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Exodus 16-18 (New American Standard Bible)

Exodus 16-18

The Lord Provides Manna

16 Then they set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the sons of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure from the land of Egypt. The whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The sons of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of [a]meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My [b]instruction. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” So Moses and Aaron said to all the sons of Israel, “At evening [c]you will know that the Lord has brought you out of the land of Egypt; and in the morning [d]you will see the glory of the Lord, for He hears your grumblings against the Lord; and what are we, that you grumble against us?”

The Lord Provides Meat

Moses said, “This will happen when the Lord gives you [e]meat to eat in the evening, and bread to the full in the morning; for the Lord hears your grumblings which you grumble against Him. And what are we? Your grumblings are not against us but against the Lord.”

Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord, for He has heard your grumblings.’” 10 It came about as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the sons of Israel, that they [f]looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 12 I have heard the grumblings of the sons of Israel; speak to them, saying, ‘[g]At twilight you shall eat [h]meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”

13 So it came about at evening that the quails came up and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the layer of dew [i]evaporated, behold, on the [j]surface of the wilderness there was a fine flake-like thing, fine as the frost on the ground. 15 When the sons of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “[k]What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is [l]what the Lord has commanded, ‘Gather of it every man [m]as much as he should eat; you shall take [n]an omer apiece according to the number of persons each of you has in his tent.’” 17 The sons of Israel did so, and some gathered much and some little. 18 When they measured it with an omer, he who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack; every man gathered [o]as much as he should eat. 19 Moses said to them, “Let no man leave any of it until morning.” 20 But they did not listen to Moses, and some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul; and Moses was angry with them. 21 They gathered it morning by morning, every man [p]as much as he should eat; but when the sun grew hot, it would melt.

The Sabbath Observed

22 Now on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. When all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, 23 then he said to them, “This is what the Lord [q]meant: Tomorrow is a sabbath observance, a holy sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over [r]put aside to be kept until morning.” 24 So they [s]put it aside until morning, as Moses had ordered, and it did not become foul nor was there any worm in it. 25 Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the sabbath, there will be [t]none.”

27 It came about on the seventh day that some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. 28 Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My [u]instructions? 29 See, [v]the Lord has given you the sabbath; therefore He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Remain every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

31 The house of Israel named it [w]manna, and it was like coriander seed, white, and its taste was like wafers with honey. 32 Then Moses said, “This is [x]what the Lord has commanded, ‘Let an omerful of it be kept throughout your generations, that they may see the bread that I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’” 33 Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put an omerful of manna in it, and place it before the Lord to be kept throughout your generations.” 34 As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the Testimony, to be kept. 35 The sons of Israel ate the manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan. 36 (Now an omer is a tenth of an [y]ephah.)

Water in the Rock

17 Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by [z]stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the [aa]command of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water that we may drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water; and [ab]they grumbled against Moses and said, “Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill [ac]us and [ad]our children and [ae]our livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “What shall I do to this people? A little more and they will stone me.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pass before the people and take with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand your staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. He named the place [af]Massah and [ag]Meribah because of the quarrel of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us, or not?”

Amalek Fought

Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men for us and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10 Joshua did as Moses [ah]told him, [ai]and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand [aj]down, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set. 13 So Joshua [ak]overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this in [al]a book as a memorial and [am]recite it to Joshua, [an]that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 Moses built an altar and named it The Lord is My Banner; 16 and he said, “[ao]The Lord has sworn; the Lord will have war against Amalek from generation to generation.”

Jethro, Moses’ Father-in-law

18 Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people, how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt. Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took Moses’ wife Zipporah, after he had sent her away, and her two sons, of whom [ap]one was named Gershom, for Moses said, “I have been a [aq]sojourner in a foreign land.” [ar]The other was named [as]Eliezer, for he said, “The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.”

Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses [at]in the wilderness where he was camped, at the mount of God. He [au]sent word to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her.” Then Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and he bowed down and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare and went into the tent. Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had befallen them on the journey, and how the Lord had delivered them. Jethro rejoiced over all the goodness which the Lord had done to Israel, [av]in delivering [aw]them from the hand of the Egyptians. 10 So Jethro said, “Blessed be the Lord who delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of Pharaoh, and who delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods; [ax]indeed, it was proven when they dealt proudly against [ay]the people.” 12 Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat [az]a meal with Moses’ father-in-law before God.

13 It came about the next day that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood about Moses from the morning until the evening. 14 Now when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge and all the people stand about you from morning until evening?” 15 Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 When they have a [ba]dispute, it comes to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor and make known the statutes of God and His laws.”

