Attention!
Partner with StudyLight.org as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Exodus 16

Verse 1

And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.

And they took their journey from Elim (see the note at Exodus 15:2). They had remained there several days. A halting-place in the immediate vicinity of Elim is mentioned in Numbers 33:10; but from its being wholly unnoticed in this general narrative, it seems to have been a station of comparatively little importance.

And ... came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai. Beginning at that part now called El Murkhah, the wilderness of Sin stretches along the eastern shore of the Red Sea, and merging into the spacious plain of El Kaa, extends with a greater or less breadth to almost the extremity of the peninsula. But on pursuing the route to Sinai the Israelites merely skirted the borders of El Kaa.

On the fifteenth day of the second month. It was now a month since they had started from Rameses; and as the distance they had traveled in all did not exceed one hundred miles, ample time had been allowed for their reaching the point at which they had arrived. Three stations only are mentioned previous to their arrival at the Red Sea-namely, Succoth, Etham, before Pi-hahiroth; so that even assuming they might have chosen for a few hours, or during a whole night, some intermediate halting-places, omitted in this record from there having been no regular encampment, or from the places being geographically insignificant, not more than one week would be spent on the eastern side of the gulf before the passage. The stations enumerated on the Arabian shore are Marah, Elim, the wilderness of Sin; and supposing that there had been an encampment at some unrecorded localities during each of the "three days' journey they went in the wilderness of Etham," from Ayun Musa, the place where it is generally believed they first landed-making seven resting-places in all-still there would be a period of three weeks for the prosecution of this part of the journey, which therefore must have been leisurely performed; and being enlivened by the two great luxuries of shade and water, could not have been oppressive to any classes in the vast host.

But their next stage, after leaving Elim, was a very trying one, because they now were exposed to privations which they had not hitherto experienced; and 'in leading them forward, Moses disclosed his firmness and the fidelity with which he discharged the office he had been called to undertake. He knew the country, and the sufferings the people would encounter on the wide plain of Murkah, across which they must accomplish a shadeless march of 12 miles to the great rocks of Sinai. He led them on, however, and here, in this scene of special emergency, the hand of their Divine Guide was specially outstretched to supply them with those necessaries which on the previous days they found among the natural resources of the comparatively pleasant, refreshing country through which their road then had led them' (Drew's 'Scripture Lands,' p. 567: cf. Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' vol. 1:, pp. 106, 177; Wilson's 'Lands of the Bible,' vol. 50:, pp. 133, 257; 2:, p.

764).

Verse 2

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:

And the whole congregation murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. Modern travelers through the desert of Sinai are accustomed to take as much as is sufficient for the sustenance of people and animals during 40 days. The Israelites having been rather more than a month on their journey, their store of grain or other provisions was altogether or nearly exhausted; and there being no prospect of procuring any means of subsistence in the desert, except some wild olives and wild honey (Deuteronomy 32:13), loud complaints were made against their leaders So completely had their minds become debased by their hard servitude that they considered the freedom and independence of their present condition, together with the special honour and privilege of being under God's special guidance, dearly purchased by the sacrifice of the sensual comforts which Egypt supplied. They had become a servile race, strangers to high and generous sentiments, anxious only about the supply of their bodily needs, and through the engrossing influence of these displaying utter indifference or contempt for the grace which had distinguished them above all other peoples.

Verse 3

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.

Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt - i:e., by the plague which had carried off the first-born of the Egyptians suddenly, rather than by a lingering death from starvation here. How unreasonable and absurd the charge against Moses and Aaron! how ungrateful and impious against God! After all their experience of the divine wisdom, goodness, and power, we pause and wonder over the sacred narrative of their hardness and unbelief. To such a depth of debasement had they sunk, that they seem never to have reflected or reasoned on the course of Providence; and although they had witnessed the most astonishing demonstrations of the majesty and power of God, they were incapable of drawing from these gracious interpositions any general conclusions for their encouragement and comfort in future emergencies. In short, the wonders they had seen in Egypt, and the miraculous passage of the Red Sea, contributed little either to banish despondency or to inspire them with full confidence in the divine aid.

Thus, their character appeared, and the unbelief, fickleness, and impatience of their temper were displayed, on the exhaustion of their provision stores, without any natural sources of supply within their reach, by vehement outcries against their leaders: 'Ye have brought us forth into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.' There is a feeling of solitude and despondency in the desert; and the expression of feeling, even when entertained among a few, is contagious in a multitude. The Israelites were now discouraged by these influences; and besides, we must remember that they were people engrossed with the present; that the Holy Spirit was not then given, and that they were destitute of all visible means of sustenance, and cut off from every visible comfort, with only the promises of an unseen God to look to as the ground of their hope. And though we may lament they should tempt God in the wilderness, and freely admit their sin in so doing, we can be at no loss for a reason why those who had all their lives been accustomed to walk by sight should, in circumstances of unparalleled difficulty and perplexity, find it hard to walk by faith. Do not even we find it difficult to walk by faith through the wilderness of this world, though in the light of a clearer revelation, and under a nobler leader than Moses' (Fisk). (See 1 Corinthians 10:11-12.)

