16The whole congregation of the Israelites set out from Elim; and Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. 2The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 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 and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. 5On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days. 6So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us? 8And Moses said, When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against himwhat are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.
9 Then Moses said to Aaron, Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining. 10And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked towards the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11The Lord spoke to Moses and said, 12I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.
13 In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine 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. Moses said to them, It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. 16This is what the Lord has commanded: Gather as much of it as each of you needs, an omer to a person according to the number of persons, all providing for those in their own tents. 17The Israelites did so, some gathering more, some less. 18But when they measured it with an omer, those who gathered much had nothing over, and those who gathered little had no shortage; they gathered as much as each of them needed. 19And Moses said to them, Let no one leave any of it over until morning. 20But they did not listen to Moses; some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul. And Moses was angry with them. 21Morning by morning they gathered it, as much as each needed; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.
22 On the sixth day they gathered twice as much food, two omers apiece. When all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, 23he said to them, This is what the Lord has commanded: Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord; bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning. 24So they put it aside until morning, as Moses commanded them; and it did not become foul, and there were no worms in it. 25Moses said, Eat it today, for today is a sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 26For six days you shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is a sabbath, there will be none.
27 On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, and they found none. 28The Lord said to Moses, How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and instructions? 29See! The Lord has given you the sabbath, therefore on the sixth day he gives you food for two days; each of you stay where you are; do not leave your place on the seventh day. 30So the people rested on the seventh day.
31 The house of Israel called it manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. 32Moses said, This is what the Lord has commanded: Let an omer of it be kept throughout your generations, in order that they may see the food with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt. 33And Moses said to Aaron, Take a jar, and put an omer of manna in it, and place it before the Lord, to be kept throughout your generations. 34As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the covenant,* for safe-keeping. 35The Israelites ate manna for forty years, until they came to a habitable land; they ate manna, until they came to the border of the land of Canaan. 36An omer is a tenth of an ephah.
17From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2The people quarrelled with Moses, and said, Give us water to drink. Moses said to them, Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord? 3But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst? 4So Moses cried out to the Lord, What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me. 5The Lord said to Moses, Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink. Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7He called the place Massah* and Meribah,* because the Israelites quarrelled and tested the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us or not?
8 Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. 9Moses said to Joshua, Choose some men for us and go out; fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand. 10So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12But Moses hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the sun set. 13And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the sword.
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, Write this as a reminder in a book and recite it in the hearing of Joshua: I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. 15And Moses built an altar and called it, The Lord is my banner. 16He said, A hand upon the banner of the Lord! * The Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.
18Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for his people Israel, how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt. 2After Moses had sent away his wife Zipporah, his father-in-law Jethro took her back, 3along with her two sons. The name of one was Gershom (for he said, I have been an alien* in a foreign land), 4and the name of the other, Eliezer* (for he said, The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh). 5Jethro, Moses father-in-law, came into the wilderness where Moses was encamped at the mountain of God, bringing Moses sons and wife to him. 6He sent word to Moses, I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you, with your wife and her two sons. 7Moses went out to meet his father-in-law; he bowed down and kissed him; each asked after the others welfare, and they went into the tent. 8Then Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israels sake, all the hardship that had beset them on the way, and how the Lord had delivered them. 9Jethro rejoiced for all the good that the Lord had done to Israel, in delivering them from the Egyptians.
10 Jethro said, Blessed be the Lord, who has delivered you from the Egyptians and from Pharaoh. 11Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, because he delivered the people from the Egyptians,* when they dealt arrogantly with them. 12And Jethro, Moses father-in-law, brought a burnt-offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses father-in-law in the presence of God.
13 The next day Moses sat as judge for the people, while the people stood around him from morning until evening. 14When Moses father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, while all the people stand around you from morning until evening? 15Moses said to his father-in-law, Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16When they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make known to them the statutes and instructions of God. 17Moses father-in-law said to him, What you are doing is not good. 18You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people with you. For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. 19Now listen to me. I will give you counsel, and God be with you! You should represent the people before God, and you should bring their cases before God; 20teach them the statutes and instructions and make known to them the way they are to go and the things they are to do. 21You should also look for able men among all the people, men who fear God, are trustworthy, and hate dishonest gain; set such men over them as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22Let them sit as judges for the people at all times; let them bring every important case to you, but decide every minor case themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23If you do this, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people will go to their home in peace.
24 So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25Moses chose able men from all Israel and appointed them as heads over the people, as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. 26And they judged the people at all times; hard cases they brought to Moses, but any minor case they decided themselves. 27Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went off to his own country.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011