Exodus 16-19

By COGwriter

We have two articles covering earlier chapters in the Book of Exodus.

Exodus and the Days of Unleavened Bread covers chapters 1-6, and parts of others.

Reasons, Proofs, and Ramifications of the Ten Plagues of Exodus covers chapters to 7-16 and parts of others.

Here is a list of six sermons that cover each and every verse of the first 19 chapters of the Book of Exodus.

  1. Exodus 1-4: Jewish Myths or Lessons for Christians Today?
  2. Exodus 5-7: Serpents, Blood, and Revelation.
  3. Exodus 8-9: Plagues and Prophecy.
  4. Exodus 10-12: The Last Plagues & 21st Century Prophecies.
  5. Exodus 13-15: Passover Protection and Armageddon.
  6. Exodus 16-19: Manna, Governance, and End Time Protection.

Exodus 16

The 16th chapter of Exodus begins as followis:

1 And they journeyed from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from the land of Egypt. 2 Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.

3 And the children of Israel said to them, "Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger." (Exodus 16:1-3)

So, despite all the plagues, their deliverance from slavery, and the destruction of much of the Egyptian army, the children of Israel again did not trust God.

Even now, there are Church of God Christians who will not trust God as they should. Actually, in these days, that would be most--that is those whose attitudes are more aligned to the Sardis and Laodicean eras of the Church of God than the Philadelphian era (cf. Revelation 3).

Furthermore, there are people who think they are Church of God Christians who wish that God had not called them now. They do not sufficiently value Jesus' sacrifice to redeem them from the world nor sufficiently have enough love for others.

They do not truly trust God.

Consider that the Apostle Paul wrote:

6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; (Philippians 1:6-7)

The Hebrews did not think God would finish what He started. Instead they complained.

The Apostle Paul specifically warned that we NOT follow their example (1 Corinthians 10:1-11). Furthermore, as Christians, notice something else the Apostle Paul wrote:

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)

So, we need to do more than not outwardly complain, we are to also to strive for control over our thoughts.

Anyway, God had a plan to feed the Hebrews. Notice:

4 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. 5 And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily." (Exodus 16:4-5)

So, for six days God would labor and produce bread for the Hebrews by sending it from heaven.

Notice what is recorded next in Exodus 16:

6 Then Moses and Aaron said to all the children of Israel, "At evening you shall know that the Lord has brought you out of the land of Egypt. 7 And in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord; for He hears your complaints against the Lord. But what are we, that you complain against us?"

8 Also Moses said, "This shall be seen when the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to the full; for the Lord hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the Lord." (Exodus 16:6-8)

Sometimes people seem to complain against me and others in the CCOG because God has not called even more to be with us yet. They don't word it that way, but many basically dismiss or blame us because there are not CCOG Christians that are geographically close to us.

But, of course, it is God that calls:

43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. ..." (John 6:43-46)

As far as calling goes, the following may be helpful:

Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is a link to a related sermon: Could God be Calling You?

Getting back to Exodus:

9 Then Moses spoke to Aaron, "Say to all the congregation of the children of Israel, 'Come near before the Lord, for He has heard your complaints.'" 10 Now it came to pass, as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.

11 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 12 "I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, 'At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the Lord your God.'"

13 So it was that quails came up at evening and covered the camp, and in the morning the dew lay all around the camp. (Exodus 16: 9-13)

So, God gave them animal flesh to eat.

But He also gave them something that seemed more vegetarian:

14 And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was.

And Moses said to them, "This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat. (Exodus 16:14-15)

This stuff was new. Or at least new to them. Some have speculated that it could have been some naturally occurring items. Here is something from Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers:

