a very grievous murrain
9:3 a very grievous murrain. This plague only seemed to strike the animals “in the field,” as not all the cattle and horses died (note Exodus 9:9,l9, as well as Exodus 14:9) at this time at least. Furthermore, none of the animals of the Israelites died (Exodus 9:7). The Egyptians worshipped several cattle-gods–Hathor the cow goddess, and Apis the bull-god, among others.