Exodus 16


The Israelites journey from Elim, and come to the wilderness of

Sin, 1.

They murmur for lack of bread, 2, 3.

God promises to rain bread from heaven for them, 4,

of which they were to collect a double portion on the sixth day, 5.

A miraculous supply of flesh in the evening and bread in

the morning, promised, 6-9.

The glory of the Lord appears in the cloud, 10.

Flesh and bread promised as a proof of God's care over them, 11, 12.

Quails come and cover the whole camp, 13.

And a dew fell which left a small round substance on the ground,

which Moses tells them was the bread which God had sent, 14, 15.

Directions for gathering it, 16.

The Israelites gather each an omer, 17, 18.

They are directed to leave none of it till the next day, 19;

which some neglecting, it become putrid, 20.

They gather it every morning, because it melted when the sun

waxed hot, 21.

Each person gathers two omers on the sixth day, 22.

Moses commands them to keep the seventh as a Sabbath

to the Lord, 23.

What was laid up for the Sabbath did not putrefy, 24.

Nothing of it fell on that day, hence the strict observance of

the Sabbath was enjoined, 25-30.

The Israelites name the substance that fell with the dew manna;

its appearance and taste described, 31.

An omer of the manna is commanded to be laid up for a memorial of

Jehovah's kindness, 32-34.

The manna now sent continued daily for the space of forty

years, 35.

How much an omer contained, 36.


Verse 1. The wilderness of Sin] This desert lies between Elim

and Sinai, and from Elim, Dr. Shaw says, Mount Sinai can be seen

distinctly. Mr. Ainsworth supposes that this wilderness had its

name from a strong city of Egypt called Sin, near which it lay.

See Eze 30:15,16. Before they came to the wilderness of

Sin, they had a previous encampment by the Red Sea after they

left Elim, of which Moses makes distinct mention Nu 33:10,11.

The fifteenth day of the second month] This was afterwards

called Ijar, and they had now left Egypt one month, during which

It is probable they lived on the provisions they brought with them

from Rameses, though it is possible they might have had a supply

from the seacoast. Concerning Mount Sinai,

See Clarke on Ex 19:1.

Verse 2. The whole congregation-murmured] This is an additional

proof of the degraded state of the minds of this people;

See Clarke on Ex 13:17. And this very circumstance

affords a convincing argument that a people so stupidly carnal

could not have been induced to leave Egypt had they not been

persuaded so to do by the most evident and striking miracles.

Human nature can never be reduced to a more abject state in this

world than that in which the body is enthralled by political

slavery, and the soul debased by the influence of sin. These poor

Hebrews were both slaves and sinners, and were therefore capable

of the meanest and most disgraceful acts.

Verse 3. The flesh pots] As the Hebrews were in a state of

slavery in Egypt, they were doubtless fed in various companies by

their task masters in particular places, where large pots or

boilers were fixed for the purpose of cooking their victuals.

To these there may be a reference in this place, and the whole

speech only goes to prove that they preferred their bondage in

Egypt to their present state in the wilderness; for they could not

have been in a state of absolute want, as they had brought an

abundance of flocks and herds with them out of Egypt.

Verse 4. I will rain bread] Therefore this substance was not a

production of the desert: nor was the dew that was the instrument

of producing it common there, else they must have had this bread

for a month before.

Verse 6. Ye shall know that the Lord hath brought you out]

After all the miracles they had seen they appear still to suppose

that their being brought out of Egypt was the work of Moses and

Aaron; for though the miracles they had already seen were

convincing for the time, yet as soon as they had passed by they

relapsed into their former infidelity. God therefore saw it

necessary to give them a daily miracle in the fall of the manna,

that they might have the proof if his Divine interposition

constantly before their eyes. Thus they knew that Jehovah had

brought them out, and that it was not the act of Moses and Aaron.

Verse 7. Ye shall see the glory of the Lord] Does it not appear

that the glory of the Lord is here spoken of as something distinct

from the Lord? for it is said HE (the glory) heareth your

murmurings against the Lord; though the Lord may be here put for

himself, the antecedent instead of the relative. This passage

may receive some light from Heb 1:3:

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of

his person, &c. And as St. Paul's words are spoken of the Lord

Jesus, is it not likely that the words of Moses refer to him

also? "No man hath seen God at any time;" hence we may infer that

Christ was the visible agent in all the extraordinary and

miraculous interferences which took place both in the patriarchal

times and under the law.

Verse 8. In the evening flesh to eat] Viz., the quails; and in

the morning bread to the full, viz., the manna.

And what are we?] Only his servants, obeying his commands.

Your murmurings are not against us] For we have not brought

you up from Egypt; but against the Lord, who, by his own

miraculous power and goodness, has brought you out of your


Verse 9. Come near before the Lord] This has been supposed to

refer to some particular place, where the Lord manifested his

presence. The great tabernacle was not yet built, but there

appears to have been a small tabernacle or tent called the

Tabernacle of the Congregation, which, after the sin of the

golden calf, was always placed without the camp; see Ex 33:7:

And Moses took the Tabernacle and pitched it without the camp,

afar off from the camp, and called it The Tabernacle of the

Congregation; and it came to pass that every one that sought the

Lord went out unto the Tabernacle of the Congregation, which was

without the camp. This could not be that portable temple which is

described Ex 26:1-37, &c., and which was not set up till the

first day of the first month of the second year, after their

departure from Egypt, (Ex 40:1-2,) which was upwards of ten months

after the time mentioned in this chapter; and notwithstanding

this, the Israelites are commanded (Ex 16:34) to lay up an

omer of the manna before the testimony, which certainly refers

to an ark, tabernacle, or some such portable shrine, already in

existence. If the great tabernacle be intended, the whole account

of laying up the manna must be introduced here by anticipation,

Moses finishing the account of what was afterwards done, because

the commencement of those circumstances which comprehended the

reasons of the fact itself took place now.

See Clarke on Ex 16:34.

But from the reasonings in the preceding verses it appears that

much infidelity still reigned in the hearts of the people; and in

order to convince them that it was God and not Moses that had

brought them out of Egypt, he (Moses) desired them to come near,

or pay particular attention to some extraordinary manifestation of

the Lord. And we are told in the tenth verse, that "as Aaron

spake unto them, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold the

glory of the Lord appeared, and the Lord spake unto Moses," &c.

Is not this passage explained by Ex 19:9, "And the Lord said unto

Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may

hear, when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever?" May we

not conclude that Moses invited them to come near before the Lord,

and so witness his glory, that they might be convinced it was God

and not he that led them out of Egypt, and that they ought to

submit to him, and cease from their murmurings? It is said,

Ex 19:17, that Moses brought forth the people out of the camp

to meet with God. And in this instance there might have been a

similar though less awful manifestation of the Divine presence.

Verse 10. As Aaron spake] So he now became the spokesman or

minister of Moses to the Hebrews, as he had been before unto

Pharaoh; according to what is written, Ex 7:1, &c.

Verse 13. At even the quails came] selav, from

salah, to be quiet, easy, or secure; and hence the quail,

from their remarkably living at ease and plenty among the corn.

"An amazing number of these birds," says Hasselquist, Travels, p.

209, "come to Egypt at this time, (March,) for in this month the

wheat ripens. They conceal themselves among the corn, but the

Egyptians know that they are thieves, and when they imagine the

field to be full of them they spread a net over the corn and make

a noise, by which the birds, being frightened, and endeavouring to

rise, are caught in the net in great numbers, and make a most

delicate and agreeable dish." The Abb� Pluche tells us, in his

Histoire du Ciel, that the quail was among the ancient Egyptians

the emblem of safety and security.

"Several learned men, particularly the famous Ludolf, Bishop

Patrick, and Scheuchzer, have supposed that the selavim

eaten by the Israelites were locusts. But not to insist on other

arguments against this interpretation, they are expressly called

sheer, flesh, Ps 78:27, which surely locusts are not; and

the Hebrew word is constantly rendered by the Septuagint

ορτυγομητρα, a large kind of quail, and by the Vulgate

coturnices, quails. Compare Wisdom 16:2, 19:12;

Nu 11:31, 32; Ps 105:40; and on Nu xi. observe that

keamathayim should be rendered, not two cubits high, but as Mr.

Bate translates it, 'two cubits distant, (i.e., one from the

other,) for quails do not settle like the locusts one upon

another, but at small distances.' And had the quails lain for a

day's journey round the camp, to the great height of two cubits,

upwards of three feet, the people could not have been employed two

days and a night in gathering them. The spreading them round the

camp was in order to dry them in the burning sands for use, which

is still practised in Egypt." See Parkhurst, sub voce salah.