A small round thing, as small as the hoar frost.—What the manna was has been much disputed. There are two natural substances, quite distinct, with which it has been compared, and by some persons identified. One is a deposit from the air, which falls indifferently on trees, stones, grass, &c, and is generally thick and sticky, like honey, but under certain circumstances is “concreted into small granular masses.” This bas been described by Aristotle (Hist. An., v. 22), Pliny (H. N., xi. 12), Avicenna(p. 212), Ǽlian (Hist. An., xv. 7), Shaw, Forskal, and others. It has been called ὰερόμελι or “air-honey” (Athen. Deipn, xi., p. 500). It is collected by the Arabs, and eaten with their unleavened cakes as a condiment. It so far resembles the manna that it comes with the dew, is spread upon the ground generally, and melts when the sun’s rays attain a certain power (Œdmann: Misc. Collect., vol. iv., p. 7). But it is never found in large quantities; it does not fall for more than two months in the year; and it is wholly unfit to serve as man’s principal food, being more like honey than anything else. The other substance is a gum which exudes from certain trees at certain seasons of the year, in consequence of the punctures made in their leaves by a small insect, the Coccus manniparus. It has been described at length by C. Niebuhr in his Description de l’ Arabie (pp. 128, 129); by Rauwolf (Travels, vol. I., p. 94); Gmelin (Travels through Russia to Persia, Part III., p. 28), and others. It is comparatively a dry substance, is readily shaken from the leaves, and consists of small yellowish – white grains, which are hard, and have been compared to coriander seed by moderns (Rauwolf, 50s.100). The name “manna” attaches in the East to this latter substance, which is employed both as a condiment, like the “air-honey,” and also as a laxative. The special points in which it differs from the manna of Scripture are its confinement to certain trees or bushes, its comparative permanency, for it “accumulates on the leaves” (Niebuhr, p. 129), and its unfitness for food. It has also, like the “air-honey,” only a short season—the months of July and August.

The manna of Scripture in certain respects resembles the one, and in certain other respects the other of these substances, but in its most important characteristics resembles neither, and is altogether sui generis. For (1) it was adapted to be men’s principal nourishment, and served the Israelites as such for forty years; (2) it was supplied in quantities far exceeding anything that is recorded of the natural substances compared with it; (3) it continued through the whole of the year; (4) for forty years it fell regularly for six nights following, and ceased upon the seventh night; (5) it “bred worms” if kept to a second day, when gathered on five days out of the six, but when gathered on the sixth day continued good throughout the seventh, and bred no worms. The manna of Scripture must therefore be regarded as a miraculous substance, created ad hoc, and not as a natural product.

But for various reasons, including the quantities needed, those items could not have been biblical manna. Biblical manna was the result of a miracle.

Notice what one of the Psalms states:

23 Yet He had commanded the clouds above,
And opened the doors of heaven,
24 Had rained down manna on them to eat,
And given them of the bread of heaven.
25 Men ate angels' food;
He sent them food to the full. (Psalm 78:23-25)

So, being angels' food would show that manna was supernatural.

Some have wondered if manna would be provided in the place of safety in the wilderness (Revelation 12:14-17) based upon the following:

15 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
He who despises the gain of oppressions,
Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes,
Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed,
And shuts his eyes from seeing evil:
16 He will dwell on high;
His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks;
Bread will be given him,
His water will be sure. (Isaiah 33:15-16)

And that bread may be manna (for more on the place of protection, check out the article There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Near Petra).

But now notice the following from the New Testament:

30 Therefore they said to Him, "What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"

32 Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."

34 Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always."

35 And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

41 The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven." 42 And they said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, 'I have come down from heaven'?"

43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."

52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?"

53 Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven — not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever."

59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?"

61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit [that] gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."

66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?"

68 But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (John 6:30-69)

Many are offended at aspects of the truth. Many turn aside. Manna was a representation of Jesus, similiar to Passover bread.

The old Worldwide Church of God taught:

Manna could not be obtained from any other source anywhere in the world. It was not of this world. And that was just the point.

The manna symbolized Jesus Christ. (Steep CD. What Really Happened in the Wilderness? Good News, March 1982)

So, Jesus has a bread that is beyond ancient manna. Christians physically partake of that bread of Jesus each year in the Christian Passover.

Continuing in Exodus with Moses' words:

16 This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: 'Let every man gather it according to each one's need, one omer for each person, according to the number of persons; let every man take for those who are in his tent.'"

17 Then the children of Israel did so and gathered, some more, some less. 18 So when they measured it by omers, he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. Every man had gathered according to each one's need. (Exodus 16:16-18)

So, God gave each according to their needs. God sees to our needs as well.