It is observable that there was no complaint at this time about the want of water; and the reason was that they were in that part of the desert where the Egyptians possessed copper mines, the whole of the northern coast of the Red Sea being an extensive mining district. 'Now, although it is most probable that the mining population drew its supplies of food from Egypt, yet it would be all but impossible to send them also the necessary supply of water across the Red Sea. Artificial reservoirs, such as the Egyptians were accustomed to form in their own country, and such as the Nabathaeans dug in the desert (Kalisch on Genesis 25:13), must therefore have been made in the vicinity of the mines for the supply of this lack; and it would have been strange if, under the leadership of such a man as Moses, at the height of Egypt's science, and with complete local knowledge of the desert, the water supply for such a multitude should have been left by him entirely to chance or miracle' (Benisch).

Verse 4

Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.

Then said the Lord unto Moses. Though the outbreak was immediately against the human leader, it was indirectly against God: yet mark His patience, and how graciously He promised to redress the grievance.

I will rain bread from heaven. This expression, 'raining from heaven,' seems selected as if on purpose to guard against the supposition of its being a natural production - "bread from heaven," whence it is called 'the bread of angels' (Psalms 78:24-25).

And the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day. The circumstance of the bread being to be supplied every day was designed to teach them a lesson of dependence for their daily food; and that of its being bestowed at "a certain rate" was to train them to the exercise of faith in God's Providence. At "a certain rate" [ dªbar (H1697) yowm (H3117) bªyowmow (H3117)] - the thing - i:e., the provision of a day in its day; what was sufficient for the sustenance of every individual for a day [Septuagint, to tees heemeras eis heemeran] (cf. Matthew 6:11). 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 (Psalms 78:24).

That I may prove them. 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. Whether they will walk in my law, or no. The "law" here referred to was either the moral law written on the hearts, and a summary of which in the Ten Commandments was soon to be promulgated in the ears of the people-and in that case the Israelites were to be placed in a state of probation as to the general duty of obedience-or it was the particular regulation prescribed for bestowing the promised bread from heaven, and they were to be put to the test whether they would comply with the divine arrangement as to this food on feast days and sabbaths. In either view the Israelites were to be subjected to a trial whether and how far they would be won to the love, and yield a voluntary submission to the will, of God.

Verse 5

And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.

On the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in. It was the sixth day of the week, not the sixth day by current reckoning from that on which the promise was made; and the preparation of the food of that day consisted, first, in measuring what they had gathered, according to the appointed standard; and, secondly, in grinding, baking, and seething it as meal (cf. Exodus 16:23; Numbers 11:8).

And it shall be twice as much as they gather daily. The supply of a double quantity was promised on the sixth day. No reason was assigned for this deviation from the arrangement followed; and God, it appears, did not think that it was necessary to adduce a reason in a case so obvious. In these verses (namely, 4,5) the substance of the promise is expressed; but the passage that follows contains specific details as given by Moses and Aaron in several communications to the people; and as their complaints, though vented against their earthly leaders, were really directed against God, Moses, who disclaimed the unfounded imputation of having brought them out of Egypt by his own will and authority, apprised them that, at a certain specified time, they, through the engrossing influence of these, would be furnished with unmistakeable proofs as to who was their true deliverer and guide.

Verse 6

And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then ye shall know that the LORD hath brought you out from the land of Egypt:

At even, then ye shall know ... literally, Between the two evenings (see the notes at Exodus 12:6; Exodus 30:8,39 .)

Verse 7

And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that he heareth your murmurings against the LORD: and what are we, that ye murmur against us?

And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the Lord. This clause is in parallelism with the preceding one, the verbs "know" and "see" being frequently used synonymously; and both clauses refer to the practical demonstration of the divine agency and guidance of their movements, furnished by the miraculous provision they were to receive.

Verse 8

And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verses 9-10

And Moses spake unto Aaron, Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, Come near before the LORD: for he hath heard your murmurings.

Come near before the Lord ... they looked toward the wilderness. They were called to leave their tents, and stand looking toward the wilderness of Sin, over which the cloud was hovering; and in the awful phase which that cloud then exhibited-in the light that glared from it they witnessed the majesty of God; while in the sounds that were heard from it they received at once a rebuke to their own reproaches, and a confirmation of the veracity of His servants.

