Exodus 16:1-36

Manna and Quail

1 The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt.
2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.
3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”
4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.
5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the LORD who brought you out of Egypt,
7 and in the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?”
8 Moses also said, “You will know that it was the LORD when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD.”
9 Then Moses told Aaron, “Say to the entire Israelite community, ‘Come before the LORD, for he has heard your grumbling.’ ”
10 While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the LORD appearing in the cloud.
11 The LORD said to Moses,
12 “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.’ ”
13 That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp.
14 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor.
15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat.
16 This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer[a] for each person you have in your tent.’ ”
17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little.
18 And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.
19 Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”
20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.
21 Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away.
22 On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers[b] for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses.
23 He said to them, “This is what the LORD commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’ ”
24 So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it.
25 “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a sabbath to the LORD. You will not find any of it on the ground today.
26 Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.”
27 Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none.
28 Then the LORD said to Moses, “How long will you[c] refuse to keep my commands and my instructions?
29 Bear in mind that the LORD has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out.”
30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
31 The people of Israel called the bread manna.[d] It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.
32 Moses said, “This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.’ ”
33 So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put an omer of manna in it. Then place it before the LORD to be kept for the generations to come.”
34 As the LORD commanded Moses, Aaron put the manna with the tablets of the covenant law, so that it might be preserved.
35 The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan.
36 (An omer is one-tenth of an ephah.)

Exodus 16:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.
ESV
1 They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt.
NLT
1 Then the whole community of Israel set out from Elim and journeyed into the wilderness of Sin, between Elim and Mount Sinai. They arrived there on the fifteenth day of the second month, one month after leaving the land of Egypt.
MSG
1 On the fifteenth day of the second month after they had left Egypt, the whole company of Israel moved on from Elim to the Wilderness of Sin which is between Elim and Sinai.
CSB
1 The entire Israelite community departed from Elim and came to the Wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had left the land of Egypt.

Exodus 16:1-36 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 16

This chapter begins with an account of the journeying of the children of Israel from Elim to the wilderness of Sin, where they murmured for want of bread, Ex 16:1-3, when the Lord told Moses that he would rain bread from heaven for them, which Moses informed them of; and withal, that the Lord took notice of their murmurings, Ex 16:4-12 which promise the Lord fulfilled; and a description of the bread, and the name of it, are given, Ex 16:13-15, and some instructions are delivered out concerning the quantity of it to be gathered, Ex 16:16-18, the time of gathering and keeping it, Ex 16:19-21, the gathering a double quantity on the sixth day for that and the seventh day, with the reason of it, Ex 16:22-30 and a further description of it, Ex 16:31, and an order to preserve an omer of it in a pot, to be kept for generations to come, that it might be seen by them, Ex 16:32-34, and the chapter is concluded with observing, that this bread was ate by the Israelites forty years, even till they came to the borders of the land of Canaan, and the quantity they ate every day is observed what it was, Ex 16:35,36.

Exodus 16:1-36 In-Context

1 The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt.
2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.
3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”
4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.
5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the LORD who brought you out of Egypt,
7 and in the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?”
8 Moses also said, “You will know that it was the LORD when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD.”
9 Then Moses told Aaron, “Say to the entire Israelite community, ‘Come before the LORD, for he has heard your grumbling.’ ”
10 While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the LORD appearing in the cloud.
11 The LORD said to Moses,
12 “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.’ ”
13 That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp.
14 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor.
15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat.
16 This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’ ”
17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little.
18 And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.
19 Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”
20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.
21 Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away.
22 On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses.
23 He said to them, “This is what the LORD commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’ ”
24 So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it.
25 “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a sabbath to the LORD. You will not find any of it on the ground today.
26 Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.”
27 Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none.
28 Then the LORD said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions?
29 Bear in mind that the LORD has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out.”
30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
31 The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.
32 Moses said, “This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.’ ”
33 So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put an omer of manna in it. Then place it before the LORD to be kept for the generations to come.”
34 As the LORD commanded Moses, Aaron put the manna with the tablets of the covenant law, so that it might be preserved.
35 The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan.
36 (An omer is one-tenth of an ephah.)