The difficulties which encumber the text, supposing these to be

quails, led Bishop Patrick to imagine them to be locusts. The

difficulties are three: "1. Their coming by a wind. 2. Their

immense quantities, covering a circle of thirty or forty miles,

two cubits thick. 3. Their being spread in the sun for drying,

which would have been preposterous had they been quails, for it

would have made them corrupt the sooner; but this is the principal

way of preparing locusts to keep for a month or more, when they

are boiled or otherwise dressed." This difficulty he thinks

interpreters pass over, who suppose quails to be intended in the

text. Mr. Harmer takes up the subject, removes the bishop's

difficulties, and vindicates the common version.

"These difficulties appear pressing, or at least the two last;

nevertheless, I have met with several passages in books of

travels, which I shall here give an account of, that they may

soften them; perhaps my reader may think they do more.

"No interpreters, the bishop complains, supposing they were

quails, account for the spreading them out in the sun. Perhaps

they have not. Let me then translate a passage of Maillet, which

relates to a little island which covers one of the ports of

Alexandria: 'It is on this island, which lies farther into the sea

than the main land of Egypt, that the birds annually alight which

come hither for refuge in autumn, in order to avoid the severity

of the cold of our winters in Europe. There is so large a

quantity of all sorts taken there, that after these little birds

have been stripped of their feathers, and buried in the burning

sands for about half a quarter of an hour, they are worth but two

sols the pound. The crews of those vessels which in that season

lie in the harbour of Alexandria, have no other meat allowed

them.' Among other refugees of that time, Maillet elsewhere

expressly mentions quails, which are, therefore, I suppose,

treated after this manner. This passage then does what, according

to the bishop, no commentator has done; it explains the design of

spreading these creatures, supposing they were quails, round about

the camp; it was to dry them in the burning sands in order to

preserve them for use. So Maillet tells us of their drying fish

in the sun of Egypt, as well as of their preserving others by

means of pickle. Other authors speak of the Arabs drying camel's

flesh in the sun and wind, which, though it be not at all salted,

will if kept dry remain good a long while, and which oftentimes,

to save themselves the trouble of dressing, they will eat raw.

This is what St. Jerome may be supposed to refer to, when he calls

the food of the Arabs carnes semicrudae. This drying then of flesh

in the sun is not so preposterous as the bishop imagined. On the

other hand, none of the authors that speak of their way of

preserving locusts in the east, so far as I at present recollect,

give any account of drying them in the sun. They are, according

to Pellow, first purged with water and salt, boiled in new pickle,

and then laid up in dry salt. So, Dr. Russel says, the Arabs eat

these insects when fresh, and also salt them up as a delicacy.

Their immense quantities also forbid the bishop's believing they

were quails; and in truth he represents this difficulty in all its

force, perhaps too forcibly. A circle of forty miles in diameter,

all covered with quails to the depth of more than forty-three

inches, without doubt is a startling representation of this

matter: and I would beg leave to add that the like quantity of

locusts would have been very extraordinary: but then this is not

the representation of Scripture; it does not even agree with it;

for such a quantity of either quails or locusts would have made

the clearing of places for spreading them out, and the passing of

Israel up and down in the neighbourhood of the camp, very

fatiguing, which is not supposed.

"Josephus supposed they were quails, which he says are in

greater numbers thereabouts than any other kinds of birds; and

that, having crossed the sea to the camp of Israel, they who in

common fly nearer the ground than most other birds, flew so low

through the fatigue of their passage as to be within reach of the

Israelites. This explains what he thought was meant by the two

cubits from the face of the earth-their flying within three or

four feet of the ground.

"And when I read Dr. Shaw's account of the way in which the

Arabs frequently catch birds that they have tired, that is, by

running in upon them and knocking them down with their zerwattys,

or bludgeons, as we should call them, I think I almost see the

Israelites before me pursuing the poor, fatigued, and languid


"This is indeed a laborious method of catching these birds, and

not that which is now used in Egypt; for Egmont and Heyman tell

us, that in a walk on the shore of Egypt they saw a sandy plain

several leagues in extent, and covered with reeds without the

least verdure; between which reeds they saw many nets laid for

catching quails, which come over in large flights from Europe

during the month of September. If the ancient Egyptians made use

of the same method of catching quails that they now practise on

those shores, yet Israel in the wilderness, without these

conveniences, must of course make use of that more inartificial

and laborious way of catching them. The Arabs of Barbary, who

have not many conveniences, do the same thing still.

