But the wheat and the rye were not smitten
Bruised, broken, beat down, and destroyed by hail: the word by us rendered "rye", and by other "fitches" or "spelt", is thought by Dr. Shaw F17 to be "rice", of which there were and still are plantations in Egypt; whereas rye is little, if at all known in those countries, and besides is of the quickest growth; and he observes that rice was the "olyra" of the ancient Egyptians, by which word the Septuagint render the Hebrew word here; and from Pliny F18 we learn, that "olyra", and "oryza", or rice, are the same, and which with the Greeks is "zea", by which some translate the word here:
for they were not grown up;
and so their leaves, as the same traveller observes, were at that time of so soft and yielding a nature, that the hail by meeting with no resistance, as from the flax and barley, did them no harm; and so the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions render it: "they were late"; and so the Targum of Jonathan and Jarchi interpret it: for the wheat harvest with the Jews, and so with the Egyptians, was later than the barley harvest, there being about a month's difference between them: some render the word "dark or hidden"
F17 Travels, tom. 2. c. 2. sect. 5. p. 407. Ed. 2.
F18 Nat. Hist. l. 18. c. 7. 9.
F19 (tlypa) "caliginosa", Montanus, Vatablus; "latuerant", Tigurine version; "latentia", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius.
F20 Ut supra. (Nat. Hist. l. 18. c. 7. 9.)