|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 20. - It bred worms. This was a supernatural, not a natural result. It served as a sort of punishment of the disobedient, and effectually checked the practice of laying up in store.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses,.... That is, not all of them, some of them did, and perhaps the far greater part of them:
but some of them left it until the morning; out of distrust, for fear they should have none the next day; being men of little faith, that could not trust God for a supply for the morrow; the Targum of Jonathan says, these were Dathan and Abiram; and so Jarchi:
and it bred worms, and stank; or by an "hysteron proteron", and transposition of the words, the sense may be, that it stank, corrupted, and putrefied, and so produced worms, in which order the words lie, Exodus 16:24, and this was not from the nature of the manna to breed worms so soon, but God so ordering and disposing it, that it should do so; for otherwise it would keep to another day, as what was gathered on the sixth day kept to the seventh, and there was a part of it kept for many ages, see Exodus 16:24, and since the manna was of the meal kind, perhaps those worms it bred might be of the weevil sort, as Scheuchzer conjectures (s):
and Moses was wroth with them; for breaking the commandment of God.
(s) Physica Sacra, vol. 2. p. 179.
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