English Standard Version
and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
King James Bible
And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
American Standard Version
and the children of Israel said unto them, Would that we had died by the hand of Jehovah in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
And the children of Israel said to them: Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat over the flesh pots, and ate bread to the full. Why have you brought us into this desert, that you might destroy all the multitude with famine?
English Revised Version
and the children of Israel said unto them, Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
Webster's Bible Translation
And the children of Israel said to them, O that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, and when we did eat bread to the full: for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
Exodus 16:3 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
Leaving the Red Sea, they went into the desert of Shur. This name is given to the tract of desert which separates Egypt from Palestine, and also from the more elevated parts of the desert of Arabia, and stretches from the Mediterranean to the head of the Arabian Gulf or Red Sea, and thence along the eastern shore of the sea to the neighbourhood of the Wady Gharandel. In Numbers 33:8 it is called the desert of Etham, from the town of Etham, which stood upon the border (see Exodus 13:20). The spot where the Israelites encamped after crossing the sea, and sang praises to the Lord for their gracious deliverance, is supposed to have been the present Ayun Musa (the springs of Moses), the only green spot in the northern part of this desolate tract of desert, where water could be obtained. At the present time there are several springs there, which yield a dark, brackish, though drinkable water, and a few stunted palms; and even till a very recent date country houses have been built and gardens laid out there by the richer inhabitants of Suez. From this point the Israelites went three days without finding water, till they came to Marah, where there was water, but so bitter that they could not drink it. The first spot on the road from Ayun Musa to Sinai where water can be found, is in the well of Howra, 33 English miles from the former. It is now a basin of 6 or 8 feet in diameter, with two feet of water in it, but so disagreeably bitter and salt, that the Bedouins consider it the worst water in the whole neighbourhood (Robinson, i. 96). The distance from Ayun Musa and the quality of the water both favour the identity of Howra and Marah. A whole people, travelling with children, cattle, and baggage, could not accomplish the distance in less than three days, and there is no other water on the road from Ayum Musa to Howra. Hence, from the time of Burckhardt, who was the first to rediscover the well, Howra has been regarded as the Marah of the Israelites. In the Wady Amara, a barren valley two hours to the north of Howra, where Ewald looked for it, there is not water to be found; and in the Wady Gharandel, two hours to the south, to which Lepsius assigned it, the quality of the water does not agree with our account.
(Note: The small quantity of water at Howra, "which is hardly sufficient for a few hundred men, to say nothing of so large an army as the Israelites formed" (Seetzen), is no proof that Howra and Marah are not identical. For the spring, which is now sanded up, may have flowed more copiously at one time, when it was kept in better order. Its present neglected state is the cause of the scarcity.)
It is true that no trace of the name has been preserved; but it seems to have been given to the place by the Israelites simply on account of the bitterness of the water. This furnished the people with an inducement to murmur against Moses (Exodus 15:24). They had probably taken a supply of water from Ayum Musa for the three days' march into the desert. But this store was now exhausted; and, as Luther says, "when the supply fails, our faith is soon gone." Thus even Israel forgot the many proofs of the grace of God, which it had received already.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
But the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, "Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?"
Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, "Oh that we had meat to eat!
We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic.
And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, "Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness!
Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?"
Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also make yourself a prince over us?
And the people quarreled with Moses and said, "Would that we had perished when our brothers perished before the LORD!
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.