Exodus 16:25
And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath to the LORD: to day you shall not find it in the field.
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(25) To day is a sabbath.—That is to say, a rest By these words the Sabbath was either instituted, or re-instituted, and became thenceforth binding on the Israelites. Its essential character of a weekly “rest” was at once assigned to it—(1) by its name; (2) by God’s resting on it from His self-imposed task of giving the manna; and (3) by the rest which the absence of manna on the seventh day imposed on the people. Thus the way was prepared for the stringent law of Sabbath observance laid down in the fourth commandment.

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.Eat that today - The practical observance of the Sabbath was thus formally instituted before the giving of the law. The people were to abstain from the ordinary work of every day life: they were not to collect food, nor, as it would seem, even to prepare it as on other days. 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.

These words were spoken upon the morning of the sabbath day, as appears from the foregoing verse.

A sabbath unto the Lord, i.e. wholly consecrated to his service, and therefore not to be employed in servile works. And Moses said, eat that today,.... That is, he said this on the seventh day in the morning, and bid them eat of it whether baked or seethed, or as it was, or just as they pleased; however, they had liberty to eat of it, and indeed they had no other, because none fell on this day:

for today is a sabbath unto the Lord; a time of rest from labour, and to be employed in the service of the Lord:

today ye shall not find it in the field: should they seek for it, which they had no occasion to do, since there was a sufficiency provided the day before; and this he said to prevent their going out to seek for it, which, if out of curiosity or for any other reason any of them should do, it would be in vain and fruitless.

And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not {l} find it in the field.

(l) God took away the opportunity for their labour, to signify how holy he would have the Sabbath kept.

Verses 25, 26. - And Moses said. The Sabbath being come, Moses explained fully the reason for the order which he had given, and generalized it. God required the Sabbath to be "a day of holy rest" - no manna would fall on it, and therefore none could be gathered - the produce of the sixth day's gathering would be found to suffice both for the sixth day and the seventh. In the second place, Moses commanded them, that no one was to leave any of what had been gathered till the next morning. Some of them disobeyed, but what was left went into worms (תּולעים ירם literally rose into worms) and stank. Israel was to take no care for the morrow (Matthew 6:34), but to enjoy the daily bread received from God in obedience to the giver. The gathering was to take place in the morning (Exodus 16:21); for when the sun shone brightly, it melted away.
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