The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Exodus
Then, leaving Elim, the Israelite people marched to the desert of Sin, between Elim and Sinai. It was now the fifteenth day of the second month since they had left Egypt,
and the Israelites, one and all, there in the desert, were loud in their complaints against Moses and Aaron.
It would have been better, they told them, if the Lord had struck us dead in the land of Egypt, where we sat down to bowls of meat, and had more bread than we needed to content us. Was it well done to bring us out into this desert, and starve our whole company to death?
But the Lord said to Moses, I mean to rain down bread upon you from heaven. It will be for the people to go out and gather enough for their needs day by day; and so I shall have a test, whether they are ready to follow my orders or not.
Only when the sixth day comes must they lay in a store twice as large as they gathered on any of the others.
So Moses and Aaron told all the people of Israel, This night shall bring proof it was the Lord that rescued you from Egypt,
and to-morrow you shall witness his glory. He has heard your complaints against himself—not against us, we are nothing.
The Lord (said Moses) means to give you meat for your food this evening, and bread tomorrow to your heart’s content. Not unheard, the complaints you have brought against him; we count for nothing, it is the Lord’s dealings you complain of, not ours.
And Moses would have Aaron summon the whole people into the Lord’s presence, that had heard them talk so rebelliously.✻
Even as Aaron was speaking to the assembled Israelites, they looked round towards the desert, and saw the glory of the Lord revealed there in a cloud.
And the Lord said to Moses,
This be thy answer to the rebel talk I hear: This evening you shall have meat, and bread to-morrow to your hearts’ content; will you doubt, then, that I am the Lord your God?
Evening came, and brought with it a flight of quails, that settled in every part of the camp. And at morning, all about the camp, dew was lying;
dew that covered the earth’s surface, there in the desert, powdered fine as if it had been brayed by a pestle, lying on the ground like hoar-frost.✻
The Israelites could not tell what it was when they went to look at it; Man-hu, they said to one another, What is it? And Moses told them, This is the bread which the Lord has sent for your eating.
And this is the command the Lord gives you; everyone is to gather enough for his needs; a gomor a head is the measure he is to take up, just so much for each person living in his tent.
So the children of Israel did as they were bidden, gathering up one more, another less,
and each of them measuring it by the measure of a gomor. The man who gathered more did not gather too much for his household, or the man who gathered less too little; each gathered according to the number of mouths that must be filled.
None of you, Moses told them, must keep any of it for the morrow.
Little heed they gave him, but when some of them left part of it over till morning, it bred worms and corrupted, and Moses rebuked them for their disobedience.
So, every morning, each man gathered what would suffice for his needs; whatever was left till the sun grew hot, melted away.
When the sixth day came, they gathered a double allowance of two gomors a head. And when this was reported to Moses by those who were in command of the people,
he told them, Why, that is the direction the Lord has given us. To-morrow is the sabbath, a day of rest consecrated to the Lord; prepare all you need to prepare, cook all you need to cook, for to-day, and leave what is over for to-morrow.
And when they did as Moses had bidden them, they found that what they had left overnight did not corrupt or breed worms at all.
That is your food for to-day, Moses told them, because it is the Lord’s sabbath; go out to-day, and you will find nothing.
You have only six days to gather it in; you will find none on the seventh, the Lord’s day of rest forbids it.
And sure enough, when some of the people went out to gather it on the seventh day, they could find none.
Hereupon the Lord said to Moses, Will you never learn to do as my law commands you?
Can you not see that the sabbath is the Lord’s gift to you, and if he gives you a double allowance on the sixth day, it is because you must all stay within doors, not leaving your homes, on the seventh?
So on the seventh day the people kept the sabbath rest.
This food, which the Israelites called Mán, was white in colour and looked like coriander seed; its taste was like that of flour mixed with honey.
And now Moses told them a fresh command he had had from the Lord; he was to fill a gomor with it, and this was to be kept, so that later generations might know what kind of nourishment it was I gave them in the desert, when they had been rescued from the land of Egypt.
Take a jar, Moses said to Aaron, put into it as much of the manna as a gomor measure will contain, and leave it to lie in the presence of the Lord, as a treasure for after ages to keep.
Such was the Lord’s command to Moses; so Aaron left the jar to lie in the tabernacle, where it was to be kept.✻
The Israelites fed on this manna for forty years, while they were far from the haunts of men; this was their nourishment until they reached the frontiers of Chanaan.
(Note that the gomor measures a tenth of a bushel.)
The Holy Bible