"Bishop Patrick supposes a day's journey to be sixteen or twenty

miles, and thence draws his circle with a radius of that length;

but Dr. Shaw, on another occasion, makes a day's journey but ten

miles, which would make a circle but of twenty miles in diameter:

and as the text evidently designs to express it very

indeterminately, as it were a day's journey, it might be much


"But it does not appear to me at all necessary to suppose the

text intended their covering a circular or nearly a circular spot

of ground, but only that these creatures appeared on both sides of

the camp of Israel, about a day's journey. The same word is used

Ex 7:24, where

round about can mean only on each side of the Nile. And so it

may be a little illustrated by what Dr. Shaw tells us of the three

flights of storks which he saw, when at anchor under the Mount

Carmel, some of which were more scattered, others more compact and

close, each of which took up more than three hours in passing, and

extended itself more than half a mile in breadth. Had this flight

of quails been no greater than these, it might have been thought,

like them, to have been accidental; but so unusual a flock as to

extend fifteen or twenty miles in breadth, and to be two days and

one night in passing, and this, in consequence of the declaration

of Moses, plainly determined that the finger of God was there.

"A third thing which was a difficulty with the bishop was their

being brought with the wind. A hot southerly wind, it is

supposed, brings the locusts; and why quails might not be brought

by the instrumentality of a like wind, or what difficulty there is

in that supposition, I cannot imagine. As soon as the cold is

felt in Europe, Maillet tells us, turtles, quails, and other birds

come to Egypt in great numbers; but he observed that their numbers

were not so large in those years in which the winters were

favourable in Europe; from whence he conjectured that it is rather

necessity than habit which causes them to change their climate: if

so, it appears that it is the increasing heat that causes their

return, and consequently that the hot sultry winds from the south

must have a great effect upon them, to direct their flight


"It is certain that it is about the time that the south wind

begins to blow in Egypt, which is in April, that many of these

migratory birds return. Maillet, who joins quails and turtles

together, and says that they appear in Egypt when the cold begins

to be felt in Europe, does not indeed tell us when they return:

but Theve-not may be said to do it; for after he had told his

reader that they catch snipes in Egypt from January to March, he

adds that in May they catch turtles, and that the turtlers return

again in September; now as they go together southward in

September, we may believe they return again northward much about

the same time. Agreeably to which, Russel tells us that quails

appear in abundance about Aleppo in spring and autumn.

"If natural history were more perfect we might speak to this

point with great distinctness; at present, however, it is so far

from being an objection to their being quails that their coming

was caused by a wind, that nothing is more natural. The same wind

would in course occasion sickness and mortality among the

Israelites, at least it does so in Egypt. The miraculousness then

in this story does not lie in their dying, but the prophet's

foretelling with exactness the coming of that wind, and in the

prodigious numbers of the quails that came with it, together with

the unusualness of the place, perhaps, where they alighted.

"Nothing more remains to be considered but the gathering so

large a quantity as ten omers by those that gathered fewest. But

till that quantity is more precisely ascertained, it is sufficient

to remark that this is only affirmed of those expert sportsmen

among the people, who pursued the game two whole days and a whole

night without intermission; and of them, and of them only, I

presume it is to be understood that he that gathered fewest

gathered ten omers. Hasselquist, who frequently expresses himself

in the most dubious manner in relation to these animals, at other

times is very positive that, if they were birds at all, they were

a species of the quail different from ours, which he describes as

very much resembling the 'red partridge, but as not being larger

than the turtledove.' To this he adds, that 'the Arabians carry

thousands of them to Jerusalem about Whitsuntide, to sell there,'

p. 442. In another place he tells us 'It is found in Judea as

well as in Arabia Petraea, and that he found it between Jordan and

Jericho,' p. 203. One would imagine that Hasselquist means the

scata, which is described by Dr. Russel, vol. ii., p. 194, and

which he represents as brought to market at Aleppo in great

numbers in May and June, though they are to be met with in all


"A whole ass-load of them, he informs us, has often been taken

at once shutting a clasping net, in the abovementioned months,

they are in such plenty."-Harmer vol. iv., p. 367.

