Chapter 16: Israel Wants Bread!
Israel takes their journey from Elim, and came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the second month on the 15th day after leaving Egypt.
The children of Israel cry out to Moses and Aaron and complain of hunger, stating that if they were back in the land of Egypt, at least they would be eating. They accuse Moses of leading Israel into the wilderness to kill them all of hunger.
The Lord speaks unto Moses and tells him that he will cause bread to rain from the heavens. That when the children of Israel see this, they will no longer murmur and know that God is all powerful. Moses has Aaron explain to the children of Israel that they Lord has heard their murmurings/complaints and he has answered them. At this same point the entire congregation of Israel looks to towards the wilderness and behold the glory of the Lord appeared in a cloud. The Lord then spoke to Moses; “I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, at even ye shall eat flesh and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God” (Exodus 16:12)
Quails appeared in the camp and in the morning, after the morning dew was gone, the children of Israel find small “round things”, they call this “manna”. Moses tells them that this “manna” is what the Lord told them would be the bread from heaven. Moses commands them to collect as much bread/manna as they would eat according to each person, but they are lazy and do not collect enough for the day. Because of this it collects worms and stinks. After that they gathered it every morning before the sun came out, otherwise it would melt.
On the sixth day of the week, Moses commands Israel to gather enough to make two days’ worth of bread, because on the seventh day is the Sabbath and no manna will appear in the field. So some of the children of Israel do as Moses had commanded and they were able to eat on the Sabbath. But there were still some that went out on the Sabbath morning to collect Manna and found none. This upsets the Lord, and asks Moses “…How long refuses to keep my commandments and my laws?” (Exodus 16:28)
The children of Israel eat Manna for forty years, until they came to an inhabited land, the land of Canaan. The Israelites describe the Manna like a Coriander seed, white with the taste of a honey wafer.
Chapter 17: Israel Wants Water!
Israel travels from the wilderness of Sin and pitched their tents in Rephidim. When they arrive there, they find no water. So they begin murmuring/complaining about not having water. Saying that Moses had brought them out of the land of Egypt to kill them of thirst! They even get to the point of wanting to stone Moses. Moses then asks them; “…Why chide with me? Wherefore do ye tempt the Lord?” (Exodus 17:2)
Moses speaks with the Lord asking him for guidance on what he should do. The Lord then tells him that he needs to go to the rock in Horeb, and with his rod he would smite the rock and water would come forth.
Then Amalek comes to fight with the Israelites in Rephidim, but Moses tells Joshua to fight with Amalek, while Moses went to the top of the hill to raise his hands to God. When Moses raised his hands; Israel prevailed… but when he lowered his hands; Amalek prevailed. Moses’ hands become heavy and Aaron and Hur help to keep his hands up, until Joshua injured Amalek enough with the sword to prevail.
The Lord then commands Moses to write this in a book for memorial (this is part of the “lost books” of the Bible). Moses then builds an altar and names it “Jehovah-nissi” which is translated “The Lord is my Banner”.
Chapter 18: Organization of Church Laws.
Moses is near the mount of God, when Jethro (his father in law) comes to see him, bringing his wife Zipporah and his sons. Jethro offers sacrifices to the Lord and asks about Moses’ welfare. Jethro then counsels with Moses.
Jethro counsels that Moses teach the law, appoint righteous men of “truth” to be rulers/leaders of thousands, hundreds and tens. Essentially there needs to be good, trustworthy honest men and have the power delegated throughout from the higher to the lower leaders.