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Exodus Chapter 16 | Parsha: Be-shallah

1Setting out from Elim, the whole Israelite community 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. 2In the wilderness, the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3The 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 fleshpots, when we ate our fill of bread! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to starve this whole congregation to death.”

4And the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread for you from the sky, and the people shall go out and gather each day that day’s portion—that I may thus test them, to see whether they will follow My instructions or not. 5But on the sixth day, when they apportion what they have brought in, it shall prove to be double the amount they gather each day.” 6So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “By evening you shall know it was the Lord who brought you out from the land of Egypt; 7and in the morning you shall behold the Presence of the Lord, because He has heard your grumblings against the Lord. For who are we that you should grumble against us? 8Since it is the Lord,” Moses continued, “who will give you flesh to eat in the evening and bread in the morning to the full, because the Lord has heard the grumblings you utter against Him, what is our part? Your grumbling is not against us, but against the Lord!”

9Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole Israelite community: Advance toward the Lord, for He has heard your grumbling.” 10And as Aaron spoke to the whole Israelite community, they turned toward the wilderness, and there, in a cloud, appeared the Presence of the Lord.

11The Lord spoke to Moses: 12“I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Speak to them and say: By evening you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; and you shall know that I the Lord am your God.”

13In the evening quail appeared and covered the camp; in the morning there was a fall of dew about the camp. 14When the fall of dew lifted, there, over the surface of the wilderness, lay a fine and flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?”—for they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “That is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat. 16This is what the Lord has commanded: Gather as much of it as each of you requires to eat, an omer to a person for as many of you as there are; each of you shall fetch for those in his tent.”

17The Israelites did so, some gathering much, some little. 18But when they measured it by the omer, he who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no deficiency: they had gathered as much as they needed to eat. 19And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over until morning.” 20But they paid no attention to Moses; some of them left of it until morning, and it became infested with maggots and stank. And Moses was angry with them.

21So they gathered it every morning, each as much as he needed to eat; for when the sun grew hot, it would melt. 22On the sixth day they gathered double the amount of food, two omers for each; and when all the chieftains of the community came and told Moses, 23he said to them, “This is what the Lord meant: Tomorrow is a day of rest, a holy sabbath of the Lord. Bake what you would bake and boil what you would boil; and all that is left put aside to be kept until morning.” 24So they put it aside until morning, as Moses had ordered; and it did not turn foul, and there were no maggots in it. 25Then Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a sabbath of the Lord; you will not find it today on the plain. 26Six days you shall gather it; on the seventh day, the sabbath, there will be none.”

27Yet some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found nothing. 28And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you men refuse to obey My commandments and My teachings? 29Mark that the Lord has given you the sabbath; therefore He gives you two days’ food on the sixth day. Let everyone remain where he is: let no one leave his place on the seventh day.” 30So the people remained inactive on the seventh day.

31The house of Israel named it manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and it tasted like wafers in honey. 32Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: Let one omer of it be kept throughout the ages, in order that they may see the bread that I fed you in the wilderness when I brought you out from the land of Egypt.” 33And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar, put one omer of manna in it, and place it before the Lord, to be kept throughout the ages.” 34As the Lord had commanded Moses, Aaron placed it before the Pact, to be kept. 35And the Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a settled land; they ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan. 36The omer is a tenth of an ephah.

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