Verses 11-12

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 13

And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.

At even the quails came up, [ hasªlaaw (H7958); Septuagint, ortugomeetra] - i:e., mother-quails, being sacred to Latona, in Ortygia, the original name of Delos, from the abundance of its quails. Though the word Selav has been taken to mean various animals, as the locust, by Ludolf and others, and the flying-fish by Rudbeck, Ehrenberg, and Michaelis (but the latter afterward changed his opinion), there can be no doubt that it was a bird (Psalms 78:27). Foster ('Voice of Israel'), doubtingly supported by Stanley ('Sinai and Palestine,' p. 82, note), supposes that 'the feathered fowl' meant was the large red-legged crane, three feet in height, which periodically visits that desert in large flocks. But not to urge other objections against this view (see the notes at Numbers 11:31-35) the Israelites, whose nomadic wanderings led them often to the borders of the wilderness, must have known the time for the arrival of those birds, if they visited the peninsula every season. But the tenor of the language used in this narrative plainly indicates that it was an unexpected and extraordinary phenomenon, the locality where the birds appeared being away from the quarter which the cranes usually frequent; and as all these conjectural emendations have been found untenable, there is a general disposition among Biblical scholars to accept the rendering of our version as the right one.

The quail is a bird of the gallinaceous kind, resembling the red partridge, but not larger than the turtle dove. Properly speaking, it belongs to the Tetraonidae, or grouse family, and is migratory in its habits. Starting from Africa in immense flocks, crossing at certain seasons the Mediterranean and Black Seas, it seeks a habitation in all the temperate regions or flying along the Syrian desert into Arabia. Being a bird of heavy flight, it is obliged to rest at intermediate stages, as on Malta and Sicily, or on a sailing ship, where in great numbers they alight exhausted, and let themselves be easily taken by those who are near them. In a similar state they appeared about the camp of the Israelites in the wilderness of Sin. But that was entirely out of their course; and, moreover, it was in accordance with a prediction: so that, excepting the circumstance of their coming toward night-the usual time when they alight, faint through fatigue with the day's flight-the arrival of those quails must be considered a directly providential or miraculous incident.

In the morning. This was the first day of the week.

Verse 14

And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 15

And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.

They said one to another, It is manna (margin, 'It is a portion'): for they wist not what it was, [ wayo'mªruw (H559) 'iysh (H376) 'el (H413) 'aachiyw (H251) Maan (H4478) huw' (H1931)], they said each man to his brother (neighbour), "man-hu" - i:e., what is this? Because they did not know what it was. [The Septuagint has: idontes de auto hoi huoi Israeel eipan heteros too heteroo. Ti esti touto; ou gar eedeisan ti een-`And the children of Israel seeing it, said one to another, what is this? for they knew not what it was.'] Josephus very distinctly traces the origin of the name ('Antiq.,' b. 3:, ch. 1:, sec. 6), 'The Hebrews call this food manna; because the particle "man", in our language is the interrogative "what", and huw' (H1931) is the pronoun "this" - "what is this?"' In the margin of our Bibles it is rendered "a portion" [from the root-verb maanaah (H4487), to divide, to measure out. This interpretation was probably suggested by the celebrated Hebraist, Hugh Broughton, who was the author of these marginal readings. But it does not seem equally good with that in the text.]

Verse 16

This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.

Gather of it every man according to his eating. The manna was the gift of God, but the Israelites had to gather it. The same law obtains in the kingdom of grace as in that of nature. God gives to His people their daily bread in answer to prayer, but they must put forth their hands to labour for it.

An omer for every man - an omer was equal to about three quarts.

Take ye every man for them which are in his tents. This statement has recently been fastened on as an objection to the truthfulness of the narrative, as opposed to the fact recorded in Leviticus 23:42-43, as the basis of the memorial feast of tabernacles. But there is no contradiction; for, granting that multitudes, even the majority of the Israelites, had no shelter but Succoth, booths (and in the then well-wooded state of the wilderness they could experience no difficulty in procuring branches in abundance wherewith to construct them), a large proportion of the people having continued shepherds, would be accustomed to live in tents, and would, as usual in their nomadic wanderings, carry the materials along with them. Nay, supposing that numbers were destitute of tents at the moment of the exodus, how easy would it have been for those whose women were accustomed to spin and weave goat's hair-cloth to provide this sort of covering-poles from the trees of the desert, and erect tents for themselves. And assuming that they did so, there is no necessity for supposing that two million people would require 200,000 tents, on the ground that decency would not allow more than 10 persons to be in each tent. It is absurd to limit the number; because all who are acquainted with the habits of nomadic people know that, by letting fall a portion of the covering as a curtain, they divide the tent into compartments more or less numerous, as they require.

