The Old Testament lesson for this Sunday, the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, is from the second book of the Torah, Exodus. The text is Exodus 16:2-15 and is the account of the LORD providing manna for the people of Israel as they journey through the wilderness. Contextually, the text is placed right after the crossing of the Red Sea and the Song of Moses in chapter 15 and the “water from the Rock” in chapter 17. Obviously, these are three important chapters, and they contain strong motifs which run from one end of Scripture to the other.

The people are already grumbling and mumbling against Moses and Aaron as well as against the LORD God. Apparently, they are hungry and immediately begin to think fondly about Egypt. But, the LORD provides! The LORD delivers saving bread in the form of Manna. Previously, the LORD has provided saving grain/bread by the hand of Joseph in the Land of Egypt. Later, Jesus will feed the 5000 with saving bread, and as is indicated in our Gospel pericope from John 6, Jesus Himself is the bread of life. He is the saving bread from Heaven, and of course, the bread of life that is Christ’s body in the Sacrament of the Altar. All of this saving bread finds its culmination in the marriage feast of the Lamb in His Kingdom which has no end!

Another important theme/motif is seen in verse 10. As the people are told how the LORD will provide them with bread and also with quail, they look to the wilderness and there they see the Glory Cloud! The Glory Cloud led them through the Red Sea and will guide them through the wilderness to the Promised Land. This is the reminder of the LORD’s presence with them, leading, guiding, and providing. God is in their midst! However, the Glory Cloud not only reveals the presence of the LORD it also hides His face so the people will not be consumed. The unholy cannot look upon the Holy and live. This Glory Cloud will settle on the top of Mount Sinai, and it will fill the Tabernacle and the Temple at their dedications, and according to the Scriptures, this Glory Cloud will take up residence in the Holy of Holies—the throne room of God on earth. The presence of the Glory Cloud at the presentation of the manna makes clear who is providing this meal.

The presence of the Glory Cloud at the presentation of the manna makes clear who is providing this meal.

16:2 וילינו/וַיִּלּוֹנוּ (vai-yil-li-nu/vai-yil-Lo-nu) Kethib/Qere root: לון (loon) Kethib is the Hiphil and the Qere is the Niphal, and both mean, “to murmur”

16:3 סִיר (sir) “cooking pot; stew pot; pot”

לָשֹבַע (la-Soa) from: שֹבַע (so-bah) literally: “to the full; for fullness” “satiation”

הוֹצֵַאתֶם (ho-tze-Tem) root: יצא (yaw-tsaw) Hiphil with suffix: “to bring out; You caused us to be brought out; You have brought us out”

16:4 מַמְטִיר (mam-Tir) root: מטר (maw-tar) Hiphil: “to send rain; cause it to rain; rain”

וְלָקְטוּ (ve-la-ke-Tu) root: לקט (law-kat) Qal: “to gather; pickup; glean”

אֲנַסֶּנּוּ (a-nas-Sen-nu) root: נסה (naw-saw) Piel: “to tempt; test; put to the test”

16:5 הַשִּׁשִּׁי (hash-shish-Shi) “sixth”

מִשְׁנֶה (mish-Neh) “double; two-fold”

16:7 תְּלֻנֹּתֵיכֶם (te-lun-no-tei-Chem) from: תְּלֻנָּה (tel-oo-naw) “murmuring; grumbling” With suffix: “your grumbling”

וְנַחְנוּ (ve-Nach-nu) “we”

Kethib/Qere: see verse 2.

16:8 לִשְֹבֹּעַ (lis-Bo-a) root: שֹבע (saw-bah) Qal: “to eat to the full; satisfy oneself with”

16:10 בֶּעָנָן (be-a-Nan) “clouds; cloud; in the cloud”

16:12 תִּשְֹבְּעוּ (tis-be-u) root: שֹבע (saw-bah) Qal: “to eat to the full; eat one’s fill”

16:13 הַשְֹּלָו (has-se-Lav) “quail”

שִׁכְבַת (which-Vat) from: שִׁכְבָה (shek-aw-baw) “layer; cover”

הַטַּל (hat-Tal) from: טַל (tal) “dew; mist”

סָבִיב (sa-Viv) root: סבב (saw-bawb) Qal: “to surround”

16:14 דַּק (dak) “small; fine”

מְחֻסְפָּס (me-chus-Pas) root: חספס (khas-pas) Pualal: “scale-like; flake-like”

כַּכְּפֹר (kak-ke-For) from: כְּפוֹר (kef-ore) “hoar frost; frost”

16:15 מָן (man) “What?”

לְאָכְלָה (le-och-Lah) from: אָכְלָה (ok-law) “food; nourishment” With the preposition: “for eating; to eat”

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Additional Resources:

Concordia Theology-Various helps from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO to assist you in preaching Exodus 16:2-15.

Text Week-Text Week-A treasury of resources from various traditions to help you preach Exodus 16:2-15.

Lectionary Podcast- Prof. Ryan Tietz of Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, IN walks us through Exodus 16:2-15.