|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:32-36 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, Mt 4:4. The comforts of the Spirit are hidden manna, Re 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.
Verse 35. - The children of Israel did eat manna forty years. Kalisch observes that the actual time was not forty full years, but about one month short of that period, since the manna began after the fifteenth day of the second month of the first year (verse 1) and terminated just after Passover of the forty-first year (Joshua 5:10-12). It may be added that Mesas cannot have written the present passage later than about the eleventh month of the fortieth year (Deuteronomy 1:3; Deuteronomy 34:10; Joshua 4:19); when the manna had continued thirty-nine years and nine months. Until they came to a land inhabited. Kalisch translates "the land of their habitation," or "which they were to inhabit," remarking that they had reached inhabited countries, e.g., those of Sihon and Og, much earlier. But the words will not bear this rendering. What the writer intends to note is, that the manna continued all the time they were in the wilderness, until they reached inhabited territory, and then further (in the next clause), that it lasted after that, until they came to the borders of Canaan. He does not say that it even then left off. He writes exactly as Moses might be expected to have written towards the close of his life. A later writer would, as Canon Cook observes, have been more specific.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years,.... Wanting thirty days, as Jarchi observes; reckoning from their coming out of Egypt, and the passover they kept there, to their coming to the borders of the land of Canaan to Gilgal, and keeping the passover there, when the manna ceased, were just forty years; but then they had been out of Egypt a month before the manna fell; but the round number is given, as is common: it was on the sixteenth of Ijar, the second month, the manna fell; and it was in the month of Nisan, about the sixteenth or seventeenth of the month, that it ceased, see Joshua 5:10.
until they came to a land inhabited: where the ground was cultivated, and corn was produced to make bread of, which could not be had in a wilderness; and therefore God graciously provided for them every day, and fed them with manna till they came to such a place:
they did eat manna until they came to the borders of the land of Canaan; that is, Gilgal: the Targum of Jonathan is,"they ate manna forty years in the life of Moses, until they came unto the land of habitation; they ate manna forty days after his death, until they passed over Jordan, and entered the extremities of the land of Canaan:''some have thought this verse was not written by Moses, but Joshua, or some other hand after his death since he did not live quite to the cessation of the manna; which need not be much disputed or objected to; though it may be considered that Moses led Israel to the borders of the land of Canaan, though he did not go with them so far as Gilgal, and died before the manna ceased; yet, as he was assured of it, he could write this in certain faith of it, and especially by a spirit of prophecy: this signifies that the children of God are to live by faith upon Christ, while they are in the wilderness of this world; nor will this spiritual food be wanting to them while in it; but when they are come to Canaan's land, to the heavenly glory, they will no more walk and live by faith, but by sight: the word and ordinances will then cease; Christ will be no more held forth to them in that way, but they shall see him as he is, and behold his glory,
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