Unit 10: Day 2, Exodus 16:1–17:7

    “Unit 10: Day 2, Exodus 16:1–17:7,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)

    “Unit 10: Day 2,” Old Testament Study Guide

    Unit 10: Day 2

    Exodus 16:1–17:7


    Following their deliverance from bondage, Moses led the children of Israel to Mount Sinai. During the journey the Israelites murmured because of a lack of food. The Lord blessed them with manna and instructed them to gather it every morning except on the Sabbath. The children of Israel also murmured because of thirst. The Lord commanded Moses to strike a rock in Horeb so that water would come forth.

    rocky landscape

    Wilderness outside Egypt

    Exodus 16

    The Israelites murmur for food, and the Lord sends quail and bread from heaven

    Read Exodus 16:1–3, looking for the problem the children of Israel encountered as they continued on their journey to the promised land. Remember that murmur means to complain. It may also be helpful to know that “flesh pots” (Exodus 16:3) refers to pots of meat.

    What problem did Israel face in the wilderness? Whom did the children of Israel murmur against? Even though they had just been delivered from bondage, why did they wish they had died back in Egypt?

    Read Exodus 16:4–5, looking for how the Lord helped the Israelites with their lack of food. The word prove in verse 4 means “to test” (see footnote c).

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. What specific instructions did the Lord give the people about gathering this bread from heaven?

      2. According to verse 3, the Israelites had plenty of food while they were in Egypt. In what ways might gathering only a limited amount of bread each day have been a test for the children of Israel?

    From this account we learn that one reason the Lord gives us commandments is to test our obedience to Him.

    After Moses received these instructions from the Lord, Moses and Aaron addressed the people of Israel. Read Exodus 16:6–8, looking for what Moses and Aaron told the Israelites concerning their murmuring.

    Based on what Moses and Aaron taught the people, whom are we really murmuring, or complaining, against when we murmur against Church leaders? Answer the question by completing the following truth: When we murmur against Church leaders, we are also murmuring against . (You may want to mark the phrase in verse 8 that teaches this principle.)

    From Exodus 16:9–13 we learn that even though the children of Israel had murmured, the Lord sent quail into their camp during the evening.

    Read Exodus 16:13–15, looking for what the Lord did the next morning for the Israelites. You may want to mark the word manna in verse 15 and look at footnote a to find out what it means.

    Read Exodus 16:16–21, looking for answers to the following questions:

    • How much manna were the Israelites told to gather? (An omer is approximately 1.5 quarts or 1.4 liters.)

    • What happened if they tried to save it until the next day?

    • How often did the children of Israel need to gather the manna?

    • What happened to the manna that wasn’t gathered?

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: What spiritual lessons can we learn from the Lord’s instructions to the Israelites about manna?

    Elder D. Todd Christofferson

    As you read the following statement from Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, look for and underline what he taught were the Lord’s reasons for giving the children of Israel food one day at a time: “By providing a daily sustenance, one day at a time, Jehovah was trying to teach faith to a nation that over a period of some 400 years had lost much of the faith of their fathers. He was teaching them to trust Him, to ‘look unto [Him] in every thought; doubt not, fear not’ (D&C 6:36). He was providing enough for one day at a time. Except for the sixth day, they could not store manna for use in any succeeding day or days. In essence, the children of Israel had to walk with Him today and trust that He would grant a sufficient amount of food for the next day on the next day, and so on. In that way He could never be too far from their minds and hearts” (“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread” [Church Educational System fireside address, Jan. 9, 2011];

    One of the principles we can learn from the Lord’s instructions about manna is that as we remember the Lord daily, our trust in Him will grow.

    1. journal icon
      In your scripture study journal make a list of at least five things you can do to remember the Lord daily.

    2. journal icon
      Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: Why would remembering and seeking the Lord only one day a week fail to provide adequately for our spiritual needs throughout the rest of the week?

    To help you understand the importance of seeking spiritual nourishment daily, you may want to watch the video “Daily Bread: Pattern” (2:51). In this video, Elder D. Todd Christofferson explains that just as the Israelites gathered manna daily to sustain their lives, we need daily spiritual nourishment. This video can be found on

    Take a moment to consider the difference between times when you have remembered the Lord and sought Him daily and times when you have forgotten Him or did not seek His strength and guidance each day.

    Review the list you wrote for assignment 3, and ponder what you need to do each day to remember and seek the Lord. Set a goal to remember the Lord and seek Him every day.

    Read Exodus 16:22–26, looking for reasons why the Israelites needed to gather twice the amount of manna on the sixth day. You may want to mark what you find.

    Read Exodus 16:27–31, looking for how some people responded to the Lord’s command to rest from their labors on the Sabbath and not gather manna.

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. What lessons do you think the children of Israel learned from this experience of not gathering manna on the Sabbath?

      2. How can resting on the Sabbath help us remember the Lord?

    In Exodus 16:32–36 we read that Moses commanded Aaron to place some manna in a pot so it could serve as a testimony, or reminder, for future generations of the Lord’s physical deliverance of the children of Israel and the need for Israel to rely on the Lord for spiritual sustenance. Later this pot was put in the ark of the covenant. The Lord continued to bless the children of Israel with manna as they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.

    hand picking up manna

    Exodus 17:1–7

    The Lord provides water for the Israelites

    Think about the number of tests you have taken in school so far this year. Why do you think some teachers give multiple tests during the course of a year? What do tests measure? Why do you think it may be useful to repeatedly assess a student’s knowledge or abilities? What benefits can you receive from taking multiple tests?

    Read Exodus 17:1–4, looking for an additional test that the children of Israel were given in the wilderness. Think about how you would answer the following questions:

    • Given the Israelites’ experiences with the manna, in what other way, rather than murmuring or complaining, do you think the Israelites could have responded to this trial?

    • How do you think they could have so quickly forgotten the lessons they learned with the manna?

    Read Exodus 17:5–7, looking for what the Lord told Moses to do.

    Just as the requirement to gather manna can symbolize what the Lord requires of us today, the account of Moses striking the rock also has symbolic meaning. The scriptures sometimes refer to Jesus Christ as “the rock” (see Deuteronomy 32:4; 1 Corinthians 10:4; Helaman 5:12). Christ also refers to Himself as “the bread of life” (John 6:35) and a provider of “living water” (John 4:10).

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. How is Jesus Christ like a rock?

      2. How is He like bread?

      3. What does Jesus Christ provide that is like living water?

      4. What do these symbols teach us about the Savior?

    One lesson we can learn from the Israelites’ experience with food and water in the wilderness is that the Lord is the source of all spiritual nourishment.

    Ponder how partaking of the spiritual nourishment that Jesus Christ offers has blessed your life. Consider what you are doing to remember the Lord daily and what you are doing to go to the Lord so you can be spiritually nourished. Share your experience with a family member or friend. Encourage this person to accept the spiritual nourishment the Savior offers by making a greater effort to seek the Lord, serve Him, and obey His commandments, and ponder how you can do the same.

    1. journal icon
      Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

      I have studied Exodus 16:1–17:7 and completed this lesson on (date).

      Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: