16:2 The entire company 1 of Israelites murmured against Moses and Aaron in the desert. 16:3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died 2 by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by 3 the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full, 4 for you have brought us out into this desert to kill 5 this whole assembly with hunger!”
16:4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain 6 bread from heaven for you, and the people will go out 7 and gather the amount for each day, so that I may test them. 8 Will they will walk in my law 9 or not?
16:20 But they did not listen to Moses; some 10 kept part of it until morning, and it was full 11 of worms and began to stink, and Moses was angry with them.
16:28 So the Lord said to Moses, “How long do you refuse 12 to obey my commandments and my instructions?
1 tn Or “community” or “assembly.”
2 tn The text reads: מִי־יִתֵּן מוּתֵנוּ (mi-yitten mutenu, “who will give our dying”) meaning “If only we had died.” מוּתֵנוּ is the Qal infinitive construct with the suffix. This is one way that Hebrew expresses the optative with an infinitive construct. See R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 91-92, §547.
3 tn The form is a Qal infinitive construct used in a temporal clause, and the verb “when we ate” has the same structure.
4 sn That the complaint leading up to the manna is unjustified can be seen from the record itself. They left Egypt with flocks and herds and very much cattle, and about 45 days later they are complaining that they are without food. Moses reminded them later that they lacked nothing (Deut 3:7; for the whole sermon on this passage, see 8:1-20). Moreover, the complaint is absurd because the food of work gangs was far more meager than they recall. The complaint was really against Moses. They crave the eating of meat and of bread and so God will meet that need; he will send bread from heaven and quail as well.
5 tn לְהָמִית (lÿhamit) is the Hiphil infinitive construct showing purpose. The people do not trust the intentions or the plan of their leaders and charge Moses with bringing everyone out to kill them.
6 tn The particle הִנְנִי (hinni) before the active participle indicates the imminent future action: “I am about to rain.”
7 tn This verb and the next are the Qal perfect tenses with vav (ו) consecutives; they follow the sequence of the participle, and so are future in orientation. The force here is instruction – “they will go out” or “they are to go out.”
8 tn The verb in the purpose/result clause is the Piel imperfect of נָסָה (nasah), אֲנַסֶּנוּ (’anassenu) – “in order that I may prove them [him].” The giving of the manna will be a test of their obedience to the detailed instructions of God as well as being a test of their faith in him (if they believe him they will not gather too much). In chap. 17 the people will test God, showing that they do not trust him.
9 sn The word “law” here properly means “direction” at this point (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 146), but their obedience here would indicate also whether or not they would be willing to obey when the Law was given at Sinai.
10 tn Heb “men”; this usage is designed to mean “some” (see GKC 447 §138.h, n. 1).
11 tn The verb וַיָּרֻם (vayyarum) is equivalent to a passive – “it was changed” – to which “worms” is added as an accusative of result (GKC 388-89 §121.d, n. 2).
12 tn The verb is plural, and so it is addressed to the nation and not to Moses. The perfect tense in this sentence is the characteristic perfect, denoting action characteristic, or typical, of the past and the present.