I believe small balls of fiery sulphur omitted from volcanoes or rifts were at first mistaken for ice hail and called hailstones or hail. Other names are given to pumice stone....snares, darts, etc., but 'hail' or 'hailstones' was sometimes used early on when there was a total lack on understanding of what was happening.
(Quoting a Jew 'Interlinear Hebrew/English. Exodus, Ch 9. And yes, it is a very accurate translation.')
Exodus 9:24 'So there was hail, and fire flashing up amidst the hail, very grievous, such as had not been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.'
It has been assumed that this fire flashing up must be lightening but I have never seen or heard about lightning that flashes upwards. Isn't that completely against the laws of eletricity, which state electricity always takes the quickest route to earth? The 'fire flashing' is not lightning up fire or flames coming from burning balls of sulphur. 'very grieveous' also suggests this 'hail' storm was not normal...so abnormal in fact one like it had not been seen in Egypt since its conception.
Exodus 9:23 'And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven and the LORD sent thunder and hail and the fire ran along upon the ground and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt.'
Again, lightening does not run along the ground but go into it as quickly as possible.
Ez 38:22 "And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
Another example of the ancient Hebrews mistaking ice hail for volcanic sulphur balls, the words 'fire and brimstone' being the giveaways.
'The flame of a devouring fire' cannot possibly be lightening, although many have begged me to believe otherwise. 'His arm' is, I believe, like his 'outstretched arm'....a lava river. Given this volcanic description, what type of hail is most likely, ice or sulphur?
The picture above shows the damage caused by sulphur balls at the Dead Sea. The orange circles are the crystalised rims of the burnt out sandstone having been hit. This demonstrates how hot the sulphur balls must have been and how they could quite feasibly create what looked like lightening sparking when they hit the ground and rolled along it 'ran along the ground' as they set fire to the crops, the houses, etc).
Isaiah 30:30 The LORD will cause men to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail.
Psalms 18:12 At the brightness before him his thick clouds passed, hailstones and coals of fire.
Psalms 18:13 Yahweh also thundered in the sky. The Most High uttered his voice: hailstones and coals of fire.
I am not a geologist but could it be that small balls of sulphur could be due to a volcano spraying out lava at such a rate it comes out in smaller amounts and become spherical in transit?