to stay any longer.”
Moses replied, “When I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands in prayer to the Lord. The thunder will stop and there will be no more hail, so you may know that the earth is the Lord’s. But I know that you and your officials still do not fear the Lord God.”
(The flax and barley were destroyed, since the barley had headed and the flax was in bloom. The wheat and spelt, however, were not destroyed, because they ripen later.)
Then Moses left Pharaoh and went out of the city. He spread out his hands toward the Lord; the thunder and hail stopped, and the rain no longer poured down on the land. When Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder had stopped, he sinned again: He and his officials hardened their hearts. 35 So Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not let the Israelites go, just as the Lord had said through Moses.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the Lord.”
So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, “This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me. If you refuse to let them go, I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow. They will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen. They will devour what little you have left after the hail, including every tree that is growing in your fields. They will fill your houses and those of all your officials and all the Egyptians—something neither your parents nor your ancestors have ever seen from the day they settled in this land till now.’” Then Moses turned and left Pharaoh.
Pharaoh’s officials said to him, “How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the Lord their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?”
Then Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “Go, worship the Lord your God,” he said. “But tell me who will be going.”
Moses answered, “We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, and with our flocks and herds, because we are to celebrate a festival to the Lord.”
Pharaoh said, “The Lord be with you—if I let you go, along with your women and children! Clearly you are bent on evil. No! Have only the men go and worship the Lord, since that’s what you have been asking for.” Then Moses and Aaron were driven out of Pharaoh’s presence.
And the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over Egypt so that locusts swarm over the land and devour everything growing in the fields, everything left by the hail.”
So Moses stretched out his staff over Egypt, and the Lord made an east wind blow across the land all that day and all that night. By morning the wind had brought the locusts; they invaded all Egypt and settled down in every area of the country in great numbers. Never before had there been such a plague of locusts, nor will there ever be again. They covered all the ground until it was black. They devoured all that was left after the hail—everything growing in the fields and the fruit on the trees. Nothing green remained on tree or plant in all the land of Egypt.
Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. Now forgive my sin once more and pray to the Lord your God to take this deadly plague away from me.”
Moses then left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. And the Lord changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which caught up the locusts and carried them into the Red Sea. Not a locust was left anywhere in Egypt. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go.
– Exodus 9:13-Exodus 10:20
The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. From the sky huge hailstones, each weighing about a hundred pounds, fell on people. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.
– Revelation 16:17-21
First, the details of the next two plagues of Egypt:
Plague 7, Hail, Exodus 9:13-35
How was it initiated: Moses warned Pharaoh. Those who heeded the warning brought their slaves and livestock inside. The next day Moses raised his staff into the air.
What / Who were affected: A hailstorm destroyed the flax and barley crops. Any livestock and servants outside were killed. There was no hailstorm in the Land of Goshen.
Could the Egyptian Magicians duplicate the miracle: No mention of the magicians.
In Pharaoh’s Response, who was in control: Pharaoh’s heart was hardened by God (Exodus 10:1).
Relief from Plague: Not mentioned.
Similar Plague of the End Times: Revelation 8:7, The angel sounds the first trumpet. This brought hail and fire mixed with blood. The fire burned a third of the earth’s vegetation. Revelation 11:15-19, the angel sounds the seventh trumpet leading to lightning, thunder, earthquakes, and a severe hailstorm. Revelation 16:17-21, when the angel pours out the seventh bowl, again there is lightning, thunder, and sever hailstorms, including hailstones of 100 pounds. These hailstones will crush people.
Notes: Starting with the sixth plague, it is noted that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Even the mighty Pharaoh was starting to weaken, but God wanted to make sure that Pharaoh did not prematurely release the Israelite slaves. God orchestrated the plagues so that all ten plagues would be performed. The Passover ceremony and the parallels between the Passover Lamb and the sacrifice of Jesus are essential in tying this story together. But also note, God did not make Pharaoh do anything against Pharaoh’s nature. Pharaoh wanted to keep the slaves until they died. If given enough rest from the latest plague, he would have hardened his heart on his own.
Plague 8, Locusts, Exodus 10:1-20
How was it initiated: Moses stretches hand and staff.
What / Who were affected: Locusts appeared making the ground black. Nothing green survived. Note hear that Goshen is not mentioned, but it states in all the land of Egypt. The hailstorm had destroyed flax and barley, but the wheat and spelt had not emerged. The locusts must have eaten the new shoots as they appeared.
Could the Egyptian Magicians duplicate the miracle: No mention of the magicians.
In Pharaoh’s Response, who was in control: Pharaoh made a sign of repentance, but once the locusts were gone, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened by God.
Relief from Plague: Moses prayed.
Similar Plague of the End Times: Revelation 9:1-11, When the angel sounded the fifth trumpet, the first woe started. A star fell to earth, opening the abyss, releasing smoke. Locusts emerged from the smoke. These locusts were armor-plated with stingers. They tormented the people of the earth for five months.
Hail is mentioned in many places in the Bible as being a method for God showing His wrath. Hail was associated with death and destruction in those days.
Today, softball sized hail is common in some areas. Hailstorms can be deadly if someone is caught outside unaware. I have been pelted with sleet. That hurts, but nothing like larger hailstones. You may have seen videos of hailstorms destroying windshields in cars.
Even then, a hailstorm that is so destructive that it totally erased a crop is of plague proportions.
Some may look upon the 100 pound hailstones in Revelation 16:20-21 as being impossible. Hail gets bigger and bigger as the updraft pushes the hailstones back up in the atmosphere. It does not seem possible that 100 pounds of ice could be supported in an updraft, but consider that we’ve had stars falling, one third of the sun, moon, and stars darkening (Revelation 8-9), and something that resembles a supernova, but not completely. It is possible that with the ‘star’ named Wormwood (not Screwtape’s nephew from The Screwtape Letters) crashing into the earth, the earth has established a new orbit, causing loss of the delicate balance that God created when the earth was formed. Under these conditions, it is conceivable to create such updrafts. After all, tornadoes can toss automobiles around today. Why not have an updraft lift something much lighter. Now, your argument would be that no one left on earth could survive this, but this is just before the end. No one is going to survive it, other than those whom God will find in the Book of Life, and they are promised a new earth.
Locusts are a common pestilence that destroys crops. There have been locust plagues in the United States. The fact that the Egyptian plague of locusts happened on the heels of an epic hailstorm led to all plant life being wiped out. How did the Israelites find their way to Egypt? To look for food during a famine. Now, the Egyptians will have to travel to their neighbors to look for food and seed to plant for the next crop.
We see the locusts return in Revelation 9:1-11. As the fifth trumpet is sounded, another star fell to earth. The Abyss opens releasing smoke. From the smoke comes the locusts. (Or could what John saw as smoke be a thick cloud of locusts?) The locusts torment those that do not have the seal of God.
Soli Deo Gloria. To God alone be the Glory.