We are in the midst of the Ten Plagues.
At the beginning of this parsha, God sent Moses to tell the Pharaoh that God will send a bunch of bugs on the people and in their houses if Pharaoh did not let the Children of Israel go. Creepy.
Sure enough, there were bugs all over, even in Pharaoh’s house. “The land was in ruins.” But the Hebrews, in Goshen, weren’t plagued with bugs.
Pharaoh called Moses and told him to let the Hebrews go for three days into the wilderness to make offerings to God. But the moment God took away the bugs, Pharaoh went back on his word! “Pharaoh made his heart heavy with stubbornness.”
So God sent Moses back to Pharaoh and had Moses tell him that all the livestock will have a pestilence (meaning a disease.) None of the livestock of the Children of Israel died, but the Egyptians lost a lot of animals! Still, Pharaoh was stubborn.
Next, God told Moses to throw ash up from the furnace. And the ash turned into blisters on all the Egyptians! Even Pharaoh’s magicians got boils!
But God hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he didn’t listen to anyone.
This time, God sent a hailstorm. But first he warned the Egyptians to shelter their livestock in their houses. So only the livestock of the people who didn’t believe in Yahweh lost their animals.
The hail was pretty terrible. It struck down not only the animals, but the plants in the field and the trees. There had never been such an awful hail in Egypt!
Pharoah begged Moses to stop the hail. But guess what. As soon as the hail stopped, Pharoah refused to let the Children of Israel go.
Food for Thought
Did Pharaoh have a practical reason for not letting the Hebrews go?