He gave up their cattle also to the hail, and their flocks to fiery thunderbolts.
All Commentaries on Psalms 78:48 Go To Psalms 78
Hippolytus of Rome
Symmachus renders it: Who gave up their cattle to the plague, and their possessions to birds. For, having met an overwhelming overthrow, they became a prey for carnivorous birds, But, according to the Seventy, the sense is not that the hail destroyed their cattle, and the fire the rest of their substance, but that hail, falling in an extraordinary manner along with fire, destroyed utterly their vines and sycamines first of all, which were entirely unable to stand out against the first attack; then the cattle which grazed on the plains; and then every herb and tree, which the fire accompanying the hail consumed; and the affair was altogether portentous, as fire ran with the water, and was commingled with it. For fire ran in the hail, he says; and it was thus hail, and fire burning in the hail. David also calls the cattle and the fruit of the trees substance, or riches. And it should be observed that, though the hail is recorded to have destroyed every herb and every tree, yet there were left some which the locust, as it came upon them after the fiery hail, consumed; of which it is said, that it eats up every herb, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail left behind it. Now, in a spiritual sense, there are some sheep belonging to Christ, and others belonging to the Egyptians. Those, however, which once belonged to others may become His, as the sheep of Laban became Jacob's; and contrariwise. Whichever of the sheep, moreover, Jacob rejected, he made over to Esau. Beware, then, lest, being found in the flock of Jesus, you be set apart when gifts are sent to Esau, and be given over to Esau as reprobate and unworthy of the spiritual Jacob. The single-minded are the sheep of Christ, and these God saves according to the word: O Lord, You preserve man and beast. They who in their folly attach themselves to godless doctrine, are the sheep of the Egyptians, and these, too, are destroyed by the hail. And whatsoever the Egyptians possess is given over to the fire, but Abraham's substance is given to Isaac.