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with dead bodies and wrecks : there remained not so much as one Egyptian.
“Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians ; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea-shore. And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians; and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses."
The Israelites fed with Manna.
Exodus xvI. 11–15. Well, surely the children of Israel must have done complaining now. Who would not trust in such a God as the God of Israel ? No, they have not done yet; Moses relates more about their discontent.
Israel seemed unwilling to trust God for their daily bread; and when their supply ran short, after leaving Egypt, they began to be angry at Moses again. And they said to Moses and Aaron, “Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots;" where, probably, their food as slaves was cooked in a large quantity, under the eyes of their task-masters; "and," they added, " when we did eat bread to the full ; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
God is long-suffering, and instead of punishing the ungrateful people, he said unto Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you ; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no."
So in the evening God used to cause a great quantity of a bird called a quail, something like a partridge, to cover the camp, which the Israelites caught; and in the morning a white-looking small thing, as small as hoar frost, covered the ground when the dew had left it. This food was more wonderful than the regular coming of large flights of quails. The people had never seen anything like it, and they cried out-Man hu? what is this? from which some think it got the name manna ; though others suppose it means a portion, as there was a Hebrew word like it with this meaning. Every one who was able was to gather this food before the sun had risen, or it would be melted; and when it was put into one heap, it was divided among the people, allowing an omer, which was about three quarts, for each person's use for the day. This was put into a mortar and bruised, or ground in a mill, and then made into bread. God caused this to fall six days in the week ; but on the sixth day, they were to gather for two days, as they were not to expect any on the Sabbath ; for on that day they were to do no manner of work; and though it bred worms, and was unfit to eat, if kept for two days at any other time, yet it was always good on the Sabbath.
It is reckoned that the Hebrew camp wanted not less than ninety-four thousand four hundred and sixty-six bushels of this food every day; and that in the whole of the forty years that they were travelling about in the wilderness, they must have consumed one thousand three hundred and seventy million two hundred and three thousand six hundred bushels !
In remembrance of this miracle, the Lord commanded Moses to fill an omer measure of it, which I just told you was about three quarts, and to keep it in a pot for future generations ; that is, the children and children's children of Israel, from one hundred years to another,—that they might see the bread with which God fed them in the wilderness when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt. This was laid up in the ark; and its preservation was another miracle, as, without that, it would have bred worms, and become corrupt as the rest when kept.
God provided thus from day to day, to teach Israel to look to him for their daily bread, and, in like manner, we must look and ask for ours from God.
This manna coming down from heaven to keep Israel alive, reminds us that Jesus Christ came down from heaven, who is the bread of life; and
that whoever, by faith, looks to him for salvation, believing that he is both able and willing to save his soul for ever, shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Moses smites the Rock-Israel defeats the Amalekites.
EXODUS XVII. When shall we hear the last of Israel's murmurings? Here they are murmuring again at a place called Rephidim. They wanted water, and chided Moses, and said, “ Give us water that we may drink.” “Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst ? "
Was not this very provoking, after all that had been done for them ? Well, a patient God still bore with them, and ordered Moses to take his rod and smite the rock in Horeb; and to show them that it was a miracle, water should instantly gush out from this hard rock. “And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.”
The Apostle Paul says, “ This rock was Christ:" he does not mean Christ himself, but that it resembled Christ, who, as he lives for ever, is sometimes called a Rock, as a rock is one of the most lasting things in the world; and it is from him flows all true happiness, which is, to the mind or soul of man, as refreshing as the streams of water were, flowing from the rock to the Israelites in the wilderness. (John vii. 37.)
The Israelites had now a real cause of trouble ; for a people, called the Amalekites, came upon them in the wilderness, intending to kill them, and rob them of all their cattle and whatever else they had got. But again God appeared to save them. Joshua was a brave man, and Moses desired him to choose out men, and go out and fight with King Amalek. And Moses, and Aaron, and Hur, went up to the top of a hill; and there Moses held up the rod of God in his hand, and no doubt prayed to God that he would save Israel from their enemies. And when his hands grew tired with holding them up, then Aaron and Hur supported them; "and Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.”
Probably the arms cast ashore from the Red Sea, after the Egyptiang were drowned, were those which were used to beat off the Amalekites; and if so, God overruled the wickedness of one enemy to prevent that of another.
This was a cruel and unjust attack of Amalek upon the Israelites, and God punished them by their shameful defeat; and he also swore that he