Exodus 9:13-35

7: Hail

13 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Get up early in the morning and go to Pharaoh. Say to him, “This is what the Lord, the God of the Israelites says: Let my people go to worship me. 14 This time, I will send all my troubles to punish you. I will send them against you, your officers and your people. I want you to know that there is nobody as great as me in the whole earth. That is why I am doing this. 15 Already I could have used my power to destroy you and your people. With one very bad trouble, I could have removed you from the earth. 16 But I have let you live, to show you my power. Then people all over the world will know how great I am. 17 You are still too proud to let my people go.

18 Look! Tomorrow at this time, I will send a very great storm of hail. Nobody has ever seen hail fall like this in Egypt before now. From Egypt's first day as a country until today, nobody has seen a storm like this. 19 Now send your servants out to tell this message to your people. You must bring into your houses all your animals from the fields to be safe. The hail will fall on every person and on every animal that is still outside. They will all die.” ’

20 Some of Pharaoh's officers were afraid of what the Lord said he would do. So they quickly brought their servants and animals inside their houses. 21 But others did not believe the Lord's message. They left their servants and animals outside in the fields.

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Lift up your hand towards the sky. Then hail will fall over all the country of Egypt. It will fall on people and on animals. It will fall on all the plants that grow in the fields of Egypt.’

23 When Moses lifted up his stick towards the sky, the Lord sent a great storm. He sent thunder, hail and lightning. 24 The hail fell and there was lightning like fire. It was the worst storm anywhere in Egypt since Egypt had become a nation. 25 Everywhere in Egypt, the hail knocked down everything that was in the fields. It knocked down both people and animals. It knocked down all the plants in the fields and it broke all the trees. 26 But no hail fell in the region of Goshen, where the Israelites lived.

27 Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron to come to him. He said to them, ‘This time, I have done a bad thing. The Lord is right. I and my people are guilty. 28 The storms with the thunder and the hail are too much for us! Pray to the Lord to take them away. Then I will let you go! You do not need to stay any longer in Egypt.’

29 Then Moses said to Pharaoh, ‘As soon as I leave the city, I will lift my hands to the Lord and I will pray to him. The storm will stop and there will be no more hail. Then you will know that the whole world belongs to the Lord. 30 But I know you and your officers. You still do not respect the Lord God.’

9:30Moses knew that Pharaoh and his servants were not really afraid of God. They only wanted their problems to go away. They wanted the bad things that were happening to stop.

31 At that time, the barley was ripe in the fields and the flax was nearly ripe. So the storm of hail destroyed the flax and the barley. 32 But the hail did not destroy the wheat and other grains. Those crops become ripe later in the year.

9:32Flax is a plant. People make cloth from the flax plant. Barley is a food plant. Wheat is also a food plant that makes grains. These plants had not yet grown as tall, so the hail did not destroy them.

33 Then Moses left Pharaoh and he went out of the city. He lifted up his hands to the Lord and he prayed. Then the storms and the hail stopped. The heavy rain stopped falling on the earth.

34 Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the storms had stopped. So he did a bad thing again. His mind and his officers' minds became hard. 35 Pharaoh still refused to obey God. He did not let the Israelites go. The Lord had told Moses that this would happen, and it did!