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Exodus 16:16-25

Context

16:16 “This is what 1  the Lord has commanded: 2  ‘Each person is to gather 3  from it what he can eat, an omer 4  per person 5  according to the number 6  of your people; 7  each one will pick it up 8  for whoever lives 9  in his tent.’” 16:17 The Israelites did so, and they gathered – some more, some less. 16:18 When 10  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.

16:19 Moses said to them, “No one 11  is to keep any of it 12  until morning.” 16:20 But they did not listen to Moses; some 13  kept part of it until morning, and it was full 14  of worms and began to stink, and Moses was angry with them. 16:21 So they gathered it each morning, 15  each person according to what he could eat, and when the sun got hot, it would melt. 16  16:22 And 17  on the sixth day they gathered twice as much food, two omers 18  per person; 19  and all the leaders 20  of the community 21  came and told 22  Moses. 16:23 He said to them, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Tomorrow is a time of cessation from work, 23  a holy Sabbath 24  to the Lord. Whatever you want to 25  bake, bake today; 26  whatever you want to boil, boil today; whatever is left put aside for yourselves to be kept until morning.’”

16:24 So they put it aside until the morning, just as Moses had commanded, and it did not stink, nor were there any worms in it. 16:25 Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the area. 27 

1 tn Heb “the thing that.”

2 tn The perfect tense could be taken as a definite past with Moses now reporting it. In this case a very recent past. But in declaring the word from Yahweh it could be instantaneous, and receive a present tense translation – “here and now he commands you.”

3 tn The form is the plural imperative: “Gather [you] each man according to his eating.”

4 sn The omer is an amount mentioned only in this chapter, and its size is unknown, except by comparison with the ephah (v. 36). A number of recent English versions approximate the omer as “two quarts” (cf. NCV, CEV, NLT); TEV “two litres.”

5 tn Heb “for a head.”

6 tn The word “number” is an accusative that defines more precisely how much was to be gathered (see GKC 374 §118.h).

7 tn Traditionally “souls.”

8 tn Heb “will take.”

9 tn “lives” has been supplied.

10 tn The preterite with the vav (ו) consecutive is subordinated here as a temporal clause.

11 tn The address now is for “man” (אִישׁ, ’ish), “each one”; here the instruction seems to be focused on the individual heads of the households.

12 tn Or “some of it,” “from it.”

13 tn Heb “men”; this usage is designed to mean “some” (see GKC 447 §138.h, n. 1).

14 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).

15 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).

16 tn The perfect tenses here with vav (ו) consecutives have the frequentative sense; they function in a protasis-apodosis relationship (GKC 494 §159.g).

17 tn Heb “and it happened/was.”

18 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).

19 tn Heb “for one.”

20 tn The word suggests “the ones lifted up” above others, and therefore the rulers or the chiefs of the people.

21 tn Or “congregation” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV).

22 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).

23 tn The noun שַׁבָּתוֹן (shabbaton) has the abstract ending on it: “resting, ceasing.” The root word means “cease” from something, more than “to rest.” The Law would make it clear that they were to cease from their normal occupations and do no common work.

24 tn The technical expression is now used: שַׁבַּת־קֹדֶשׁ (shabbat-qodesh, “a holy Sabbath”) meaning a “cessation of/for holiness” for Yahweh. The rest was to be characterized by holiness.

25 tn The two verbs in these objective noun clauses are desiderative imperfects – “bake whatever you want to bake.”

26 tn The word “today” is implied from the context.

27 tn Heb “in the field” (so KJV, ASV, NASB, NCV, NRSV); NAB, NIV, NLT “on the ground.”



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