BIBLE: Exodus Chapter 16 – Headline “Hikers Found in Sin”

Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

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Exodus 16

What should I learn from this chapter?

  • Jewish Calendar
  • Meaning of Omer with tithe and first fruit
  • Sin means thorn
  • The Meaning of Sabbath
  • Testing and Obedience
  • The Meaning of the Number 40

The Israelis left Egypt on Nisan 15, the fifteen day of the first month. The Bread from Heaven is exactly one Jewish month to the day after coming out of Egypt.

Bread from Heaven

Exodus 16:1 And they journeyed from Elim (Palm Trees), and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Sin (Thorns), which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month (Iyyar aka Ziv 15) after they departed from the land of Egypt.
  • The meaning of the name “Elim” is Palm Trees.
    • Exodus 15:27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees; so they camped there by the waters.
    • Palm Trees are associated with gentile nations.
  • The meaning of the name “Sin” in Wilderness of Sin is merely a transliteration of the Hebrew word which means thorn.
    • Thorn is associated with “Leviathan/Satan” used with the curse of toiling the earth of thorns after the fall of man and the crown of thorns on Jesus’ head.
Exodus 16:2 Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.

God despises complaining but loves thanksgiving and gratefulness. In Job chapter 3 complaining and cursing (blasphemy) gets Satan attention (aroused).

  • Job 3:8 May those curse it who curse the day, those who are ready to arouse Leviathan (Satan).
  • Isaiah 27:1b the Lord with His severe sword, great and strong, will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan that twisted serpent; And He will slay the reptile that is in the sea (of people).
Exodus 16:3 And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
  • The term “wilderness” is symbolic for being “lost in a place of desolation”. In this case the Hebrews were lost at this time of their life in their desperation of desolation. But they were not lost at all because God knew where they were and where He was taking them. They were mistaken if they thought they were forsaken. They, like most men, complain and curse when faced with life threatening dilemmas when it would be better to praise God beforehand in faith knowing He is going to lead you out of your wilderness.
Exodus 16:4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.

Jesus is the bread from heaven:

  • John 6:33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
  • John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
  • John 6:48 I am the bread of life.
  • John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

One of the meanings for “rain” is “teacher” alluding to the “faithful teacher” which is the Messiah.

  • What “test” is this “Teacher” giving them? First He gives them instructions.
Exodus 16:5 And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.”
  • The Teacher tells them when the “test” begins: “on the 6th day of the week”.
    Instruction 1: Gather twice as much.
    Instruction 2: Prepare it on the sixth day, not the 7th day.
Exodus 16:6 Then Moses and Aaron said to all the children of Israel, “At evening you shall know that the Lord has brought you out of the land of Egypt.
  • It begins in the evening.
    Then He tells them what the outcome is if they do it correctly.
    The reward for completing this “test” is reassurance – they can rest in the Teacher that everything is going to come out okay.
Exodus 16:7 And in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord; for He hears your complaints against the Lord. But what are we, that you complain against us?”
  • In the morning bread rains from heaven. God has arrived.
Exodus 16:8 Also Moses said, “This shall be seen when the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to the full; for the Lord hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the Lord.”
  • Moses lays the blame of the shame at their feet for not trusting their God.
Exodus 16:9 Then Moses spoke to Aaron, “Say to all the congregation of the children of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord, for He has heard your complaints.’ ”
Exodus 16:10 Now it came to pass, as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.
Exodus 16:11 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
Exodus 16:12 “I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’ ”
Exodus 16:13 So it was that quail came up at evening and covered the camp, and in the morning the dew lay all around the camp.
Exodus 16:14 And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground.
Exodus 16:15 So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.
And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.
Exodus 16:16 This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: ‘Let every man gather it according to each one’s need, one omer (literally: sheaf) for each person, according to the number of persons; let every man take for those who are in his tent.’ ”
  • Instruction: Take only what you need. Believe that God will provide repeatedly!
Exodus 16:17 Then the children of Israel did so and gathered, some more, some less.
Exodus 16:18 So when they measured it by omers, he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. Every man had gathered according to each one’s need.
  • Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
  • Matthew 6:25-34 Do Not Worry – “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.
Exodus 16:19 And Moses said, “Let no one leave any of it till morning.”
  • Don’t start a savings account with the extra “bread”.
Exodus 16:20 Notwithstanding they did not heed Moses. But some of them left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them.
  • They flunked the test.
Exodus 16:21 So they gathered it every morning, every man according to his need. And when the sun became hot, it melted.
Exodus 16:22 And so it was, on the sixth day, that they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
  • This exact same bread did not rot when the Sabbath came around.
  • Philippians 4:6: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” It’s called faith.
Exodus 16:23 Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.’
  • The 6th day they can take more, they are instructed to take twice as much and prepare it ahead of time so that they have a complete day of rest the following day.
Exodus 16:24 So they laid it up till morning, as Moses commanded; and it did not stink, nor were there any worms in it.

The “Bread from Heaven” not only meets their needs, but He meets our needs specifically and differently for the need of the day.

  • Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Exodus 16:25 Then Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it (resting) in the field.

Note: The “Field” is symbolic for the world.

You’re not going to find anything like this in the world. If you do, it will stink and be wormy.

Exodus 16:26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.”

“Sabbath: A day of rest when God does your work for you.”

~Barbarah Grover

Exodus 16:27 Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none.
  • They flunked again.
Exodus 16:28 And the Lord said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?
  • Moses gets the blame.
  • Deuteronomy 8:2 And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
Exodus 16:29 See! For the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.”
Exodus 16:30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

They were forced to be free and not return to Egypt.
They were forced to rest.
They were forced to enjoy God’s blessings.

  • Matthew 6: 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Exodus 16:31 And the house of Israel called its name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.
  • “Manna” in Hebrew means “What’s this?”
Exodus 16:32 Then Moses said, “This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: ‘Fill an omer with it, to be kept for your generations, that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’ ”
  • This will be a souvenir to remind the Hebrews of God’s miracles for all generations to come.
  • In modern terms, it would also include a video.
Exodus 16:33 And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a pot and put an omer of manna in it, and lay it up before the Lord, to be kept for your generations.”
Exodus 16:34 As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.
  • Hebrews 9:4 (The Holy of Holies) which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant;
Exodus 16:35 And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.
  • Joshua 5:12 Then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten the produce of the land; and the children of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate the food of the land of Canaan that year.
  • Psalm 95:8 Today, if you will hear His voice: “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, as in the day of trial (testing) in the wilderness, 9 When your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work. 10 For forty years I was grieved (disgusted) with that generation, and said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts, and they do not know My ways.’ 11 So I swore in My wrath,
    ‘They shall not enter My rest (the promised land is a type of the sabbath, a place of rest.’ ”

The meaning of the number Forty: ” It’s Time for a Change”. See Topic: The Number Forty

Exodus 16:36 Now an omer (Literally: sheaf of grain) is one-tenth of an ephah.
Counting Our Blessings With Omer · Mini Manna Moments
  • The omer was equivalent to the capacity of 43.2 eggs
  • An ephah is approximately one bushel or 10×43.2 eggs = 432 eggs

An ephah contains 10 omers of grain.

An “omer” is a tithe (a tenth part of an ephah), the first fruit. It is usually translated as ‘sheaf’,  a bundle of stalks of grain.

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