The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.
There is said to be something peculiarly terrific in an Oriental thunderstorm. Its vivid lightning and intense darkness, succeeding each other with startling rapidity, are appalling. This is indicated in the words, "at the brightness that was before Him, His thick clouds passed"; that is, passed away. So intense is the light of the lightning's flash that the whole mass of dark clouds seems to pass away, and their place to be occupied for an instant by a mass of solid light, shedding its beams over everything upon the earth like a midday sun. The light, however, is only for an instant — and then a darkness, that may be felt, shuts up the whole from every vision but His, to whom the darkness and the light are both alike. Meanwhile the roar of the thunder, the voice of the Most High in the clouds, is incessant; the lightnings flashing from cloud to cloud, from the clouds to the earth, and from the earth back again to the clouds. Moreover, it seems as if He who measureth the waters in the hollow of His hand had poured them out, for the rain descends in torrents, mingled at times with destructive hail, while coals of fire — balls of meteoric flame — run along the ground (Exodus 9:23).
(David Caldwell, A. M.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.