Exodus 16:22
And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) On the sixth day they gathered twice as much.—See the third Note on Exodus 16:5.

The rulers . . . came and told Moses.—They were evidently surprised, and came to Moses for an explanation. Either he had not communicated to them the Divine announcement of Exodus 16:5, or they had failed to comprehend it.

Exodus 16:22. On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread — Considering God’s present providence in causing it to fall in double proportion, and remembering that the next day was the sabbath day, which God had blessed and sanctified to his own immediate service, (Genesis 2:3,) and which, therefore, was not to be employed in servile works, such as the gathering of manna was, they rightly concluded that God’s commands (Exodus 16:16; Exodus 16:19) reached only to ordinary days, and must, in all reason, give place to the more ancient and necessary law of the sabbath. The rulers told Moses — Either to acquaint him with this increase of the miracle, or to take his direction for their practice, because they found two commands apparently clashing with each other.

16:22-31 Here is mention of a seventh-day sabbath. It was known, not only before the giving of the law upon mount Sinai, but before the bringing of Israel out of Egypt, even from the beginning, Ge 2:3. The setting apart one day in seven for holy work, and, in order to that, for holy rest, was ever since God created man upon the earth, and is the most ancient of the Divine laws. Appointing them to rest on the seventh day, he took care that they should be no losers by it; and none ever will be losers by serving God. On that day they were to fetch in enough for two days, and to make it ready. This directs us to contrive family affairs, so that they may hinder us as little as possible in the work of the sabbath. Works of necessity are to be done on that day; but it is desirable to have as little as may be to do, that we may apply ourselves the more closely to prepare for the life that is to come. When they kept manna against a command, it stank; when they kept it by a command, it was sweet and good; every thing is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. On the seventh day God did not send the manna, therefore they must not expect it, nor go out to gather. This showed that it was produced by miracle.Twice as much bread - See Exodus 16:5.

From this passage and from Exodus 16:5 it is inferred that the seventh day was previously known to the people as a day separate from all others, and if so, it must have been observed as an ancient and primeval institution.

13-31. at even the quails came up, and covered the camp—This bird is of the gallinaceous kind [that is, relating to the order of heavy-bodied, largely terrestrial birds], resembling the red partridge, but not larger than the turtledove. They are found in certain seasons in the places through which the Israelites passed, being migratory birds, and they were probably brought to the camp by "a wind from the Lord" as on another occasion (Nu 11:31).

and in the morning … a small round thing … manna—There is a gum of the same name distilled in this desert region from the tamarisk, which is much prized by the natives, and preserved carefully by those who gather it. It is collected early in the morning, melts under the heat of the sun, and is congealed by the cold of night. In taste it is as sweet as honey, and has been supposed by distinguished travellers, from its whitish color, time, and place of its appearance, to be the manna on which the Israelites were fed: so that, according to the views of some, it was a production indigenous to the desert; according to others, there was a miracle, which consisted, however, only in the preternatural arrangements regarding its supply. But more recent and accurate examination has proved this gum of the tarfa-tree to be wanting in all the principal characteristics of the Scripture manna. It exudes only in small quantities, and not every year; it does not admit of being baked (Nu 11:8) or boiled (Ex 16:23). Though it may be exhaled by the heat and afterwards fall with the dew, it is a medicine, not food—it is well known to the natives of the desert, while the Israelites were strangers to theirs; and in taste as well as in the appearance of double quantity on Friday, none on Sabbath, and in not breeding worms, it is essentially different from the manna furnished to the Israelites.

Considering God’s present providence in causing it to fall in double proportion, and remembering that the next day was the sabbath day, which God had blessed and sanctified to his own immediate service, Genesis 2:3, and therefore was not to be employed in servile works, such as the gathering of manna was, they rightly concluded that God’s commands, delivered Exodus 16:16,19, reached only to ordinary days, and must in all reason give place to the more ancient and necessary law of the sabbath.

Either to acquaint him with this increase of the miracle, or to take his direction for their practice, because they found two commands seemingly clashing together, and therefore needed and desired his advice.

