Ex 16:1-5

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The Old Testament > Exodus > Chapter 16

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[edit] Questions

[edit] Verse 4

  • That I may prove them. In what sense is the manna a test for the Israelites? Isn't the raining of bread from heaven more of a blessing than a test?

[edit] Lexical notes

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[edit] Exegesis

[edit] Verse 4

  • That I may prove them. One way to read this is that God testing his people to see if they will gather manna in the manner that God prescribes (e.g. not gathering on the Sabbath). Another way to read this is that God is testing his people by sending him in the wilderness as opposed to, say, sending them through cities or other more hospitable land. Yet another way to read this is that the test consists of the people having to rely continually on God for sustenance in the wilderness, as opposed to the people being in circumstances where they could be more self-sufficient. In this latter sense, God may be trying to humble his people in a manner suggested in Num 11:6-10. (For more on manna as a test, see the Leibowitz reference below.)

[edit] Related links

[edit] Verse 4

  • That I may prove them. See Studies in Shemot (Exodus), Part I by Nehama Leibowitz, pp. 263-72 (The World Zionist Organization, 1981, Sixth impression 1986; Haomanim Press, Jerusalem).

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