Verse 14. Behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a

small round thing] It appears that this small round thing fell

with the dew, or rather the dew fell first, and this substance

fell on it. The dew might have been intended to cool the ground,

that the manna on its fall might not be dissolved; for we find

from Ex 16:21, that the heat of the sun melted it. The ground

therefore being sufficiently cooled by the dew, the manna lay

unmelted long enough for the Israelites to collect a sufficient

quantity for their dally use.

Verse 15. They said one to another, It is manna: for they wist

not what it was.] This is a most unfortunate translation, because

it not only gives no sense, but it contradicts itself. The Hebrew

man hu, literally signifies, What is this? for, says

the text, they wist not what it was, and therefore they could not

give it a name. Moses immediately answers the question, and says,

This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat. From

Ex 16:31 we learn that this substance was afterwards called

man, probably in commemoration of the question they had asked on

its first appearance. Almost all our own ancient versions

translate the words, What is this?

What this substance was we know not. It was nothing that was

common to the wilderness. It is evident the Israelites never saw

it before, for Moses says, De 8:3,16:

He fed thee with manna which thou knewest not, neither did thy

fathers know; and it is very likely that nothing of the kind had

ever been seen before; and by a pot of it being laid up in the

ark, it is as likely that nothing of the kind ever appeared more,

after the miraculous supply in the wilderness had ceased. It

seems to have been created for the present occasion, and, like Him

whom it typified, to have been the only thing of the kind, the

only bread from heaven, which God ever gave to preserve the life

of man, as Christ is the true bread that came down from heaven,

and was given for the life of the world. See Joh 6:31-58.

Verse 16. An omer for every man] I shall here once for all give

a short account of the measures of capacity among the Hebrews.

OMER, from the root amar, to press, squeeze, collect,

and bind together; hence a sheaf of corn-a multitude of stalks

pressed together. It is supposed that the omer, which contained

about three quarts English, had its name from this circumstance;

that it was the most contracted or the smallest measure of things

dry known to the ancient Hebrews; for the kab, which was

less, was not known till the reign of Jehoram, king of Israel,

2Ki 6:25.


The EPHAH, or eiphah, from aphah, to

bake, because this was probably the quantity which was baked at

one time. According to Bishop Cumberland the ephah contained

seven gallons, two quarts, and about half a pint, wine measure;

and as the omer was the tenth part of the ephah, Ex 16:36, it

must have contained about six pints English.

The KAB, is said to have contained about the sixth part of a

seah, or three pints and one third English.

The HOMER, chomer, mentioned Le 27:16, was quite a

different measure from that above, and is a different word in the

Hebrew. The chomer was the largest measure of capacity among the

Hebrews, being equal to ten baths or ephahs, amounting to about

seventy-five gallons, three pints, English. See

Eze 45:11, 13, 14. Goodwin supposes that this measure derived

its name from chamor, an ass, being the ordinary load of

that animal.

The BATH, , was the largest measure of capacity next to the

homer, of which it was the tenth part. It was the same as the

ephah, and consequently contained about seven gallons, two

quarts, and half a pint, and is always used in Scripture as a

measure of liquids.

The SEAH, , was a measure of capacity for things dry, equal

to about two gallons and a half English. See 2Ki 7:1, 16, 18.

The HIN, , according to Bishop Cumberland, was the one-sixth

part of an ephah, and contained a little more than one gallon and

two pints. See Ex 29:40.

The LOG, , was the smallest measure of capacity for liquids

among the Hebrews: it contained about three quarters of a pint.

See Le 14:10, 12.

Take ye-for them which are in his tents.] Some might have

been confined in their tents through sickness or infirmity, and

charity required that those who were in health should gather a

portion for them. For though the psalmist says, Ps 105:37,

There was not one feeble person among their tribes, this must

refer principally to their healthy state when brought out of

Egypt; for it appears that there were many infirm among them when

attacked by the Amalekites. See Clarke on Ex 17:8.

Verse 17. Some more, some less.] According to their respective

families, an omer for a man; and according to the number of infirm

persons whose wants they undertook to supply.

Verse 18. He that gathered much had nothing over] Because his

gathering was in proportion to the number of persons for whom he

had to provide. And some having fewer, others more in family, and

the gathering being in proportion to the persons who were to eat

of it, therefore he that gathered much had nothing over, and he

that gathered little had no lack. Probably every man gathered as

much as he could; and then when brought home and measured by an

omer, if he had a surplus, it went to supply the wants of some

other family that had not been able to collect a sufficiency, the

family being large, and the time in which the manna might be

gathered, before the heat of the day, not being sufficient to

collect enough for so numerous a household, several of whom might

be so confined as not to be able to collect for themselves. Thus

there was an equality, and in this light the words of St. Paul,

2Co 8:15, lead us to view the passage. Here the 36th verse

should come in: Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.

