Shemot 16

1 6 And they took their journey from Elim, and kol Adat Bnei Yisroel came unto the midbar of Siyn (pronounced "Seen"), which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of Eretz Mitzrayim.
2 And kol Adat Bnei Yisroel murmured against Moshe and Aharon in the midbar;
3 And the Bnei Yisroel said unto them, If only G-d would have made us die by the yad Hashem in Eretz Mitzrayim, when we sat by the sir habasar (pot of meat), and when we did eat lechem to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this midbar, to kill this kol hakahal with ra’av (hunger).
4 Then said Hashem unto Moshe, Hineni, I will rain lechem from Shomayim upon you; and HaAm shall go out and gather a certain daily provision, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My torah, or no.
5 And it shall come to pass, that on the yom hashishi (sixth day) they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.
6 And Moshe and Aharon said unto kol Bnei Yisroel, At erev, then ye shall know that Hashem hath brought you out from Eretz Mitzrayim;
7 And in the boker, then ye shall see the kevod Hashem; because He heareth your telunnot (murmurings, grumblings) against Hashem; and who are we, that ye murmur against us?
8 And Moshe said, This shall be, when Hashem shall give you basar in the erev to eat, and in the boker lechem to the full; because Hashem heareth your telunnot which ye murmur against Him; and who are we? Your telunnot are not against us, but against Hashem.
9 And Moshe spoke unto Aharon, Say unto kol Adat Bnei Yisroel, Come near before Hashem; for He hath heard your telunnot.
10 And it came to pass, as Aharon spoke unto kol Adat Bnei Yisroel, that they looked toward the midbar, and, hinei, the kevod Hashem appeared in the anan.
11 And Hashem spoke unto Moshe, saying,
12 I have heard the telunnot Bnei Yisroel; speak unto them, saying, At twilight ye shall eat basar, and in the boker ye shall be glutted with lechem; and ye shall know [by experience] that I am Hashem Eloheichem.
13 And it came to pass, that at erev the quails came up, and covered the machaneh; and in the boker there was a layer of tal (dew) about the machaneh.
14 And when the layer of tal evaporated, hinei, upon the surface of the midbar there lay thin flakes, as thin as a layer of kfor (frost) upon ha’aretz.
15 And when the Bnei Yisroel saw it, they said one to another, Mahn hu (What is it?) For they knew not mah hu (what [is] this). And Moshe said unto them, This is the lechem which Hashem hath given you to eat.
16 This is the thing which Hashem hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating [need], an omer per person, according to the number of your nefashot; take ye every man for them which are in his ohel.
17 And the Bnei Yisroel did so, and gathered, some more, some less.
18 And when they did measure it by the omer, he that gathered much had nothing extra, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating [need].
19 And Moshe said, Let no ish leave of it until boker.
20 Notwithstanding, they paid heed not unto Moshe; but some left part of it until boker, and [the leftovers] bred tola’im (worms), and stank; and Moshe was angry with them.
21 And they gathered it every boker, every man according to his eating [need]; and when the shemesh grew hot, it melted.
22 And it came to pass, that on yom hashishi they gathered twice as much lechem, two omers for one man; and all the nesi’im of the Edah came and told Moshe.
23 And he said unto them, This is that which Hashem hath said, Tomorrow is a Shabbaton (day of rest), Shabbos Kodesh unto Hashem; bake that which ye will bake today, and boil that ye will boil; and that which remaineth over lay up for you for mishmeret (for keeping) until boker.
24 And they laid it up, saving it until boker, as Moshe commanded; and it did not stink, neither was there any infestation therein.
25 And Moshe said, Eat that today; for today is a Shabbos unto Hashem; today ye shall not find it in the sadeh.
26 Sheshet yamim ye shall gather it; but on the yom hashevi’i, which is Shabbos, in it there shall be none.
27 And it came to pass, that there went out some from HaAm on the yom hashevi’i to gather, and they found none.
28 And Hashem said unto Moshe, How long refuse ye to be shomer over My mitzvot and My torot?
29 See, that Hashem hath given you the Shabbos, therefore He giveth you on yom hashishi lechem for two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out from his place on yom hashevi’i.
30 So HaAm rested on yom hashevi’i.
31 And Bais Yisroel called the shem thereof Manna; and it was like coriander seed, lavan (white); and the taste of it was like flat cakes fried in devash.
32 And Moshe said, This is the thing which Hashem commandeth, Fill an omer of it to be mishmeret (kept) for your dorot; that they may see the lechem wherewith I have fed you in the midbar, when I brought you forth from Eretz Mitzrayim.
33 And Moshe said unto Aharon, Take a jar, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before Hashem, to be kept for your dorot.
34 As Hashem commanded Moshe, so Aharon laid it up before the Edut (the [Ark] of the Testimony), for mishmeret (to be kept).
35 And the Bnei Yisroel did eat manna arba’im shanah, until they came to an eretz noshavet (an inhabited land); they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of Eretz Kena’an.
36 Now an omer [i.e., two quarts dry measure] is the tenth part of an ephah [T.N. an ephah is about one-half bushel].

