Dealing with Discrepancies

Then Pharaoh sent and called Moses and Aaron and said to them, “This time I have sinned; the Lord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. Plead with the Lord, for there has been enough of God’s thunder and hail. I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer.” Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will stretch out my hands to the Lord. The thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth is the Lord‘s. But as for you and your servants, I know that you do not yet fear the Lord God.” (The flax and the barley were struck down, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in bud. But the wheat and the emmer were not struck down, for they are late in coming up.) So Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh and stretched out his hands to the Lord, and the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain no longer poured upon the earth. But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet again and hardened his heart, he and his servants. So the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people of Israel go, just as the Lord had spoken through Moses. Exodes 9:27-35

If you are paying much attention to the text, this chapter can lead to some confusion. After all, it appears the livestock die twice, and maybe even got boils between deaths. This looks like the author was just winging it, but he also takes time to explain why the wheat survived the hail storm, and the barley did not. What are we missing here?

The Hebrew word for livestock is translated as “cattle” in the King James version. But it can also refer to other herd animals. So I err on the side of the limitations of translating ancient languages and texts when it comes to second guessing God’s word.

Our takeaway from this subject, it is this: let not your heart be hardened. As soon as the hail stopped, Pharaoh bailed on obedience. Some people are like that about finding discrepancies in the Bible. As soon as they can identify a mistake, they declare the Bible “unreliable.”

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