And it came to pass, that on the sixth day,.... Of the week, or from the first raining of the manna, which was the same:

they gathered twice as much bread; as they had used to do on other days, a greater quantity falling, and which was more easily taken up:

two omers for one man; or, "instead of one" (t) of one omer; so it turned out when they came to measure what they had gathered; otherwise they had no intention in gathering it, but lying in a great quantity, they gathered as much as they could, or could well carry, and upon measuring it so it proved; for it does not appear that Moses had as yet acquainted them what was to be, or would be gathered on this day; nor had he any orders so to do from the Lord, only he was told by him that so it would be, and accordingly it came to pass, see Exodus 16:5.

and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses; what had happened, that the people that day had gathered as much more as they had used to do on other days: these seem to be the overseers of this affair, before whom what was gathered was brought, and in whose presence it was measured, and who took care that everyone should have his omer and no more: this makes it plain that the people acted without design, and knew not that they were to gather on this day double to other days; since the rulers knew nothing of it, nor of the reason of it, and it can hardly be imagined that the people should know and the rulers be ignorant.

(t) "pro uno", Tigurine version.

And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered {k} twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.

(k) Which would serve for the Sabbath and the day before.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. the rulers of the congregation] A standing phrase of P’s: see Exodus 34:31, Numbers 16:2; Numbers 31:13 al.; and often rulers (also rendered princes: lit. one lifted up above others, i.e. chief, ruler, &c.) alone.

22–26. Another surprise. On the 6th day they discover that they have gathered, without knowing it, a double quantity. Moses gives directions what is to be done with it; and draws from it a lesson on the observance of the sabbath.

Verses 22-30. - THE GATHERING OF THE SIXTH DAY. When the Israelites, having collected what seemed to them the usual quantity of manna on the sixth day, brought it home and measured it, they found the yield to be, not an omer a head for each member of the family, but two omers. The result was a surprise and a difficulty. They could not consume more than an omer a-piece. What was to be done with the remainder? Was it to be destroyed, or kept? If kept, would it not "breed worms"? To resolve their doubts, the elders brought the matter before Moses, who replied - "This is that which the Lord hath said." It is to be supposed that, in his original announcement to the elders of God's purposes as to the manna, Moses had informed them that the quantity would be double on the sixth day (ver. 5); but his statement had not made any deep impression at the time, and now they had forgotten it. So he recalls it to their recollection. "This is no strange thing - nothing that should have surprised you - it is only what God said would happen. And the reason of it is, that to-morrow, the seventh day is, by God's ordinance, the rest of the Holy Sabbath," - or rather "a rest of a holy Sabbath to the Lord." Whether or no the Sabbath was a primeval institution, given to our first parents in Paradise (Genesis 2:3), may be doubted: at any rate, it had not been maintained as an institution by the Hebrews during their sojourn in Egypt; and this was, practically, to them, the first promulgation of it. (See Hessey's Bampton Lectures, p. 149.) Hence, in the original, it is not called "the sabbath," as if already known, but "a sabbath," - i.e., a rest - until verse 29. Verse 22. - This is that which the Lord hath said. Rather, "said," i.e., declared to me when he announced the manna. See verse 5. It has been supposed that Moses had not communicated the declaration to the elders; but this seems unlikely. The rest of the holy sabbath. If this translation were correct, the previous institution of the sabbath, and the knowledge of its obligation by the Hebrews, would follow; but the absence of the article is a strong indication that the whole idea was new, at any rate to those whom Moses was addressing. Bake that which ye will bake, etc. "Do," i.e., "as you have done on other days - bake some and seethe some - but also reserve a portion to be your food and sustenance to-morrow." Exodus 16:22Moreover, God bestowed His gift in such a manner, that the Sabbath was sanctified by it, and the way was thereby opened for its sanctification by the law. On the sixth day of the week the quantity yielded was twice as much, viz., two omers for one (one person). When the princes of the congregation informed Moses of this, he said to them, "Let tomorrow be rest (שׁבּתון), a holy Sabbath to the Lord." They were to bake and boil as much as was needed for the day, and keep what was over for the morrow, for on the Sabbath they would find none in the field. They did this, and what was kept for the Sabbath neither stank nor bred worms. It is perfectly clear from this event, that the Israelites were not acquainted with any sabbatical observance at that time, but that, whilst the way was practically opened, it was through the decalogue that it was raised into a legal institution (see Exodus 10:8.). שׁבּתון is an abstract noun denoting "rest," and שׁבּי a concrete, literally the observer, from which it came to be used as a technical term for the seventh day of the week, which was to be observed as a day of rest to the Lord.
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