Consider that Jesus taught:

25 "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:25-34)

Before saying that, Jesus told His followers to include the following in their prayers:

11 Give us this day our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11)

Notice, that was DAILY bread. Consider that in the light of the next few verses:

19 And Moses said, "Let no one leave any of it till morning." 20 Notwithstanding they did not heed Moses. But some of them left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. 21 So they gathered it every morning, every man according to his need. And when the sun became hot, it melted. (Exodus 16:19-21)

The some of Hebrews had not first trusted God. Hopefully, you are a Christian that does so today.

22 And so it was, on the sixth day, that they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. 23 Then he said to them, "This is what the Lord has said: 'Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.'" 24 So they laid it up till morning, as Moses commanded; and it did not stink, nor were there any worms in it. 25 Then Moses said, "Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none." (Exodus 16:22-26)

So, the Sabbath was a specific day. God did not say gather any six days and not one of seven. God 'rested' from bread production on the Sabbath.

Notice what a later chapter in Exodus teaches:

8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:8-11)

The Sabbath was a specific command. God essentially reiterated each week when He was providing bread from heaven six days, and then none on the seventh.

But despite all they had seen or went through, various Hebrews still did not believe:

27 Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none. 28 And the Lord said to Moses, "How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? 29 See! For the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." 30 So the people rested on the seventh day. (Exodus 16:27-30)

God had to force them to rest on the Sabbath.

Does God have to force you to do what you should?

Hopefully not.

In Exodus 16:28 God challenged Israel, "How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?" Israel could not refuse what did not exist! Hence the commandments and other laws had to have existed prior to the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai in Exodus 20.

Despite the truth, some falsely claim that they were done away when Jesus was executed and/or resurrected.

Getting back to Exodus, here is what this bread that God provided was called:

31 And the house of Israel called its name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. (Exodus 16:27-30)

Manna (mawn) basically means 'a whatness?'

The children of Israel clearly did not know what this stuff was.

Getting back to Exodus:

32 Then Moses said, "This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: 'Fill an omer with it, to be kept for your generations, that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.'"

33 And Moses said to Aaron, "Take a pot and put an omer of manna in it, and lay it up before the Lord, to be kept for your generations."

34 As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept. 35 And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan. 36 Now an omer is one-tenth of an ephah. (Exodus 16:32-36)

An omer seems to be about 1/2 gallon or 2 liters.

Exodus 17

Now let's look at Exodus 17:

1 Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 Therefore the people contended with Moses, and said, "Give us water, that we may drink."

So Moses said to them, "Why do you contend with me? Why do you tempt the Lord?"

3 And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, "Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?"

So, the people blamed Moses. They did not stop and reason that since God sent ten plagues to Egypt, passed over their houses, took them out of Egypt with wealth, and even parted the Red Sea for them, that God could handle this as well.

But today, many discount the miracle of their calling and act like God cannot help them through some difficulty.

Now, in the children of Israel's defense, this lack of water certainly presented a massive physical problem.

They, then in their minds, justified complaining to Moses.

While many act like they would never complain like the children of Israel did, the reality is that almost everyone would.

Consider the following prophecy:

13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. (Revelation 12:13-16)

Consider that the children of Israel were slaves in Egypt without modern conveniences--yet they complained after gaining miraculous freedom.

How will modern Westerners handle being out in the wilderness without things like air conditioning, much electricity, limited choices of food, etc.?

Something to consider.

Continuing in Exodus 17, we see that God intervened:

4 So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, "What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me!"

5 And the Lord said to Moses, "Go on before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. Also take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river, and go. 6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink."

And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 So he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the contention of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying, "Is the Lord among us or not?"

Despite the miracles many doubted God then. Do you doubt God now?

Anyway, let's look at what happened next:

8 Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9 And Moses said to Joshua, "Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand."

10 So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

Keeping your arms up for a long time is almost impossible to do at any age, and in Moses' case, at age 80, it was beyond his physical ability.

So, someone came up with a plan:

12 But Moses' hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

God seemingly blessed the plan as the next verse teaches:

13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

God wanted the children of Israel to remember this:

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven." 15 And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-Lord-Is-My-Banner; 16 for he said, "Because the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation."

The old WCG taught that Amalek could be a portion of the Turks. Some other have pointed to perhaps some of the Palestinians.

