Exodus 16:12
I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak to them, saying, At even you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God.
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Exodus 16:12. Ye shall know that I am the Lord your God — This gave proof of his power as the Lord, and his particular favour to them as their God; when God plagued the Egyptians, it was to make them know that he is the Lord; when he provided for the Israelites, it was to make them know that he was their God.16:1-12 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.Appeared in the cloud - Or, "was seen in a cloud." The definite article would imply that the cloud was the same which is often mentioned in connection with the tabernacle. The people saw the cloud here spoken of beyond the camp. 4. Then said the Lord unto Moses—Though the outbreak was immediately against the human leaders, it was indirectly against God: yet mark His patience, and how graciously He promised to redress the grievance.

I will rain bread from heaven—Israel, a type of the Church which is from above, and being under the conduct, government, and laws of heaven, received their food from heaven also (Ps 78:24).

that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no—The grand object of their being led into the wilderness was that they might receive a religious training directly under the eye of God; and the first lesson taught them was a constant dependence on God for their daily nourishment.

God chooseth the proper time for each kind of provision; the evening for the quails, which being brought from remote parts, by their day’s flight, about evening came thither; and the morning for manna, which usually falls at that time. I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel,.... This Moses and Aaron had often affirmed, and now the Lord confirms what they had said, and lets them know that he took notice of their murmurings, and disapproved of them, and was displeased with them; though he did not think fit to resent them in an angry way, but dealt kindly and graciously with them; and since he had brought them into a wilderness, which was his own act, he would take care of them, and provide for them; which they might reasonably conclude he would, since he had done so many great and good things for them, in bringing them out of Egypt, and through the Red sea, and had slain all their enemies, and had given them water when in distress, and therefore need not have murmured nor have doubted but that he would give them bread also:

speak unto them, saying, at even ye shall eat flesh; meaning that very evening, when the quails came up, as the following verse shows:

and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; the next morning, when the manna fell around their camp, so that they had bread, and fulness of it:

and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God; good and gracious, kind and merciful, ever mindful of his covenant and promises, able to supply their wants, and provide them with everything necessary and sufficient for them.

I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.
12. Between the two evenings] see on Exodus 12:6.

and ye shall know, &c.] see on Exodus 6:7.

After v. 12, vv. 6–8 should follow: see above.Verse 12. - At even. Literally, "between the two evenings." For the meaning of the phrase, see the comment on Exodus 12:6. Ye shall eat flesh. The quails, as appears by the subsequent narrative, were supplied, not regularly, but only on rare occasions; in fact (so far as appears), only here in the wilderness of Sin, and at Kibroth-hattaavah in the wilderness of Paran (Numbers 11:31-34). They were not a necessary, but an indulgence. Ye shall know that I am the Lord. The miracle of the manna, and the timely appearance of the quails at the hour announced, will sufficiently show that it is God himself who has you under his charge and watches over you. Here, in this arid sandy waste, the whole congregation murmured against Moses and Aaron on account of the want of food. What they brought with them from Egypt had been consumed in the 30 days that had elapsed since they came out (Exodus 16:1). In their vexation the people expressed the wish that they had died in Egypt by the flesh-pot, in the midst of plenty, "by the hand of Jehovah," i.e., by the last plague which Jehovah sent upon Egypt, rather than here in the desert of slow starvation. The form ויּלּינוּ is a Hiphil according to the consonants, and should be pointed ילּינוּ, from הלּין for הלין (see Ges. 72, Anm. 9, and Ewald, 114c.). As the want really existed, Jehovah promised them help (Exodus 16:4). He would rain bread from heaven, which the Israelites should gather every day for their daily need, to try the people, whether they would walk in His law or not. In what the trial was to consist, is briefly indicated in Exodus 16:5 : "And it will come to pass on the sixth day (of the week), that they will prepare what they have brought, and it will be double what they gather daily." The meaning is, that what they gathered and brought into their tents on the sixth day of the week, and made ready for eating, would be twice as much as what they gathered on every other day; not that Jehovah would miraculously double what was brought home on the sixth day, as Knobel interprets the words in order to make out a discrepancy between Exodus 16:5 and Exodus 16:22. הכין, to prepare, is to be understood as applying partly to the measuring of what had been gathered (Exodus 16:18), and partly to the pounding and grinding of the grains of manna into meal (Numbers 11:8). In what respect this was a test for the people, is pointed out in Exodus 16:16. Here, in Exodus 16:4 and Exodus 16:5, the promise of God is only briefly noticed, and its leading points referred to; it is described in detail afterwards, in the communications which Moses and Aaron make to the people. In Exodus 16:6, Exodus 16:7, they first tell the people, "At even, then shall ye know that Jehovah hath brought you out of Egypt; and in the morning, then shall ye see the glory of the Lord." Bearing in mind the parallelism of the clauses, we obtain this meaning, that in the evening and in the morning the Israelites would perceive the glory of the Lord, who had brought them out of Egypt. "Seeing" is synonymous with "knowing." Seeing the glory of Jehovah did not consist in the sight of the glory of the Lord which appeared in the cloud, as mentioned in Exodus 16:10, but in their perception or experience of that glory in the miraculous gift of flesh and bread (Exodus 16:8, cf. Numbers 14:22). "By His hearing" (בּשׁמעו), i.e., because He has heard, "your murmuring against Jehovah ("Against Him" in Exodus 16:8, as in Genesis 19:24); for what are we, that ye murmur against us?" The murmuring of the people against Moses and Aaron as their leaders really affected Jehovah as the actual guide, and not Moses and Aaron, who had only executed His will. Jehovah would therefore manifest His glory to the people, to prove to them that He had heard their murmuring. The announcement of this manifestation of God is more fully explained to the people by Moses in Exodus 16:8, and the explanation is linked on to the leading clause in Exodus 16:7 by the words, "when He giveth," etc. Ye shall see the glory of Jehovah, when Jehovah shall give you, etc.
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