And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven
Which must be understood not as after the fall of the cities, and the flight of the islands and mountains, but at the same time; and it looks as if such men that shall escape at the battle of Armageddon, that hail stones from heaven will fall upon them and destroy them; just as the kings of the Amorites and their men were killed by hail stones, cast down by the Lord from heaven, as they fled before Joshua, when more were killed by the stones than were slain by the sword, ( Joshua 10:11 ) the allusion seems to be to the plague of hail in ( Exodus 9:23-26 )
every stone about the weight of a talent;
which is threescore pound weight, a prodigious weight indeed for a single hailstone! such hail stones were never known to fall; the largest I have read of is what Caspar Wesserus assured Mr. Broughton F6 of, at Zurich, which being brought from a field afar off, to the consul, and so must melt in carriage, yet weighed a pound. It may be said of this hail storm, as of the earthquake in a preceding verse, that it will be such as never was since men were upon earth; and denotes the sore, heavy, and even intolerable judgments of God upon the antichristian party: God's judgments are sometimes signified by hail storms, ( Isaiah 30:26-30 ) and particularly the judgments upon Gog and Magog, ( Ezekiel 38:22 ) which may respect the same as here: the Jews F7 now expect a great hail in the times of Gog and Magog:
and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail;
the plague of hail brought down the hard heart of Pharaoh, and humbled him, so that he acknowledged his wickedness, and the sin of his people, and owned the justice of God; but this more terrible storm will have no effect upon these men, to convince and reform them, but, on the contrary, they will break out into blasphemy against God, who caused it to fall on them; it will have the same effect as the fourth and fifth vials:
for the plague thereof was exceeding great;
it must beat down all before it, and be intolerable: whether this hail storm may not also have some regard to coldness and lukewarmness, as Naplet suggests, and so may point at the close of the spiritual reign of Christ, or the Laodicean state, which will bring on the second coming of Christ, and so this effect of the seventh vial will end where the seven churches and seven trumpets do, may be considered; (See Gill on Revelation 11:15).
F6 See his (Zohar's) Works, p. 491.
F7 Shemot Rabba, sect. 12. fol. 99. 1.