HAIL, HAILSTONES (בָּרָד, H1352; χάλαζα, G5898). Hail is frozen raindrops, though hailstones are often much larger than any single raindrop, sometimes reaching three or four inches in diameter and a pound or more in weight. It usually falls in the spring or summer during severe thunder storms, when raindrops are carried upward by rising air currents and freeze in the cooling air. When the hailstones fall, they often cohere, forming solid masses, which can do great damage to crops and even endanger life.
Hailstones are not common in Pal. but they are not unusual and can be very severe. Occasionally they take place in Egypt. Hail is often mentioned in the Bible, and always as an instrument of God’s judgment. A severe hail was the seventh plague in Egypt (
Bibliography D. Baly, The Geography of the Bible (1957).