Exodus 16
Berean Study Bible Par ▾ 

Manna and Quail from Heaven

1On the fifteenth day of the second month after they had left the land of Egypt, the whole congregation of Israel set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai. 2And there in the desert they all grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3“If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt!” they said. “There we sat by pots of meat and ate our fill of bread, but you have brought us into this desert to starve this whole assembly to death!”

4Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to go out and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test whether or not they will follow My instructions. 5Then on the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”

6So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “This evening you will know that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7and in the morning you will see the LORD’s glory, because He has heard your grumbling against Him. For who are we that you should grumble against us?”

8And Moses added, “The LORD will give you meat to eat this evening and bread to fill you in the morning, for He has heard your grumbling against Him. Who are we? Your grumblings are not against us but against the LORD.”

9Then Moses said to Aaron, “Tell the whole congregation of Israel, ‘Come before the LORD, for He has heard your grumbling.’”

10And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of Israel, they looked toward the desert, and there in a cloud the glory of the LORD appeared.

11Then 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.’”

13That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14When the layer of dew had evaporated, there were thin flakes on the desert floor, as fine as frost on the ground. 15When the Israelites saw it, they asked one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.

So Moses told them, “It is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat. 16This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Each one is to gather as much as he needs. You may take an omera for each person in your tent.’”

17So the Israelites did this. Some gathered more, and some less. 18When they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much had no excess, and he who gathered little had no shortfall. Each one gathered as much as he needed to eat.

19Then Moses said to them, “No one may keep any of it until morning.” 20But they did not listen to Moses; some people left part of it until morning, and it became infested with maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.

21Each morning they each gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away.

The Sabbath Observed
(Genesis 2:1-3; Hebrews 4:1-11)

22On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much food—two omers per person—and all the leaders of the congregation came and reported this to Moses. 23He told them, “This is what the LORD has said: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake, and boil what you want to boil. Then set aside whatever remains and keep it until morning.’”

24So they set it aside until morning as Moses had commanded, and it did not smell or contain any maggots. 25“Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a Sabbath to the LORD. Today you will not find anything in the field. 26For six days you may gather, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, it will not be there.”

27Yet on the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they did not find anything. 28Then the LORD said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep My commandments and instructions? 29Understand that the LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day He will give you bread for two days. On the seventh day, everyone must stay where he is; no one may leave his place.”

30So the people rested on the seventh day.

31Now the house of Israel called the bread manna.b It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. 32Moses said, “This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Keep an omer of manna for the generations to come, so that they may see the bread I fed you in the wilderness when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’”

33So Moses told Aaron, “Take a jar and fill it with an omer of manna. Then place it before the LORD to be preserved for the generations to come.” 34And Aaron placed it before the Testimony, to be preserved just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

35The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land where they could settle; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan. 36(Now an omer is a tenth of an ephah.)c

Footnotes:

16 a An omer was approximately 2.0 dry quarts or 2.2 liters; also in verses 18, 32, 33, and 36
31 b Manna sounds like the Hebrew for What is it?
36 c An ephah was a dry measure having the capacity of about 20 dry quarts or 22 liters

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