New Defender's Study Bible Notes
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.
9:6 died not one. It is futile to attempt naturalistic explanations for these selective miracles. The plagues of flies, cattle murrain (probably anthrax), boils, hail, thick darkness, and the death of the firstborn were all visited only on the Egyptians, sparing the Israelites (Exodus 8:22; 9:6,11; 10:23,26; 12:23). These were true miracles, with the purpose of creating Israel as God’s elect nation and of demonstrating this fact to all nations, both to Israel and the Gentiles.
9:9 boil breaking forth with blains. Painful boils with blisters on man and beast throughout Egypt (except with the Israelites) constituted the sixth plague. In this case, the magicians of Egypt could not even heal their own boils!
9:18 a very grievous hail. A tremendous thunderstorm, with great rains and hail stones smote Egypt as the seventh plague, with frightening electrical phenomena in the sky and along the ground, even destroying all the crops of flax and barley that were about ready to harvest. The latter would indicate that this plague occurred possibly in early February. Again the Israelites were spared (Exodus 9:26), certainly serving as a testimony to the Egyptians that, if the fury of their gods was causing the storm, the God of Israel was able to prevent it from reaching His own people.
9:31 bolled. That is, “budded”; a boll is a seed pod, usually roundish.