Bread From Heaven An Exposition of Exodus 16 -- By: William J. McRae

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 07:2 (Winter 1998)
Article: Bread From Heaven An Exposition of Exodus 16
Author: William J. McRae


Bread From Heaven
An Exposition of Exodus 16

William J. McRae*

Introduction

In the journey from Egypt to Canaan the Israelites had now come in Exodus 16 one month into the wilderness. They had left Goshen, crossed the Red Sea, and had briefly encamped at Marah and Elim. Now their journey continued southward and to the east, to the wilderness of Sin, a desert area between Elim and Mt. Sinai.

Upon reaching this waste area Israel was confronted with the second problem of their wilderness experience.1

Israel’s Problem

Then they set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the sons of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure from the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the sons of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger” (Ex. 16:1–3).

Israel’s problem simply stated was the lack of sufficient food. Little wonder. Here were two and a half million people in a barren wasteland! “Apparently their

* Emmaus alumnus Bill McRae, well-known Bible expositor, author, and educator, presently serves as Chancellor of Ontario Bible College and Seminary. This is the eleventh in a series of expositions on the book of Exodus.

travels through the desert had depleted the supplies they were able to accumulate both in Egypt and in the desert oases. They, of course, were accustomed to a rather good diet of meat, bread, fish and vegetables while living in Egypt (cf. Num. 11:5).”2 Such a shortage was a great hardship. With the desert before them they were faced with inevitable starvation.

What was their response to this problem? “The whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled” (v. 2). The text says, “they grumbled against Moses and Aaron.” They said, “Would that we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger” (v.

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