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of darkness were foiled: and the priests and magicians confounded: all which was salutary to the people of God. But the heart of Pharaoh was still hardened.
THE SEVENTH PLAGUE.
OF RAIN, HAIL, AND FIRE, ATTENDED WITH THUNDER,
Exodus, Ch. ix. Ver, 13. And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
For I will at this time send all
plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know, that there is none like me in all the earth.
V. 15. For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee, and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth.
V. 16. And in very deed for this cause have Iraised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.
V. 17. As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go.
V. 18. Behold, to-morrow about this time, I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now.
V. 19. Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field: for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die.
V. 20. He that feared the word of the Lord amongst the servants of Pharaoh, made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses.
V. 21. And he that regarded not the word of the Lord, left his servants, and his cattle in the field.
V. 22, And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand towards heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout all the land of Egypt.
V. 23. And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground: and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt.
V. 24. So there was hail, and fire mingled
with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it be-.
came a nation.
V. 25. And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast: and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.
V. 26. Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.
V. 27. And Pharaoh sent and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time
Intreat the Lord
V. 31. And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled. V. 32. But the wheat and the rye were not smitten: for they were not grown up.
V. 34. And when Pharaoh saw, that the rain, and the hail, and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, &c. He stifled the dictates of conscience, and acted against conviction.
In the foregoing instances I have endeavoured to shew the aptness of each judgment in respect to the people, upon whom it was brought. This likewise, of which I am go
ing to treat, will be found equally significant and proper. It was foretold to Pharaoh by Moses, that upon the very next morning there should be a grievous rain, attended with hail, and thunder. This must have been a circumstance of all others the most incredible to an Egyptian. For in Egypt there fell no rain: the want of which was supplied by dews; and by the overflowing of the Nile. Hence Tibullus, speaking of the blessings accruing from that river, says,
'Tę propter nullos tellus tua postulat imbres,
Mela likewise calls the country---terra expers imbrium. 1. 1. c. 9. Modern travellers however say, that this is not precisely true. Hasselquist and other writers mention, that upon the sea-coast below, near Damiata, and Alexandria, showers are not uncommon: and that even as high up as Cairo a few drops will sometimes fall from a chance cloud, which passes over. Pocock goes so far as to say, that at Faiume, which is in the ancient nome of Arsinoe, it both rained, and hailed, for the greater part of a morning. But Faiume is, I believe, a day's journey from any portion of
2 ' L. 1. Eleg. 7. v. 25. Hasselquist, p. 453. 3 P. 59.
Delta, or Egypt Proper, and borders upon the high lands of Libya. This is certain, that no country upon earth, to which we have access, has so little rain as Egypt: and particularly the upper part of it. Ουκ ομβριον ύδωρ. Plutarch, is ever
No moisture of the air, says here condensed into showers. assures us, that the air and seasons of this country are always the same. He acknowledges, that at one time there was an instance of rain in Upper Egypt. It was at Thebes, and in the reign of Psammenitus: but he stiles it avaggio Tenyua, something unnatural, and alarming; and adds, that it never happened before nor after. A person, who had resided some time in these parts, told * Aristides, that he never saw a cloud in summer. And even at Alexandria, where there is rain, it seems to be never of long duration. Hence Marcellinus, in his account of this city, tells us --- nullo pæne die, incolentes hancce civitatem solem serenum non vident---the inhabitants hardly ever see the sun obscured by a cloud. But this serenity was more apparent in the upper
'Hasselquist, p. 49. * De Facie in Orbe Lunæ, p. 939. 3 L. 3. c. 10. 198. 5 L. 22. c. 16. p. 265.
4 Tom. 3.