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KJV Exodus 9:19

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.

In the above text, we are told that everything that the hail will fall upon will die. The Egyptians who were obstinant left their slaves in the field:

KJV Exodus 9:21, 25

21And he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field. ... 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.

Based on God's promise most of the Egyptian slaves were Hebrews which would entail that it was mostly them who were left in the field.

In other instances during the plagues, the Hebrews were mostly shielded from the adverse effects of these miracles performed by Moses:

KJV Exodus 8:4

And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.

KJV Exodus 8:21, 22

21 Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are. 22 And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth.

KJV Exodus 9:2-4

2 For if thou refuse to let them go, and wilt hold them still, 3 Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain. 4 And the LORD shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children's of Israel.

KJV Exodus 10:4, 5, 21-23

4 Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast: 5 And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field:

21And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. 22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: 23 They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

KJV Exodus 11:5

And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.

There seems to be no shielding in the issue of hail which would seem like many Hebrews died in this miracle performed by Moses

Were Hebrew slaves killed in the hail?

2 Answers 2

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The answer lies in Exodus 7, and recorded below in Exodus 9:26:

“Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I make you as God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall speak to Pharaoh that he let the sons of Israel go out of his land.

But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. When Pharaoh does not listen to you, then I will lay My hand on Egypt and bring out My hosts, My people the sons of Israel, from the land of Egypt by great judgments.

The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the sons of Israel from their midst.

So Moses and Aaron did it; as the Lord commanded them, thus they did. Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three, when they spoke to Pharaoh.” ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭7‬:‭1‬-‭7‬ ‭NASB1995‬‬

Egypt/the Egyptians is the target, and the Israelites are the people of God(My people, the sons of Israel) according to God’s words to Moses.

So no, the Hebrew Slaves were not afflicted by the hail.

God also revealed to us:

But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing will die of all that belongs to the sons of Israel.” ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭9‬:‭4‬

Exodus 9:26 is the primary answer:

“For this time I will send all My plagues on you and your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth.

Only in the land of Goshen, where the sons of Israel were, there was no hail.” ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭9‬:‭14‬, ‭26‬ ‭

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  • ,the question is about those slaves who were left in the fields by their obstinant masters in Exodus 9:21 Dec 19, 2022 at 20:06
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    The answer is found in Exodus 9:20, alongside 9:21, and 9:26, as well is the distinctions that are made in my answer. “Only in the land of Goshen, where the sons of Israel were, there was no hail.” Exodus 9:26 - the sons of Israel were only in Goshen when this event took place. So the only servants that were killed were identified in 9:20-21.
    – Cork88
    Dec 19, 2022 at 20:27
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The word עֶבֶד (ebed) has two distinct uses in the Bible:

  • a household servant, eg, Gen 12:16, 14:15, etc
  • The nation of Israel as a whole in Egypt as slaves, eg, Ex 2:3, 3:7, 5:12, 6:6, etc.

Note that the second meaning refers to the Israelites as construction workers and not household servants.

Therefore, Israelites were not killed in the plague of hail for the following reasons:

  • the plague of hail was aimed only at the Egyptians as per Ex 9:13, 25
  • Ex 9:21 refers to household slaves/servants
  • The Hebrews would have known about how to avoid the damage of the hail by bringing people indoors as per God's instruction in Ex 9:19. Indeed, some Egyptians who heeded Moses' instruction avoided death as per Ex 9:20, 21.
  • The hail did not fall on Israelites in the land of Goshen as per ex 9:26

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