“Then Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Rise up early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh, and say to him, thus says Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may worship me. For this time I will send all my plagues upon you yourself, and upon your officials, and upon your people, so that 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 pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But this is why I have let you live to show you my power, and to make my name resound through all the earth. You are still exalting yourself against my people, and will not let them go. Tomorrow at this time I will cause the heaviest hail to fall that has ever fallen in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. Send, therefore, and have your livestock and everything that you have in the open field brought to a secure place. Every human or animal that is in the open field and is not brought under shelter will die when the hail comes down upon them.’ Those officials of Pharaoh who feared the word of Yahweh hurried their slaves and livestock off to a secure place. Those who did not regard the word of Yahweh left their slaves and livestock in the open field.”
Yahweh said that he was going to deliver the plague himself. There is a warning about a severe hail and thunderstorm that will come tomorrow. Some people heeded the warning. Interesting enough, there are some Egyptian officials who fear the word of Yahweh. They protected their livestock and slaves. Others did not put their livestock and slaves under cover.
“Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward heaven, so that hail may fall on the whole land of Egypt, on humans and animals and all the plants of the field in the land of Egypt.’ Then Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and Yahweh sent thunder and hail, and fire came down on the earth. Yahweh rained hail on the land of Egypt. There was hail with fire flashing continually in the midst of it, such heavy hail as had never fallen in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. The hail struck down everything that was in the open field throughout all the land of Egypt, both human and animal. The hail also struck down all the plants of the field, and shattered every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were, there was no hail.”
This is basis of the fire and brimstone sermons. Then Moses by himself stretched out his staff toward heaven, and Yahweh sent thunder, large hail stones, and lightening. Fire came down on the earth, probably lightening. All the humans, animals, trees, and plants in the open fields were destroyed. However, there was no hail in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were.
“Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron, and said to them, ‘This time I have sinned. Yahweh is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. Pray to Yahweh! Enough of Yahweh’s thunder and hail! I will let you go. You need stay no longer.’ Moses said to him, ‘As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will stretch out my hands to Yahweh. The thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth is Yahweh’s. But as for you and your officials, I know that you do not yet fear Yahweh our God.’ Now the flax and the barley were ruined, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in bud. But the wheat and the spelt were not ruined, for they are late in coming up. So Moses left Pharaoh, went out of the city, and stretched out his hands to Yahweh. Then the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain no longer fell down on the earth. But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned once more and hardened his heart, he and his officials. So the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let Israelites go, just as Yahweh had spoken through Moses.”
Now, we have a change of heart, Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron, and told them that he had sinned. Yahweh is in the right. I and my people are in the wrong. Pray to Yahweh! Enough of Yahweh’s thunder and hail! Pharaoh will let them go. Game over, let’s get out of here. However, Moses, always the skeptic said that he did not think that Pharaoh feared Yahweh. The late harvesting wheat included spelt, a hardy kind of wheat. Moses, however, went out and stopped the hail and thunderstorms. But you guessed it, Pharaoh hardened his heart. Let’s get on to the next plague.