Verse 19. Let no man leave of it till the morning.] For God

would have them to take no thought for the morrow, and constantly

to depend on him for their dally bread. And is not that petition

in our Lord's prayer founded on this very circumstance, Give us

day by day our daily bread?

Verse 20. It bred worms] Their sinful curiosity and

covetousness led them to make the trial; and they had a mass of

the most loathsome putrefaction for their pains. How gracious is

God! He is continually rendering disobedience and sin irksome to

the transgressor; that finding his evil ways to be unprofitable,

he may return to his Maker, and trust in God alone.

Verse 22. On the sixth day they gathered twice as much] This

they did that they might have a provision for the Sabbath, for on

that day no manna fell, Ex 16:26, 27. What a convincing miracle

was this! No manna fell on the Sabbath! Had it been a natural

production it would have fallen on the Sabbath as at other times;

and had there not been a supernatural influence to keep it sweet

and pure, it would have been corrupted on the Sabbath as well as

on other days. By this series of miracles God showed his own

power, presence, and goodness, 1. In sending the manna on each of

the six days; 2. In sending none on the seventh, or Sabbath; 3. In

preserving it from putrefaction when laid up for the use of that

day, though it infallibly corrupted if kept over night on any

other day.

Verse 23. To-morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath] There is

nothing either in the text or context that seems to intimate that

the Sabbath was now first given to the Israelites, as some have

supposed: on the contrary, it is here spoken of as being perfectly

well known, from its having been generally observed. The

commandment, it is true, may be considered as being now renewed;

because they might have supposed that in their unsettled state in

the wilderness they might have been exempted from the observance

of it. Thus we find, 1. That when God finished his creation, he

instituted the Sabbath; 2. When he brought the people out of

Egypt, he insisted on the strict observance of it; 3. When he gave

the LAW, he made it a tenth part of the whole, such importance has

this institution in the eyes of the Supreme Being! On the supposed

change of the Sabbath from what we call Sunday to Saturday,

effected on this occasion, See Clarke on De 5:15.

Verse 29. Abide ye every man in his place] Neither go out to

seek manna nor for any other purpose; rest at home and devote your

time to religious exercises. Several of the Jews understood by

place in the text, the camp, and have generally supposed that no

man should go out of the place, i.e., the city, town, or village

in which he resides, any farther than one thousand cubits, about

an English mile, which also is called a Sabbath day's journey,

Ac 1:12; and so many cubits they consider the space round the

city that constitutes its suburbs, which they draw from

Nu 35:3, 4. Some of the Jews have carried the rigorous

observance of the letter of this law to such a length, that in

whatever posture they find themselves on the Sabbath morning when

they awake, they continue in the same during the day; or should

they be up and happen to fall, they refuse even to rise till the

Sabbath be ended! Mr. Stapleton tells a story of one Rabbi

Solomon, who fell into a slough on the Jewish Sabbath, Saturday,

and refused to be pulled out, giving his reason in the following

Leonine couplet:-

Sabbatha sancta colo De stereore surgere nolo.

"Out of this slough I will not rise

For holy Sabbath day I prize."

The Christians, finding him thus disposed determined he should

honour their Sabbath in the same place, and actually kept the poor

man in the slough all Sunday, giving their reasons in nearly the

same way:-

Sabbatha nostra quidem, Solomon, celebrabis ibidem.

"In the same slough, thou stubborn Jew,

Our Sabbath day thou shalt spend too."

This might have served to convince him of his folly, but

certainly was not the likeliest way to convert him to


FABYAN, in his Chronicles, tells the following story of a case

of this kind. "In this yere also (1259) fell that happe of the

Iewe of Tewkysbury, which fell into a gonge upon the Satyrday, and

wolde not for reverence of his sabbot day be pluckyd out; whereof

heryng the Erle of Gloucetyr, that the Iewe dyd so great reverence

to his sabbot daye, thought he wolde doo as moche unto his holy

day, which was Sonday, and so kepte hym there tyll Monday, at

whiche season he was foundyn dede." Then the earl of Gloucester

murdered the poor man.

