16 Now they left Elim and journeyed on into the Sihn Desert, between Elim and Mount Sinai, arriving there on the fifteenth day of the second month after leaving Egypt. 2 There, too, the people spoke bitterly against Moses and Aaron.
3 “Oh, that we were back in Egypt,” they moaned, “and that the Lord had killed us there! For there we had plenty to eat. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to kill us with starvation.”
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for them. Everyone can go out each day and gather as much food as he needs. And I will test them in this, to see whether they will follow my instructions or not. 5 Tell them to gather twice as much as usual on the sixth day of each week.”
6 Then Moses and Aaron called a meeting of all the people of Israel and told them, “This evening you will realize that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt. 7-9 In the morning you will see more of his glory; for he has heard your complaints against him (for you aren’t really complaining against us—who are we? ). The Lord will give you meat to eat in the evening, and bread in the morning. Come now before Jehovah and hear his reply to your complaints.”
10 So Aaron called them together and suddenly, out toward the wilderness, from within the guiding cloud, there appeared the awesome glory of Jehovah.
11-12 And Jehovah said to Moses, “I have heard their complaints. Tell them, ‘In the evening you will have meat and in the morning you will be stuffed with bread, and you shall know that I am Jehovah your God.’”
13 That evening vast numbers of quail arrived and covered the camp, and in the morning the desert all around the camp was wet with dew; 14 and when the dew disappeared later in the morning it left thin white flakes that covered the ground like frost. 15 When the people of Israel saw it they asked each other, “What is it?”
And Moses told them, “It is the food Jehovah has given you. 16 Jehovah has said for everyone to gather as much as is needed for his household—about two quarts[a] for each person.”
17 So the people of Israel went out and gathered it—some getting more and some less before it melted on the ground, 18 and there was just enough for everyone. Those who gathered more had nothing left over and those who gathered little had no lack! Each home had just enough.
19 And Moses told them, “Don’t leave it overnight.”
20 But of course some of them wouldn’t listen, and left it until morning; and when they looked, it was full of maggots and had a terrible odor; and Moses was very angry with them. 21 So they gathered the food morning by morning, each home according to its need; and when the sun became hot upon the ground, the food melted and disappeared. 22 On the sixth day there was twice as much as usual on the ground—four quarts instead of two; the leaders of the people came and asked Moses why this had happened.
23 And he told them, “Because the Lord has appointed tomorrow as a day of seriousness and rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord when we must refrain from doing our daily tasks. So cook as much as you want to today, and keep what is left for tomorrow.”
24 And the next morning the food was wholesome and good, without maggots or odor. 25 Moses said, “This is your food for today, for today is the Sabbath to Jehovah and there will be no food on the ground today. 26 Gather the food for six days, but the seventh is a Sabbath, and there will be none there for you on that day.”
27 But some of the people went out anyway to gather food, even though it was the Sabbath, but there wasn’t any.
28-29 “How long will these people refuse to obey?” the Lord asked Moses. “Don’t they realize that I am giving them twice as much on the sixth day, so that there will be enough for two days? For the Lord has given you the seventh day as a day of Sabbath rest; stay in your tents and don’t go out to pick up food from the ground that day.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
31 And the food became known as “manna” (meaning “What is it?”); it was white, like coriander seed, and flat, and tasted like honey bread.
32 Then Moses gave them this further instruction from the Lord: they were to take two quarts of it to be kept as a museum specimen forever, so that later generations could see the bread the Lord had fed them in the wilderness, when he brought them from Egypt. 33 Moses told Aaron to get a container and put two quarts of manna in it and to keep it in a sacred place from generation to generation. 34 Aaron did this, just as the Lord had instructed Moses, and eventually it was kept in the Ark in the Tabernacle.
35 So the people of Israel ate the manna forty years until they arrived in the land of Canaan, where there were crops to eat. 36 The omer—the container used to measure the manna—held about two quarts; it is approximately a tenth of a bushel.
- Exodus 16:16 about two quarts, literally, “an omer.” The exact measure is not known.
New International Version
Manna and Quail
16 The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin,(A) which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt.(B) 2 In the desert the whole community grumbled(C) against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt!(D) There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food(E) we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”(F)
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven(G) for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test(H) them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice(I) as much as they gather on the other days.”
6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt,(J) 7 and in the morning you will see the glory(K) of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling(L) against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?”(M) 8 Moses also said, “You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling(N) against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.”(O)
9 Then Moses told Aaron, “Say to the entire Israelite community, ‘Come before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’”
11 The Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling(R) of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’”(S)
13 That evening quail(T) came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew(U) around the camp. 14 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost(V) on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know(W) what it was.
Moses said to them, “It is the bread(X) the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer[a](Y) for each person you have in your tent.’”
17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.(Z) Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.
19 Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”(AA)
21 Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. 22 On the sixth day, they gathered twice(AD) as much—two omers[b] for each person—and the leaders of the community(AE) came and reported this to Moses. 23 He said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath(AF) to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’”
24 So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. 25 “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a sabbath to the Lord. You will not find any of it on the ground today. 26 Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath,(AG) there will not be any.”
27 Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. 28 Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you[c] refuse to keep my commands(AH) and my instructions? 29 Bear in mind that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
31 The people of Israel called the bread manna.[d](AI) It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. 32 Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.’”
33 So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put an omer of manna(AJ) in it. Then place it before the Lord to be kept for the generations to come.”
34 As the Lord commanded Moses, Aaron put the manna with the tablets of the covenant law,(AK) so that it might be preserved. 35 The Israelites ate manna(AL) forty years,(AM) until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan.(AN)