Chapter 18

Now to chapter 18:

1 And Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people — that the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt.

Jethro probably heard of some the plagues, but he definitely knew that the children of Israel had been freed.


2 Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her back, 3 with her two sons, of whom the name of one was Gershom (for he said, "I have been a stranger in a foreign land") 4 and the name of the other was Eliezer (for he said, "The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh"); 5 and Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness, where he was encamped at the mountain of God. 6 Now he had said to Moses, "I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her."

At least partially because of the circumcision (Exodus 4:25-26), Zipporah never made it to Egypt with Moses.

So, now Jethro brought Moses his family, and this seems to have pleased Moses:

7 So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, bowed down, and kissed him. And they asked each other about their well-being, and they went into the tent. 8 And Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, all the hardship that had come upon them on the way, and how the Lord had delivered them.

Moses' father-in-law was pleased to hear about this:

9 Then Jethro rejoiced for all the good which the Lord had done for Israel, whom He had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians.

Jethro was thankful.

Are you grateful what God has done for you? Or are you more of a complainer than one who gives thanks. More on giving thanks can be found in the article Giving Thanks; there is also a related sermon titled: Ingratitude and Giving Thanks.

Instead of complaining that Moses had left him--and having a man around since Jethro had daughters would have assisted Jethro physically--see what happened next.

10 And Jethro said, "Blessed be the Lord, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh, and who has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods; for in the very thing in which they behaved proudly, He was above them."

12 Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took a burnt offering and other sacrifices to offer to God. And Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law before God.

Then, the next day Moses went back to work:

13 And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening. 14 So when Moses' father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, "What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?"

15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, "Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 When they have a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statutes of God and His laws."

Notice that Moses was making known to the children of Israel the statutes of God and His laws. This means that they already existed.

But as they did not have electronic speakers or various other modern forms of communication, this seems to have only impacted a few families at a time.

Since there were believed to have been millions of Israelites by then, this would not do.


17 So Moses' father-in-law said to him, "The thing that you do is not good. 18 Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. 19 Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. 20 And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. 21 Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace."

Some, who have rejected church hierarchical governance, have objected to Moses taking advice from Jethro regarding a hierarchical governmental solution.

They say that Jethro was a heathen and that makes hierarchical government wrong--plus they will sometimes related negative experiences they had with some minister.

But Moses did not discount Jethro's counsel. He accepted the advice as consistent with God's laws:

24 So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people: rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 26 So they judged the people at all times; the hard cases they brought to Moses, but they judged every small case themselves.

Moses later specifically stated in the Book of Deuteronomy that this advice was good:

9 "And I spoke to you at that time, saying: 'I alone am not able to bear you. 10 The Lord your God has multiplied you, and here you are today, as the stars of heaven in multitude. 11 May the Lord God of your fathers make you a thousand times more numerous than you are, and bless you as He has promised you! 12 How can I alone bear your problems and your burdens and your complaints? 13 Choose wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men from among your tribes, and I will make them heads over you.' 14 And you answered me and said, 'The thing which you have told us to do is good.' 15 So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and knowledgeable men, and made them heads over you, leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, leaders of tens, and officers for your tribes.

16 "Then I commanded your judges at that time, saying, 'Hear the cases between your brethren, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the stranger who is with him. 17 You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small as well as the great; you shall not be afraid in any man's presence, for the judgment is God's. The case that is too hard for you, bring to me, and I will hear it.' 18 And I commanded you at that time all the things which you should do. (Deuteronomy 1:9-18)

Furthermore, as far as hierarchical governance goes, God's family is hierarchical with the Father greater than the Son (John 14:28).

Plus, God had hierarchical governance shown in the New Testament. Notice two such places:

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:27-28)

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ-- 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love (Ephesians 4:11-16).

Proper hierarchical governance is the most efficient and effective way to have growth--and that is consistent with scripture.

As far as financial efficiency goes, the CCOG probably spends to least percentage of its income on administrative matters than any other COG of 200 or more people.

As far as effective growth goes, the Continuing Church of God has been the fastest growing x-WCG church in the 21st century.

Misapplications of hierarchical governance happen when leaders do not heed scriptures (which is why I had to leave my last COG; see Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God).

