|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:13-21 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, Jas 5:2,3. 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.
Verse 17. - The children of Israel did so The Israelites set themselves to obey Moses, and gathered what they supposed to be about an omer; but, as a matter of course, some of them exceeded the amount, while others fell short of it. There was no wilful disobedience thus far.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the children of Israel did so,.... They went out of the camp in the morning when it was fallen, and gathered it; which is expressive of believers going out of the camp, leaving the world, and all behind them for Christ; and of their going out of themselves to him, and of their going in and out, and finding pasture and food for their souls in him to live upon: and gathered some more, some less; some that were more robust and strong, that were more active and diligent, gathered in more than others; which may denote the different degree and exercise of faith in God's people; some are strong in it, and others weak; some attain to a greater degree of knowledge of Christ, and receive more grace from him, and have more spiritual peace, joy, and comfort in believing, and others less; see Romans 15:1.
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