The Provision of Manna
When they journeyed from Elim, the entire company of Israelites came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their exodus from the land of Egypt. The entire company of Israelites murmured against Moses and Aaron in the desert. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord 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 desert to kill this whole assembly with hunger!”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people will go out and gather the amount for each day, so that I may test them. Will they walk in my law or not? On the sixth day they will prepare what they bring in, and it will be twice as much as they gather every other day.”
Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that the Lord has brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your murmurings against the Lord. As for us, what are we, that you should murmur against us?”
Moses said, “You will know this when the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and bread in the morning to satisfy you, because the Lord has heard your murmurings that you are murmuring against him. As for us, what are we? Your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord.”
Then Moses said to Aaron, “Tell the whole community of the Israelites, ‘Come before the Lord, because he has heard your murmurings.’”
As Aaron spoke to the whole community of the Israelites and they looked toward the desert, there the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud, and the Lord spoke to Moses: “I have heard the murmurings of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘During the evening you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be satisfied with bread, so that you may know that I am the Lord your God.’”
In the evening the quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning a layer of dew was all around the camp. When the layer of dew had evaporated, there on the surface of the desert was a thin flaky substance, thin like frost on the earth. When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” because they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you for food.
“This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Each person is to gather from it what he can eat, an omer per person according to the number of your people; each one will pick it up for whoever lives in his tent.’” The Israelites did so, and they gathered – some more, some less. When 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.
Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.” But they did not listen to Moses; some kept part of it until morning, and it was full of worms and began to stink, and Moses was angry with them. So they gathered it each morning, each person according to what he could eat, and when the sun got hot, it would melt. And on the sixth day they gathered twice as much food, two omers per person; and all the leaders of the community came and told Moses. He said to them, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Tomorrow is a time of cessation from work, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Whatever you want to bake, bake today; whatever you want to boil, boil today; whatever is left put aside for yourselves to be kept until morning.’”
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. Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the area. Six days you will gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.” On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather it, but they found nothing. So the Lord said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to obey my commandments and my instructions? See, because the Lord has given you the Sabbath, that is why he is giving you food for two days on the sixth day. Each of you stay where you are; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.” So the people rested on the seventh day.
The house of Israel called its name “manna.” It was like coriander seed and was white, and it tasted like wafers with honey.
Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Fill an omer with it to be kept for generations to come, so that they may see the food I fed you in the desert when I brought you out from the land of Egypt.’” Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put in it an omer full of manna, and place it before the Lord to be kept for generations to come.” Just as the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the Testimony for safekeeping.
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. (Now an omer is one tenth of an ephah).