18 Mar. Exodus 16:1-18,31

18 Mar. God sends quail and manna to feed the Israelites

“The whole Israelite community left Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which was between Elim and Sinai; they arrived there on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had left Egypt.”

“Then the whole Israelite community grumbled to Moses and Aaron in the desert. They said to them, ‘It would have been better if the LORD had killed us in the land of Egypt. There we had meat to eat and all the food we wanted. But you have brought us into this desert to starve us to death.’”

“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘I will cause food to fall like rain from the sky for all of you. Every day the people must go out and gather what they need for that day. I want to see if the people will do what I teach them. On the sixth day of each week, they are to gather twice as much as they gather on other days. Then they are to prepare it.’”

“So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites: ‘This evening you will know that the LORD is the one who brought you out of Egypt. Tomorrow morning you will see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard you grumble against him’… And Moses said, ‘Each evening the LORD will give you meat to eat, and every morning he will give you all the bread you want, because he has heard you grumble against him.’…”

“While Aaron was speaking to the whole community of the Israelites, they looked towards the desert. There the glory of the LORD appeared in a cloud...”

“That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost were on the desert ground. When the Israelites saw it, they asked each other, ‘What is it?’ because they did not know what it was.”

So Moses told them, ‘This is the bread the LORD has given you to eat. The LORD has commanded, ‘Each one of you must gather what he needs, about 2 litres for every person in your family.’ So the people of Israeli did this; some people gathered much, and some gathered little… Each person gathered just as much as he needed.”

“The people of Israel called the food manna. It was like small white seeds and tasted like wafers made with honey.”

          (Exodus 16:1-18,31)


After camping beside the twelve springs of the desert oasis at Elim, the Israelites set out again and crossed the arid Desert of Sin en route to Sinai (see 7 on the map on 14 March).

Four weeks into their journey through the desert region to the east of the Red Sea, the Israelites complained to Moses and Aaron that they were hungry. So Moses and Aaron prayed to the LORD, and God promised to feed his people.

To assure the Israelites of his presence with them, the ‘glory’ of the LORD – the ‘shekinah’ or radiant presence of the LORD – appeared to the Israelites in the sky over the desert (see also Exodus 40:34-35 & 2 Chronicles 7:1).

That evening, a large flock of quails - a migratory bird - flew into the camp, and the Israelites were able to catch all the food they needed.

The next morning, and each subsequent morning, the Israelites were fed with ‘manna’ (meaning ‘what is it?’) - a small white seed looking like frost on the ground and tasting like wafers made with honey. The Israelites gathered about 2 litres for each person, and everyone had enough to eat.

The photo shows a bright radiance in the sky similar to that which indicated the LORD’s presence to the Israelites.

You can read more about the Israelites’ journey across the Sinai peninsula @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/25-the-israelites-journey-from-egypt-to-mt-sinai/the-israelites-cross-the-sea-of-reeds

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