Exodus 9:19 MEANING

Exodus 9:19
(19) Gather thy cattle.--The peculiar circumstances of Egypt, where the whole country was overflowed by the Nile during some months of each year, caused the provision of shelter for cattle to be abnormally great. Every year, at the time of the inundation, all the cattle had to be "gathered" into sheds and cattle-yards in the immediate vicinity of the villages and towns, which were protected from the inundation by high mounds. Thus it would have been easy to house all the cattle that remained to the Egyptians after the murrain, if the warning here given had been attended to generally.

Verse 19. - Thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field. During winter and early spring, the Egyptians kept their cattle "in the field," as other nations commonly do. When the inundation began (June or July), they were obliged to bring them into the cities and enclosed villages, and house them. The time of the "Plague of Hail" appears by all the indications w have been the middle of February. They shall die. Human life was now for the first time threatened. Any herdsmen that remained with the cattle in the open field and did not seek the shelter of houses or sheds would be smitten by the huge jagged hailstones with such force that they would be killed outright, or else die of their wounds.

9:13-21 Moses is here ordered to deliver a dreadful message to Pharaoh. Providence ordered it, that Moses should have a man of such a fierce and stubborn spirit as this Pharaoh to deal with; and every thing made it a most signal instance of the power of God has to humble and bring down the proudest of his enemies. When God's justice threatens ruin, his mercy at the same time shows a way of escape from it. God not only distinguished between Egyptians and Israelites, but between some Egyptians and others. If Pharaoh will not yield, and so prevent the judgment itself, yet those that will take warning, may take shelter. Some believed the things which were spoken, and they feared, and housed their servants and cattle, and it was their wisdom. Even among the servants of Pharaoh, some trembled at God's word; and shall not the sons of Israel dread it? But others believed not, and left their cattle in the field. Obstinate unbelief is deaf to the fairest warnings, and the wisest counsels, which leaves the blood of those that perish upon their own heads.Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field,.... The servants that were at work there: this is said to denote both the certainty of the plague, and the terribleness of it, that all, both men and beast, would perish by it, if care was not taken to get them home; and also to show the wonderful clemency and mercy of God to such rebellious, hardened, and undeserving creatures, as Pharaoh and his people were; in the midst of wrath and judgment God remembers mercy:

for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home; and there sheltered in houses, barns, and stables:

the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die; the hailstones that would fall would be so large and so heavy as to kill both men and beasts, like those which fell from heaven upon the Canaanites in the days of Joshua, which killed more than the sword did, Joshua 10:11.

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