Verse 17

And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verses 18-21

And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.

He that gathered much had nothing over ... Although this miraculous food was provided in great profusion, yet much of it was erelong melted by the sun on being stored up by the avaricious; and it appears, by comparing this passage with 2 Corinthians 8:15, that the daily supply which remained free from putrefaction was just what was equal in amount to an omer for each person throughout the camp of Israel.

Verse 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.

On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread. The people did so of their own accord, judging from the unusual quantity that had fallen that it was a provision for the Sabbath; and their conduct can be accounted for on no other hypothesis than that of its being a human existing institution. The announcement (Exodus 16:5) had been privately made to Moses; and there is no reason to believe that it had been communicated either to the people or to the rulers before the sixth day.

And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. Since the gathering of a double quantity had been so general, the attention of the elders or princes in the various tribes was directed to the circumstance; and whether they regarded this accumulation of manna as a violation of the divine injunction, or from having contracted Egyptian habits, they had become so indifferent to Sabbath desecration as to have been anticipating a gathering of food as usual on the seventh, they resolved in a body to lay the matter before the leader.

Verses 23-26

And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.

He said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, ... The conduct of the people met the full approval and sanction of Moses, who now announced the promise which had been made to him (Exodus 16:5).

Tomorrow is the rest of the holy sabbath. This is just the language which would naturally be employed by one who wished to remind his hearers of the morrow being a season of periodical cessation from their ordinary employments. Most certainly it was not spoken in the authoritative style a lawgiver employs in enacting a new law; nor is it marked by any of the circumstantial details which enter into the description of an original institution. But it is quite appropriate, on the idea of his speaking to them respecting an ordinance with which they were familiarly acquainted. In short, the Sabbath is mentioned incidentally in considering the miraculous supply of the manna, and not the slightest hint is given of its being instituted for the first time on that occasion. According to the view here given, the people anticipating the Sabbath, prepared for it by spontaneously gathering a double quantity of manna on the previous day; and the consultation of the rulers implies a doubt as to the propriety of such an increased collection, they being apparently apprehensive of incurring the penalty attached to the sin of reserving any portion of that food until the following morning. Moses' answer (Exodus 16:24-26) was a satisfactory solution of their difficulty; and it was found by experience that not only two days' supply was given on the sixth day, but that the manna kept during the intervening night continued sound and sweet.

According to a second theory, already noticed, the misunderstanding between the people and their rulers on this occasion arose from the novelty of the observance. But it is impossible for an ordinary reader to discover in this narrative any evidences of the Sabbath being newly instituted; and the passage of Ezekiel relied on as confirming this view, in which the prophet mentions that 'God enacted the Sabbath in the wilderness' (Ezekiel 20:12), points evidently not to the time, but to the purposes for which it was given.

A third theory explains the discrepancy that occurred by supposing that the day of Sabbatic observance was at this time changed from the first day of the week, as observed from the days of Adam (see the notes at Genesis 1:1-31, p. 30), to the seventh, suitably to the special circumstances of the Israelites. In support of this view, it is urged that the Israelites left Egypt on the day before the primitive Sabbath, as the following statement proves: They arrived at the wilderness of Sin on the 15th day of the second month (Exodus 16:1-36); the sixth day from that day was the day before the Sabbath (Exodus 16:5; Exodus 16:23), and the 20th day of the month; consequently, the 21st day was the Sabbath, and the 22nd day was the day after the Sabbath; if we reckon back, we shall find that the 15th, the 8th, and the first days of this month were also the days after the Sabbath, and so that the 30th and last day of the preceding month Abib, which is called the first month, was the Sabbath; and consequently the 29th, 22nd, and 15th days of this month were the days before the Sabbath; but the 15th day was the day on which the Israelites left Egypt. This is the opinion of Joseph Mede ('Works,'-Sabbath of the Jews), who remarks it as a singular circumstance, that 'in this history the day of the month is never named, unless it be once, for any station; but this when the Jewish Sabbath was ordained (Numbers 10:1-36), otherwise it could not have been known that that day was ordained for a day of rest, which before was none.' This opinion is supported by Kennicott, 'Cain and Abel,' p. 184, 185, note; Jennings ('Jewish Antiquities') mentioned by Dr. Wardlaw ('On the Sabbath'), without note or comment; and by Dr. Horsley, as an ingenious conjecture.