Jethro Counsels Moses

17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good. 18 You will surely wear out, both yourself and [bb]these people who are with you, for the [bc]task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. 19 Now listen to [bd]me: I will give you counsel, and God be with you. [be]You be the people’s representative before God, and you bring the [bf]disputes to God, 20 then teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do. 21 Furthermore, you shall [bg]select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, [bh]of hundreds, [bi]of fifties and [bj]of tens. 22 Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that every major [bk]dispute they will bring to you, but every minor [bl]dispute they themselves will judge. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this thing and God so commands you, then you will be able to [bm]endure, and all [bn]these people also will go to [bo]their place in peace.”

24 So Moses listened [bp]to his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, leaders of thousands, [bq]of hundreds, [br]of fifties and [bs]of tens. 26 They judged the people at all times; the difficult [bt]dispute they would bring to Moses, but every minor [bu]dispute they themselves would judge. 27 Then Moses [bv]bade his father-in-law farewell, and he went his way into his own land.


  1. Exodus 16:3 Or flesh
  2. Exodus 16:4 Or law
  3. Exodus 16:6 Lit and you
  4. Exodus 16:7 Lit and you
  5. Exodus 16:8 Or flesh
  6. Exodus 16:10 Lit turned
  7. Exodus 16:12 Lit Between the two evenings
  8. Exodus 16:12 Or flesh
  9. Exodus 16:14 Lit had gone up
  10. Exodus 16:14 Lit face of
  11. Exodus 16:15 Heb Man hu, cf v 31
  12. Exodus 16:16 Lit the thing which
  13. Exodus 16:16 Lit according to his eating
  14. Exodus 16:16 Lit an omer for a head
  15. Exodus 16:18 Lit according to his eating
  16. Exodus 16:21 Lit according to his eating
  17. Exodus 16:23 Lit spoke
  18. Exodus 16:23 Lit lay up for you
  19. Exodus 16:24 Lit laid it up
  20. Exodus 16:26 Lit none on it
  21. Exodus 16:28 Or laws
  22. Exodus 16:29 Lit for the Lord
  23. Exodus 16:31 Heb man, cf v 15
  24. Exodus 16:32 Lit the thing which
  25. Exodus 16:36 I.e. Approx one bu
  26. Exodus 17:1 Lit their journeyings
  27. Exodus 17:1 Lit mouth
  28. Exodus 17:3 Lit the people
  29. Exodus 17:3 Lit me
  30. Exodus 17:3 Lit my
  31. Exodus 17:3 Lit my
  32. Exodus 17:7 I.e. test
  33. Exodus 17:7 I.e. quarrel
  34. Exodus 17:10 Lit said to
  35. Exodus 17:10 Lit to fight
  36. Exodus 17:11 Lit rest
  37. Exodus 17:13 Lit weakened
  38. Exodus 17:14 Lit the book
  39. Exodus 17:14 Lit place it in the ears of
  40. Exodus 17:14 Or for
  41. Exodus 17:16 Or Because a hand is against the throne of the Lord; lit Because a hand upon the throne of Yah
  42. Exodus 18:3 Lit the name of the one was
  43. Exodus 18:3 Heb ger
  44. Exodus 18:4 Lit The name of the other was
  45. Exodus 18:4 Heb El-ezer; i.e. my God is help
  46. Exodus 18:5 Lit unto
  47. Exodus 18:6 Lit said
  48. Exodus 18:9 Lit in that He had delivered
  49. Exodus 18:9 Lit him
  50. Exodus 18:11 Lit indeed, in the thing in which they
  51. Exodus 18:11 Lit them
  52. Exodus 18:12 Lit bread
  53. Exodus 18:16 Lit matter
  54. Exodus 18:18 Lit this
  55. Exodus 18:18 Lit matter
  56. Exodus 18:19 Lit my voice
  57. Exodus 18:19 Lit You be for the people in front of God
  58. Exodus 18:19 Lit matters
  59. Exodus 18:21 Lit see
  60. Exodus 18:21 Lit leaders of
  61. Exodus 18:21 Lit leaders of
  62. Exodus 18:21 Lit leaders of
  63. Exodus 18:22 Lit matter
  64. Exodus 18:22 Lit matter
  65. Exodus 18:23 Lit stand
  66. Exodus 18:23 Lit this
  67. Exodus 18:23 Lit his
  68. Exodus 18:24 Lit to the voice of
  69. Exodus 18:25 Lit leaders of
  70. Exodus 18:25 Lit leaders of
  71. Exodus 18:25 Lit leaders of
  72. Exodus 18:26 Lit matter
  73. Exodus 18:26 Lit matter
  74. Exodus 18:27 Lit sent off his father-in-law
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New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

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