One month after leaving Egypt, Israel came to a wilderness [desert] called Sin. The obvious word SIN cannot be overlooked and this desert was typical of the dry desert waste and the decay and death that sin brings in our lives.
Exodus 16:1 And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.
The people complain against God instead of seeking His deliverance, and they long to return to the bondage of Egypt. This is a lesson that Satan tries his best to discourage us to give up the fight against sin, but if we are faithful to live by every Word of God, God will deliver us.
16:2 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: 16:3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
Then the Eternal rains bread down from heaven; this being an obvious analogy of the spiritual Bread of Life, Jesus Christ and the Word of God; given to men from God in the spiritual wilderness of this world.
16:4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove [test] them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
God does not prepare food for the people on the Sabbath, revealing by God’s own example that we should also NOT prepare food on the Sabbath. We are to prepare our food on the day BEFORE the Sabbath and Holy Days and we are not to cook on God’s Sabbaths and Annual High Days.
16:5 And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.
16:6 And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then ye shall know that the LORD hath brought you out from the land of Egypt: 16:7 And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that he heareth your murmurings against the LORD: and what are we, that ye murmur against us? 16:8 And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.
Then the God who later gave up his Godhood to become flesh as Jesus Christ appeared to all Israel in his glory hidden inside a cloud.
16:9 And Moses spake unto Aaron, Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, Come near before the LORD: for he hath heard your murmurings. 16:10 And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto 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.
Christ promises Israel quails in the evening and heavenly bread in the morning.
16:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 16:12 I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God. 16:13 And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.
In the morning Israel found small grains and called it: “What’s this?” And Moses told them that it was the food that God had supplied.
16:14 And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost [a grainy pebbly material] on the ground. 16:15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.
Moses commanded the people to gather up this bread according to the needs of each person every morning, with double on the sixth day, to eat on the Sabbath as well as on the sixth day.
16:16 This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. 16:17 And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. 16:18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.
If the regular daily gathering was left in their tents overnight until the following morning it would rot and breed worms [maggots].
16:19 And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning.
Yet, some could not follow even these simple instructions which were given to set apart God’s Sabbaths, and teach the people to properly prepare for the Sabbath on the day before the Sabbath.
16:20 Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms [maggots, flies], and stank: and Moses was wroth with them. 16:21 And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted [evaporated on the open ground in the sun like the dew].
On the sixth day they were to prepare for the seventh day Sabbath by collecting one portion for the sixth day and one portion for the Sabbath day.
This was to teach us that we are to follow the example of God and that we are NOT to cook and prepare food on any Sabbath or Annual High Day, and we are NOT to pay others to do this sin for us!
16:22 And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. 16:23 And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
16:24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. 16:25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field.
16:26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
Also see our series on God’s Sabbath and the Biblical Calendar.
Then some people did not prepare for the Sabbath on the preparation day and went out to gather food to cook on the Sabbath day; many today also commit this same sin in the Ekklesia of God.
16:27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
Then Jesus Christ was very angry with the people who refused to obey him regarding the Sabbath and Annual Holy Days. Later he sent Israel and then Judah into captivity mainly for breaking God’s Sabbaths. How much angrier with us of spiritual Israel who are supposed to love and live by every Word of God?
16:28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? 16:29 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. 16:30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
16:31 And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna [What’s this?]: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.
A pot of manna was gathered to be kept in the tabernacle as a reminder of the bread from God.
16:32 And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commandeth, Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt. 16:33 And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations.
16:34 As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.
16:35 And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.
16:36 Now an omer [3.64 US quarts or liters] is the tenth part of an ephah.
Exodus 17:1 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after [according to] their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.
God could have led the people to water, instead he led them to a dry place to make them thirst exceedingly. This being a lesson for us that we should exceedingly thirst for the water of the Spirit and Word of God.
17:2 Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD? 17:3 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? 17:4 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.
Moses is commanded to smite the rock; as a picture of Jesus Christ the ROCK of our Salvation dying for the sins of the world. Being smitten to death as the Lamb of God so that the waters of salvation – the Holy Spirit of God – could flow from him to fill a spiritually thirsty people.
John 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 4:11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Exodus 17:5 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. 17:6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, [As a type of the smiting and death of the Rock of our Salvation for our sins, so that the water of the Holy Spirit might be poured out.] and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
17:7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?
Then the enemy came out to fight the people, just like the spiritually called out are also confronted by many trials from the Adversary.
17:8 Then came Amalek [a tribe of Essau], and fought with Israel in Rephidim.
Here we find that Joshua [an elder of Ephraim] was a leader of Israel and a disciple of Moses from the very time that Israel left Egypt.
17:9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. 17:10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
When Moses held up his hands in supplication to God, the people overcame; and when his hands fell from supplicating God, the people failed and were overcome. This was a example lesson that only by our appeals and loyalty to our God, will we be delivered from Satan the Adversary.
In continually raising his hands to God in supplication for deliverance Moses became physically exhausted; just as we may become spiritually tired and need strengthening from our God to seek him.
Aaron and Hur helped Moses to hold up his hands; and God made Israel victorious at the end of the day when the sun went down. We shall also be victorious over Satan and sin through the deliverance of God if we faint not.
17:11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 17:12 But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
17:13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek [a descendant of Esau] and his people with the edge of the sword.
Jesus Christ promises the total destruction of Amalek. Saul later lost his kingdom by not destroying that wicked people and all that they had (1 Sam 15).
17:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.
17:15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi [YHVH our Banner, or Champion]: 17:16 For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.