Exodus 16:4

4 Then the Lord said to Moses, "I am going to rain bread from heaven[a] for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. This way I will test them to see whether or not they will follow My instructions.

Exodus 16:4 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 16:4

Then said the Lord unto Moses
Who no doubt had been praying to him, as was his usual manner, when the people were in distress and complained, and was heard and answered by him: behold,

I will rain bread from heaven for you;
though they were a murmuring, rebellious, and ungrateful people, the Lord dealt kindly and bountifully with them; he did not rain fire and brimstone upon them, as on Sodom and Gomorrah, nor snares and an horrible tempest, as on the wicked; but what was desirable by them, and suitable to their present circumstances, even bread, which was what they wanted, and this ready prepared; for though they did dress it in different ways, yet it might be eaten without any preparation at all; and this it was promised should be rained down upon them, there should be great plenty of it; it should come as thick and as fast as a shower of rain, and lie around their camp ready at hand to take up; and this should not spring out of the earth as bread corn does, but come down from heaven; and being such a wonderful thing, a "behold" is prefixed unto it, denoting the marvellousness of it, as well as exciting attention to what was said: our Lord may seem to contradict this, when he says, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven, ( John 6:32 ) , but the reconciliation is easy; for not to observe that it was God, and not Moses, that gave this bread, so though it came from the airy heavens, and along with the dew of it, where it was prepared perhaps by the ministry of angels, and therefore called the corn of heaven, and angels' bread, ( Psalms 78:24 Psalms 78:25 ) , yet it came not from the heaven of heavens, the third heaven, from whence the true bread, the antitype of this, came, even our Lord Jesus Christ himself:

and the people shall go out, and gather a certain rate of it every day;
or "the thing of the day in its day" F9, the bread day by day; to which our Lord may be thought to allude, when he directs his disciples to pray, give us this day our daily bread; as this would be rained every morning, the people were to go out of the camp, and gather it up for their daily use, and which was to be done every day:

that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law or no;
by this single instance of their obedience to his will in going out every morning to gather their bread, that should be rained for them, he proposed to try and prove their obedience to his law in all other respects; what regard would be had to it when it should be given, and what might be expected from them, and likewise whether they would depend upon his providence in this case also.


FOOTNOTES:

F9 (wmwyb Mwy rbd) "rem diei in die suo", Pagninus, Montanus, Munster, Vatablus, Fagius, Drusius.

Exodus 16:4 In-Context

2 The entire Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.
3 The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the Lord's hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by pots of meat and ate all the bread we wanted. Instead, you brought us into this wilderness to make this whole assembly die of hunger!"
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, "I am going to rain bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. This way I will test them to see whether or not they will follow My instructions.
5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days."
6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites: "This evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt;

Footnotes 1