The first of the three theories now adverted to we consider the right one; and an additional argument in favour seems to be afforded in Exodus 16:28, where some of the people who, in violation of the divine injunction, had gone out to gather manna on the seventh are recorded to have had their offence marked by this severe rebuke, "How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?" - language which, while it sufficiently attests the ungrateful and disobedient character of the Israelite people, would not have been used in reference to an institution of recent origin.

Verses 27-28

And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 29

See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.

Abide ye every man in his place. From this injunction it was enacted that no one should upon the Sabbath depart further from the place of his abode than the space which intervened between the Israelite camp and the tabernacle, which stood in its center. This was reckoned by the Jewish Rabbis to be 1,000 ells, which being doubled, to make allowance for the return home, amounted to much the same as the Roman mile, or 1,000 geometrical paces (Rosenmuller's 'Biblical Geography,' 1:, p. 27; Moses Stuart, 'On the Canon,' p. 61).

Verse 30

So the people rested on the seventh day.

So the people rested on the seventh day. 'This case is of importance, as showing the way and manner in which the law of the Sabbath was delivered in general. Its development among the people is throughout historical; there is always a certain historical occasion with which its statutes are connected. This is evidence of its historical truth. Further, the appointment permitting the preparation of food (Exodus 16:13: cf. Exodus 12:16) manifestly shows that the law is an early one, general as yet in its form, and intended afterward to receive a more exact definition (Havernick's 'Introduction to Pentateuch,' pp. 261, 262).

Verse 31

And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

The house of Israel called the name thereof Manna (see the note at Exodus 16:15 ): and it was like coriander seed, white. Coriander was a production of Egypt; and to use it therefore as a means of comparison with any other substance was quite natural in writing for a people whose residence in that country had made them familiar with its appearance.

And the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. In Numbers 11:8 it is said to have tasted like "fresh oil." The two passages are easily reconciled, though honey and fresh oil are by no means like each other in taste, when we consider the cakes of the ancients were frequently a composition of honey, oil, and flour; consequently, in tasting like one of these wafers or thin cakes, the manna might be said to resemble the taste of both-of oil mingled with honey (Harmer's 'Observations,' vol. 1:, p. 455, Clarke's edition).

There is a gum of the same name (the coincidence of the Arabic word monn and the Hebrew man, may be merely casual, or the modern name may have been given from the apparent resemblance of this substance to the Scriptural manna) distilled in some parts of the Sinaitic desert from the tamarisk, which is much prized by the natives, and preserved carefully by those who gather it. 'It is found in the form of shining drops on the twigs and branches (not upon the leaves) of the tarfa (Tamarix Gallica mannifera of Ehrenberg), from which it exudes, in consequence of the puncture of an insect of the coccus kind (Coccus manniparus of the same naturalist). What falls on the sand is said not to be gathered' (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' vol. 1:, p. 170). 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 was long supposed by distinguished travelers, from its whitish colour, its size like a small pea, the 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, among whom is Hengstenberg, 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-sometimes only in five or six years; and the quantity in general has greatly diminished. Moreover, it does not admit of being baked (Numbers 11:8) or boiled (Exodus 16:23). Though it falls with the dew, it may be exhaled by the heat, and admits of being kept for a long time in the cool shade, becomes quite solid, and resembles a small cake. It is, moreover, a medicine, not food; and it consists (according to the following chemical analysis by Berthelot, 1861) of cane sugar, 55; sugar modified, 25; dextrine and analogous products, 20 = 100. This manna, he adds, could not alone suffice for nutriment, since it contains nothing of the azotic principle (quoted by Tischendorf, 'Aus dem Heilige Lande,' Leipzig, 1862). It is well known to the Arabs in some parts of the desert, though not in the wilderness of Sin, which contains no manna-bearing tarfa tree in any part of it (Drew's 'Scripture Lands,' p. 57), while the Israelites were total strangers to their manna; and in taste, as well as in the fall of a double quantity on Friday, none on Sabbath, and in not breeding worms on that day, it is essentially different from the manna furnished to the Israelites.

Verses 32-36

And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commandeth, Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt.

Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations. The mere fact of such a multitude being fed for forty years in the wilderness, where no food of any kind is to be obtained, will show the utter impossibility of their subsisting on a natural production of the kind and quantity as this tarfa gum; and as if for the purpose of removing all such groundless speculations, Aaron was commanded to put a sample of it in a pot-a golden pot (Hebrews 9:4) - to be laid before the Testimony, to be kept for future generations, that they might see the bread on which the Lord fed their fathers in the wilderness. But we have the bread of which that was merely typical (1 Corinthians 10:3; John 6:32).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Exodus 16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/exodus-16.html. 1871-8.