But when it is properly applied, it is both effective and high efficient (to learn more about it: The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government).

Getting back to Exodus 18, Jethro went home:

27 Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went his way to his own land.

There is a tradition, according to the Jewish historian Josephus, that after getting to the promised land, the children of Israel gave land to Jethro's descendants because they later joined with the Hebrews (Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews, Book V, Chapter 11, verse 3, p. 111)

Chapter 19

Chapter 19 starts off as follows:

1 In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. 2 For they had departed from Rephidim, had come to the Wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Israel camped there before the mountain.

3 And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: 4 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself.

As far as "eagles wings" goes, the children of Israel literally walked under God's protection--they did not fly nor literally ride on the wings of eagles.

This is of prophetic interest as when considering the following from Revelation:

13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. (Revelation 12:13-16)

Some have felt that all Philadelphian Christians would have to supernaturally fly to a place of protection. And while many likely will fly, notice that a flood also comes out after the woman and the earth opened up its mouth to get rid of the flood sent by the serpent. This shows that the woman will physically be on the ground, at least for that time, and air does not open up and swallow floods like being described here.

Israel's "eagle wings" did not physically transport them--they walked. Philadelphian Christians will also, at least partially, walk some.

There will be many things that look physical than supernatural when it is time to flee to the place of protection (as well as while being there). See also There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Near Petra

After God explained He bore them on eagles' wings, He stated in Exodus:

5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."

God made a special promise to the children of Israel if they obeyed.

Jesus made a special promise to the remnant of the Philadelphian portion of the Church of God if they would persevere and do the work:

7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, 'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens": 8 "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie — indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. (Revelation 3:7-11)

Sadly, in the end time, most Christians have let others (including their own self-importance) take the part of the crown that includes protection.

Now, back to Exodus:

7 So Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the Lord commanded him.

8 Then all the people answered together and said, "All that the Lord has spoken we will do."

So Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord. 9 And the Lord said to Moses, "Behold, I come to you in the thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever."

So Moses told the words of the people to the Lord.

So, the people agreed. Though they continued to disobey as we will see in other parts of Exodus.

As far as keeping promises, notice something that Solomon wrote:

4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed — 5 Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. (Ecclesiastes 5:4-5)

The above is consistent with why God does not call everyone now--many would vow to be faithful, but would not do so. Hence, it was better that where not called. The Apostle Peter wrote:

20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. (2 Peter 2:20-21)

Related to your words, Jesus taught:

33 "Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.' 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. (Matthew 5:33-37)

Pride and vanity get people to swear or declare vows that they will not actually fulfill.

Humans are not to swear because we do not have the power to certainly make things come to pass--only God does (cf. Isaiah 46:9-11).

As Christians, we have essentially vowed to obey--let's not be unfaithful like the children of Israel were.


10 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. 11 And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, 'Take heed to yourselves that you do not go up to the mountain or touch its base. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. 13 Not a hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot with an arrow; whether man or beast, he shall not live.' When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come near the mountain."

God did not want the children of Israel to be closer, lest they be tempted to touch what He did not want them to touch.

14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes. 15 And he said to the people, "Be ready for the third day; do not come near your wives."

This was to fix the importance of what was about to occur, plus prevent the children of Israel from being in a temporal state of uncleanness (cf. Leviticus 15:16-18).


16 Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.

This was a major display and people trembled. Continuing:

17 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. 19 And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. 20 Then the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

But Moses did not stay up very long. Continuing:

21 And the Lord said to Moses, "Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to gaze at the Lord, and many of them perish. 22 Also let the priests who come near the Lord consecrate themselves, lest the Lord break out against them."

23 But Moses said to the Lord, "The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai; for You warned us, saying, 'Set bounds around the mountain and consecrate it.'"

24 Then the Lord said to him, "Away! Get down and then come up, you and Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the Lord, lest He break out against them." 25 So Moses went down to the people and spoke to them.

God knew that, despite trembling, people would be tempted to come up to Mount Sinai so He sent Moses back down again for a time.

It would seem that this would have included the Ten Commandments, which are literally called the 'ten words' (decalogue in Latin/decalogos in Greek) in Exodus 34:28.