Cross References 42

  • 1. Exodus 17:1; Numbers 33:11,12
  • 2. S Exodus 6:6; Exodus 12:1-2
  • 3. S Exodus 14:11; Exodus 15:24; 1 Corinthians 10:10
  • 4. Exodus 17:3; Numbers 14:2; Numbers 20:3
  • 5. Numbers 11:4,34; Deuteronomy 12:20; Psalms 78:18; Psalms 106:14; Jeremiah 44:17
  • 6. S Genesis 47:15; Deuteronomy 8:3
  • 7. ver 14-15; Deuteronomy 8:3; Nehemiah 9:15; Psalms 78:24; Psalms 105:40; S John 6:31*
  • 8. S Genesis 22:1
  • 9. ver 22; Leviticus 25:21
  • 10. S Exodus 6:6
  • 11. ver 10; Exodus 24:16; Exodus 29:43; Exodus 33:18,22; Exodus 40:34; Leviticus 9:6; Numbers 16:19,42; Deuteronomy 5:24; 1 Kings 8:11; Psalms 63:2; Isaiah 6:3; Isaiah 35:2; Isaiah 40:5; Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 60:1; Isaiah 66:18; Ezekiel 1:28; Ezekiel 10:4; Ezekiel 43:5; Habakkuk 2:14; Haggai 2:7; John 11:40
  • 12. ver 12; Numbers 11:1,18; Numbers 14:2,27,28; Numbers 17:5
  • 13. Numbers 16:11
  • 14. ver 7
  • 15. Numbers 23:21; Deuteronomy 33:5; Judges 8:23; 1 Samuel 8:7; 1 Samuel 12:12; S Matthew 10:40; Romans 13:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:8
  • 16. S ver 7; Numbers 16:19; John 11:4
  • 17. Exodus 13:21; Exodus 40:34-35; 1 Kings 8:10; 2 Chronicles 7:1; Ezekiel 10:4
  • 18. S ver 7
  • 19. S Exodus 6:2; S Exodus 20:2
  • 20. Numbers 11:31; Psalms 78:27-28; Psalms 105:40; Psalms 106:15
  • 21. Numbers 11:9
  • 22. ver 31; Numbers 11:7-9; Deuteronomy 8:3,16; Psalms 105:40
  • 23. Deuteronomy 8:16
  • 24. S ver 4; Nehemiah 9:20; S John 6:31
  • 25. ver 32,36
  • 26. 2 Corinthians 8:15*
  • 27. ver 23; Exodus 12:10; Exodus 23:18
  • 28. ver 24
  • 29. Exodus 32:19
  • 30. S ver 5
  • 31. Exodus 34:31
  • 32. S Genesis 2:3; S Exodus 20:8; Exodus 23:12; Leviticus 23:3; Deuteronomy 5:13-14
  • 33. ver 23; Exodus 20:9-10
  • 34. Joshua 9:14; 2 Kings 17:14; Psalms 78:10; Psalms 106:13; Psalms 107:11; Psalms 119:1; Jeremiah 32:23
  • 35. S ver 14; Numbers 11:7-9
  • 36. Hebrews 9:4; Revelation 2:17
  • 37. Ex 25:16,21,22; Exodus 27:21; Exodus 31:18; Exodus 40:20; Leviticus 16:13; Numbers 1:50; Numbers 7:89; Numbers 10:11; Numbers 17:4,10; Deuteronomy 10:2; 1 Kings 8:9; 2 Chronicles 5:10
  • 38. John 6:31,49
  • 39. Numbers 14:33; Numbers 33:38; Deuteronomy 1:3; Deuteronomy 2:7; Deuteronomy 8:2-4; Joshua 5:6; Judges 3:11; Nehemiah 9:21; Psalms 95:10; Amos 5:25
  • 40. Joshua 5:12
  • 41. S ver 16
  • 42. Leviticus 5:11; Leviticus 6:20; Numbers 5:15; Numbers 15:4; Numbers 28:5

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. That is, possibly about 3 pounds or about 1.4 kilograms; also in verses 18, 32, 33 and 36
  • [b]. That is, possibly about 6 pounds or about 2.8 kilograms
  • [c]. The Hebrew is plural.
  • [d]. "Manna" sounds like the Hebrew for "What is it?" (see verse 15).
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