Verse 31. Called the name thereof Manna]

See Clarke on Ex 16:15.

Verse 32. To be kept for your generations]

See Clarke on Ex 16:9.

Verse 34. Laid it up before the testimony] The eduth or

testimony belonged properly to the tabernacle, but that was not

yet built. Some are of opinion that the tabernacle, built under

the direction of Moses, was only a renewal of one that had existed

in the patriarchal times. See Clarke on Ex 16:9. The word

signifies reference to something beyond itself; thus the

tabernacle, the manna, the tables of stone, Aaron's rod, &c., all

bore reference and testimony to that spiritual good which was yet

to come, viz., JESUS CHRIST and his salvation.

Verse 35. The children of Israel did eat manna forty years]

From this verse it has been supposed that the book of Exodus was

not written till after the miracle of the manna had ceased. But

these words might have been added by Ezra, who under the direction

of the Divine Spirit collected and digested the different inspired

books, adding such supplementary, explanatory, and connecting

sentences, as were deemed proper to complete and arrange the whole

of the sacred canon. For previously to his time, according to the

universal testimony of the Jews, all the books of the Old

Testament were found in an unconnected and dispersed state.

Verse 36. Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.]

About six pints, English. See Clarke on Ex 16:16. The true

place of this verse seems to be immediately after Ex 16:18, for

here it has no connection.

1. ON the miracle of the manna, which is the chief subject in

this chapter, a good deal has already been said in the preceding

notes. The sacred historian has given us the most circumstantial

proofs that it was a supernatural and miraculous supply; that

nothing of the kind had ever been seen before, and probably

nothing like it had ever afterwards appeared. That it was a type

of our blessed Redeemer, and of the salvation which he has

provided for man, there can be no doubt, for in this way it is

applied by Christ himself; and from it we may gather this general

conclusion, that salvation is of the Lord. The Israelites must

have perished in the wilderness, had not God fed them with bread

from heaven; and every human soul must have perished, had not

Jesus Christ come down from heaven, and given himself for the life

of the world.

2. God would have the Israelites continually dependent on

himself for all their supplies; but he would make them, in a

certain way, workers with him. He provided the manna; they

gathered and ate it. The first was God's work; the latter, their

own. They could not produce the manna, and God would not gather

it for them. Thus the providence of God appears in such a way as

to secure the co-operation of man. Though man should plant and

water, yet it is God who giveth the increase. But if man neither

plant nor water, God will give no increase. We cannot do God's

work, and he will not do ours. Let us, therefore, both in things

spiritual and temporal, be workers together with HIM.

3. This daily supply of the manna probably gave rise to that

petition, Give us to-day our daily bread. It is worthy of remark,

1. That what was left over night contrary to the command of God

bred worms and stank; 2. That a double portion was gathered on the

day preceding the Sabbath; 3. That this alone continued wholesome

on the following day; and, 4. That none fell on the Sabbath!

Hence we find that the Sabbath was considered a Divine institution

previously to the giving of the Mosaic law; and that God continued

to honour that day by permitting no manna to fall during its

course. Whatever is earned on the Sabbath is a curse in a man's

property. They who WILL be rich, fall into temptation and into a

snare, &c.; for, using illicit means to acquire lawful things,

they bring God's curse upon themselves, and are drowned in

destruction and perdition. Reader, dost thou work on the Sabbath

to increase thy property? See thou do it not! Property acquired

in this way will be a curse both to thee and to thy posterity.

4. To show their children and children's children what God had

done for their fathers, a pot of manna was laid up before the

testimony. We should remember our providential and gracious

deliverances in such a way as to give God the praise of his own

grace. An ungrateful heart is always associated with an

unbelieving mind and an unholy life. Like Israel, we should

consider with what bread God has fed our fathers, and see that we

have the same; the same Christ-the bread of life, the same

doctrines, the same ordinances, and the same religious experience.

How little are we benefited by being Protestants, if we be not

partakers of the Protestant faith! And how useless will even that

faith be to us, if we hold the truth in unrighteousness. Our

fathers had religion enough to enable them to burn gloriously for

the truth of God! Reader, hast thou so much of the life of God in

thy soul, that thou couldst burn to ashes at the stake rather than

lose it? In a word, couldst thou be a martyr? Or hast thou so

little grace to lose, that thy life would be more than an

equivalent for thy loss? Where is the manna on which thy fathers


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