16:15 When 1 the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, 2 “What is it?” because they did not know what it was. 3 Moses said to them, “It is the bread 4 that the Lord has given you for food. 5
16:18 When 6 they measured with an omer, the one who gathered much had nothing left over, and the one who gathered little lacked nothing; each one had gathered what he could eat.
16:21 So they gathered it each morning, 7 each person according to what he could eat, and when the sun got hot, it would melt. 8 16:22 And 9 on the sixth day they gathered twice as much food, two omers 10 per person; 11 and all the leaders 12 of the community 13 came and told 14 Moses.
16:29 See, because the Lord has given you the Sabbath, that is why 15 he is giving you food for two days on the sixth day. Each of you stay where you are; 16 let no one 17 go out of his place on the seventh day.”
16:35 Now the Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was inhabited; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.
1 tn The preterite with vav consecutive is here subordinated to the next verb as a temporal clause. The main point of the verse is what they said.
2 tn Heb “a man to his brother.”
3 tn The text has: מָן הוּא כִּי לאֹ יָדְעוּ מַה־הוּא (man hu’ ki lo’ yadÿ’u mah hu’). From this statement the name “manna” was given to the substance. מָן for “what” is not found in Hebrew, but appears in Syriac as a contraction of ma den, “what then?” In Aramaic and Arabic man is “what?” The word is used here apparently for the sake of etymology. B. S. Childs (Exodus [OTL], 274) follows the approach that any connections to words that actually meant “what?” are unnecessary, for it is a play on the name (whatever it may have been) and therefore related only by sound to the term being explained. This, however, presumes that a substance was known prior to this account – a point that Deuteronomy does not seem to allow. S. R. Driver says that it is not known how early the contraction came into use, but that this verse seems to reflect it (Exodus, 149). Probably one must simply accept that in the early Israelite period man meant “what?” There seems to be sufficient evidence to support this. See EA 286,5; UT 435; DNWSI 1:157.
4 sn B. Jacob (Exodus, 454-55) suggests that Moses was saying to them, “It is not manna. It is the food Yahweh has given you.” He comes to this conclusion based on the strange popular etymology from the interrogative word, noting that people do not call things “what?”
6 tn The preterite with the vav (ו) consecutive is subordinated here as a temporal clause.
7 tn Heb “morning by morning.” This is an example of the repetition of words to express the distributive sense; here the meaning is “every morning” (see GKC 388 §121.c).
8 tn The perfect tenses here with vav (ו) consecutives have the frequentative sense; they function in a protasis-apodosis relationship (GKC 494 §159.g).
9 tn Heb “and it happened/was.”
10 tn This construction is an exception to the normal rule for the numbers 2 through 10 taking the object numbered in the plural. Here it is “two of the omer” or “the double of the omer” (see GKC 433 §134.e).
11 tn Heb “for one.”
12 tn The word suggests “the ones lifted up” above others, and therefore the rulers or the chiefs of the people.
13 tn Or “congregation” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV).
14 sn The meaning here is probably that these leaders, the natural heads of the families in the clans, saw that people were gathering twice as much and they reported this to Moses, perhaps afraid it would stink again (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 197).
15 sn Noting the rabbinic teaching that the giving of the Sabbath was a sign of God’s love – it was accomplished through the double portion on the sixth day – B. Jacob says, “God made no request unless He provided the means for its execution” (Exodus, 461).
16 tn Heb “remain, a man where he is.”
17 tn Or “Let not anyone go” (see GKC 445 §138.d).