Shemot 16 Commentary

Chapter 16

The Israelites come to the wilderness of Sin. They murmur for food, God promises bread from heaven. (1-12) God sends quails and manna. (13-21) Particulars respecting the manna. (22-31) An omer of manna to be preserved. (32-36)

Verses 1-12 The provisions of Israel, brought from Egypt, were spent by the middle of the second month, and they murmured. It is no new thing for the greatest kindness to be basely represented as the greatest injuries. They so far undervalue their deliverance, that they wished they had died in Egypt; and by the hand of the Lord, that is, by the plagues which cut off the Egyptians. We cannot suppose they had plenty in Egypt, nor could they fear dying for want in the wilderness, while they had flocks and herds: none talk more absurdly than murmurers. When we begin to fret, we ought to consider, that God hears all our murmurings. God promises a speedy and constant supply. He tried whether they would trust him, and rest satisfied with the bread of the day in its day. Thus he tried if they would serve him, and it appeared how ungrateful they were. When God plagued the Egyptians, it was to make them know he was their Lord; when he provided for the Israelites, it was to make them know he was their God.

Verses 13-21 At evening the quails came up, and the people caught with ease as many as they needed. The manna came down in dew. They called it "Manna, Manhu," which means, "What is this?" "It is a portion; it is that which our God has allotted us, and we will take it, and be thankful." It was pleasant food; it was wholesome food. The manna was rained from heaven; it appeared, when the dew was gone, as a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost, like coriander seed, in colour like pearls. The manna fell only six days in the week, and in double quantity on the sixth day; it bred worms and became offensive if kept more than one day, excepting on the sabbath. The people had never seen it before. It could be ground in a mill, or beaten in a mortar, and was then made into cakes and baked. It continued the forty years the Israelites were in the wilderness, wherever they went, and ceased when they arrived in Canaan. All this shows how different it was from any thing found before, or found now. They were to gather the manna every morning. We are hereby taught, 1. To be prudent and diligent in providing food for ourselves and our households; with quietness working, and eating our own bread, not the bread of idleness or deceit. God's bounty leaves room for man's duty; it did so even when manna was rained; they must not eat till they have gathered. 2. To be content with enough. Those that have most, have for themselves but food and raiment; those that have least, generally have these; so that he who gathers much has nothing over, and he who gathers little has no lack. There is not such a disproportion between one and another in the enjoyment of the things of this life, as in the mere possession of them. 3. To depend upon Providence: let them sleep quietly, though they have no bread in their tents, nor in all their camp, trusting that God, with the following day, would bring them in their daily bread. It was surer and safer in God's storehouse than their own, and would come thence sweeter and fresher. See here the folly of hoarding. The manna laid up by some, who thought themselves wiser, and better managers, than their neighbours, and who would provide lest it should fail next day, bred worms, and became good for nothing. That will prove to be most wasted, which is covetously and distrustfully spared. Such riches are corrupted, ( james 5:2 james 5:3 ) . The same wisdom, power, and goodness that brought food daily from above for the Israelites in the wilderness, brings food yearly out of the earth in the constant course of nature, and gives us all things richly to enjoy.

Verses 22-31 Here is mention of a seventh-day sabbath. It was known, not only before the giving of the law upon mount Sinai, but before the bringing of Israel out of Egypt, even from the beginning, ( Genesis 2:3 ) . The setting apart one day in seven for holy work, and, in order to that, for holy rest, was ever since God created man upon the earth, and is the most ancient of the Divine laws. Appointing them to rest on the seventh day, he took care that they should be no losers by it; and none ever will be losers by serving God. On that day they were to fetch in enough for two days, and to make it ready. This directs us to contrive family affairs, so that they may hinder us as little as possible in the work of the sabbath. Works of necessity are to be done on that day; but it is desirable to have as little as may be to do, that we may apply ourselves the more closely to prepare for the life that is to come. When they kept manna against a command, it stank; when they kept it by a command, it was sweet and good; every thing is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. On the seventh day God did not send the manna, therefore they must not expect it, nor go out to gather. This showed that it was produced by miracle.

Verses 32-36 God having provided manna to be his people's food in the wilderness, the remembrance of it was to be preserved. Eaten bread must not be forgotten. God's miracles and mercies are to be had in remembrance. The word of God is the manna by which our souls are nourished, ( Matthew 4:4 ) . The comforts of the Spirit are hidden manna, ( Revelation 2:17 ) . These come from heaven, as the manna did, and are the support and comfort of the Divine life in the soul, while we are in the wilderness of this world. Christ in the word is to be applied to the soul, and the means of grace are to be used. We must every one of us gather for ourselves, and gather in the morning of our days, the morning of our opportunities; which if we let slip, it may be too late to gather. The manna must not be hoarded up, but eaten; those who have received Christ, must by faith live upon him, and not receive his grace in vain. There was manna enough for all, enough for each, and none had too much; so in Christ there is enough, but not more than we need. But those who ate manna, hungered again, died at last, and with many of them God was not well pleased; whereas they that feed on Christ by faith, shall never hunger, and shall die no more, and with them God will be for ever well pleased. Let us seek earnestly for the grace of the Holy Spirit, to turn all our knowledge of the doctrine of Christ crucified, into the spiritual nourishment of our souls by faith and love.

Chapter Summary


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.

Shemot 16 Commentaries

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.