The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Exodus 16

Exo 16:1

SIN: Heb "Ciyn" = enmity, bramble. Sym the rebellious people (ie Eze 2:6). A hard climb ahead, through mountains of Sinai, even though the pillar leads them.

Exo 16:2

13 murmurings: Exo 5:21; 14:10; 15:24; 16:2; 17:2; 32:1; Num 11:1,4; 12:2; 14:2; 16:3; 20:2; 21:5. Cp Joh 6:41-43. Those who murmur without cause are soon given cause to murmur.

"From the time Moses went back to Egypt until after they were settled in the promised land, a constant murmuring was heard in the camp of Israel. They were a nation of grumblers. If things were not just right, they would grumble against Moses and against the LORD. They grumbled about the work, the water, the food, the leadership, the desert, the giants in the land -- and it went on and on and on for more than forty years.

"Having seen this characteristic in God's people Israel after they had been redeemed, we should look carefully at ourselves. After all, we are all human and what is a problem to one person is often a problem to more of us, though it is sometimes hard to see it in ourselves.

"Take note of the tone of your conversation next time you find yourself talking about someone else. Are we praising them, planning encouragement or criticizing and complaining? Does it make a difference whether we think they deserve our criticisms or not? Israel seemed to think that Moses deserved their grumblings -- and yet how wrong they were!

"The bottom line is that God does not like us grumbling. It is a sin. Let's remove it from our lives and be positive. Let's encourage instead of complain, and share our needs with God instead of gossiping about things that have gone wrong.

"Are you humbly grateful or grumbly hateful?" (RP).

Exo 16:3

If God gave the greater deliverance, will He not give the lesser ones as well? Cp Rom 8:31,32.

Exo 16:4

BREAD FROM HEAVEN: "Angels' food" (Psa 78:24,25). The "bread" -- Christ (Joh 6:31,32,49,50) -- is God's cure for man's "enmity".

Exo 16:7

Vv 7,8: (1) The glory of God, revealed in Christ (Joh 1:14).
(2) Israel eats flesh in the evening (v 12); partaking of the flesh of Christ, in the evening, and his subsequent crucifixion, the next evening. (3) Israel eats bread (v 15), "the hidden manna" (Rev 2:17).

Exo 16:8

YOU ARE NOT GRUMBLING AGAINST US, BUT AGAINST THE LORD: You are not attacking Moses, but God. "He that despises you despises me" (Luk 10:16). Cp also 1Sa 8:7 (not Samuel, but God); Act 5:4 (Ananias lied, not to men, but to God); Psa 51:4 (David sinned, not against Uriah, but against God).

Exo 16:12

THE GRUMBLING OF THE ISRAELITES: Sand in their sandwiches, monotony of landscape, thirsty kids, bickering families, no supermarket at the corner... and now, NO BREAD! Cp 1Co 10:12.

AT TWILIGHT YOU WILL EAT MEAT: The quail, given only once, here. Two years later, they demand more (Num 11:4), and are punished. Typ one-time sacrifice of Christ (Heb 9:26), in the evening, at the "end of the world".

Exo 16:13

DEW: Sym resurrection glory: Isa 26:19.

Exo 16:15

WHAT IS IT?: Cp Joh 9:29: "As for this man, from whence is he?"

Exo 16:18

Cited 2Co 8:14,15: An incentive to charity. God assures that each one has all he needs. Each should share with others.

Exo 16:21

EVERY MORNING: Manna given (here). Fire on the altar (Lev 6:12). Incense offered (Exo 30:7). Praise offered (1Ch 23:30). Service offered (1Ch 9:27). Sacrifice presented (2Ch 2:4; 13:11). God visits (Job 7:18). God is their arm (Isa 33:2). His compassions new (Lam 3:23). The Philistines present themselves (1Sa 17:16). God silences the wicked (Psa 101:8). Judgment (Zep 3:5). Administer justice (Jer 21:12).

Exo 16:23

A HOLY SABBATH: A law to God's people even before the giving of the Law in Exo 20.

Exo 16:27

ON THE SEVENTH DAY... THEY FOUND NONE: Christ was crucified on the 6th day.

"Israel gathered a double portion [of the Manna] on Friday; so that when they went out on Saturday to look for it, 'they did not find it in the field,' as Moses said: so when they gathered the bread of heaven, and laid him in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, those who might go out to look, could find the Son of Man no longer sowing the words of eternal life in the field.

"But some of the manna was incorruptible for a longer period than the sixth and seventh days. It was made to last for generations. Moses was commanded to put an omer, or tenth part of an ephah, of manna into a pot, and to lay it up before the Testimony, to be kept. Every day this was preserved, and it was kept for centuries, evinced the presence of the Spirit in the Most Holy; for ordinarily it would not keep. It was deposited in the chest, called the Ark of the Testimony, which was overlaid with gold; whose lid was termed the... Mercy Seat; and upon which the Cherubim were based. This Ark of the Covenant contained the Tables of the Law, the pot of Manna, and Aaron's Rod which budded; things all representative of the Logos [the Word] in his incarnate manifestation.

"Now as Aaron laid up an omer full in a pot, and concealed it from view within the Ark of the Testimony there to remain for centuries; so the Eternal Spirit concealed in Jesus, the antitypical Ark of his Testimony, that deposit of Manna, from which it shall be given to those who overcome to eat. We feed upon this manna from day to day in feeding upon the truth. But what we eat to-day will not suffice for the morrow. We must keep it in memory. But though we thus feed, and rejoice in "the right to life," yet it is life-manna concealed; for 'we are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory': Col 3:3,4" (Eur 1:313).

Exo 16:32

SO THEY CAN SEE THE BREAD: Since the bread was kept in the Most Holy, when could it be seen? It could only be seen on the Day of Atonement, when the high priest could bring the pot out when he came out to bless the people: cp Heb 9:4,28; Joh 6:27,49,50; Rev 2:17; 11:9; Col 3:3 (WRev 23).

Exo 16:33

THEN PLACE IT BEFORE THE LORD: Christ in heaven at the right hand of the Father: "Though once, like the daily manna, corruptible... (he is now, and ever will be) like the manna in the ark, incorruptible" (Eur 1:314).

Exo 16:34

TESTIMONY: So called because of the tables of stone laid up there (Exo 25). This is later date, after the tables of covenant were received and placed in the ark.

Exo 16:35

MANNA FORTY YEARS: The manna (ie Christ) was sufficient for entire 40 years of probation.

Exo 16:36

TENTH: The tenth, or tithe, was the part devoted to God (Lev 27:30) (Xd 121:255).
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