A related sermon is also available, here is a link: Exodus 16-19: Manna, Governance, and End Time Protection.

Was There an Exodus?

Before getting to Exodus 20, notice something from Wikipedia, which claims to be factual without a point of view, calls it a myth:

The Exodus is the founding myth of the Israelites. … The traditions behind the Exodus story can be traced in the writings of the 8th-century BCE prophets, beyond which their history is obscured by centuries of transmission.No historical basis for the biblical Exodus story exists … There is no indication that the Israelites ever lived in Ancient Egypt, and the Sinai Peninsula shows almost no sign of any occupation for the entire 2nd millennium BCE  … (The Exodus, Wikipedia, accessed 10/28/18)

Nearly all the above statements are false.

Part of the reason for the denial by Wikipedia and other secular sources is that they often hold to the wrong century for the time of the Exodus, hence many refuse to consider actual historical evidence.

This denial is not new, but has been long running.

One of the reasons for this is that many scholars have assumed, for various reasons, that it supposedly should have occurred around 1250 B.C. Based upon that time period, there is no evidence that they see in Egypt or in the Palestinian region that supports the view that great numbers of Israelites left Egypt and settled in the area that ancient Israel came to dominate.

Part of the problem is the assumption that Ramesses II was supposedly the Pharaoh that Moses dealt with. This misconception was carried forward in the popular movie starring Charlton Heston as Moses and Yul Brynner as Pharaoh Ramses/Ramesses. Ramesses II was pharaoh from about 1279 to 1213 B.C.

But is that the right period of time to be looking at?

Well, there is a clear numeric reference to the year of the Exodus in the Bible. Notice:

1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord. (1 Kings 6:1)

So, 1 Kings 6:1 shows 480 years from the exodus from Egypt to the fourth year of Solomon's reign. That would have been about 966 B.C. (see When was the Exodus?).

So, 1 Kings 6:1 shows 480 years from the exodus from Egypt to the fourth year of Solomon’s reign. That four year of Solomon’s reign would have been about 966 B.C. (see When was the Exodus?), hence a c. 1446 B.C. exodus is a more scriptural time period.

The Bible teaches:

40 Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. 41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years — on that very same day — it came to pass that all the armies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. (Exodus 12:40-41)

Thus, the biblical chronology indicates that the children of Israel entered Egypt around 1876 B.C. (1446 B.C. plus 430 years).

There is also an interesting piece of evidence that blasts a hole in the theory that the Exodus was in the 13th century. This has to do with a find called the Soleb Temple Inscription that has been dated to c. 1385 B.C. (the fourteenth century B.C.), which also shows that the children of Israel were where the Bible indicates that they were. Here is the hieroglyphic inscription:

tA M8 M23 w i i h V4 w

Here is information about it:

The … hieroglyphic rendering corresponds very precisely to the Hebrew tetragrammaton YHWH, or Yahweh, and antedates the hitherto oldest occurrence of that divine name – on the Moabite Stone – by over five hundred years. (Astour, Michael C. (1979). “Yahweh in Egyptian Topographic Lists.” In Festschrift Elmar Edel, eds. M. Gorg & E. Pusch, Bamberg, as cited by Wikipedia)

Of particular interest is the Shasu name that has attached to it the element

i i h V4 w

, which reads yhw3. Because this linguistically corresponds to the Hebrew YHWH, it was quickly associated with the personal name of the God of Israel. … The initial response to the occurance of the topomyn “Shasu land of Yahwa” led many scholars to conclude that this name points to a geographical territory where a cult of Yahwa existed in the fourteenth century B.C. This interpretation is strengthened by the proximty of Seir in the same list. Thus it has been thought that the “Shasu land of Yahwa” was in the same region as the Shasu in the land of Seir … Thus this Egyptian evidence seems to support the theory that Israel spent time in the very region the Bible suggests. (Hoffmeier JK. Ancient Israel in Sinai: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Wilderness Tradition. Oxford University Press, USA, 2005, p. 242)

The … Soleb Temple Inscription, which is an Egyptian hieroglyphic inscription that dates to ca. 1385 BC. This inscription, which comes from the reign of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, is found in an Egyptian temple at Soleb in which is today northern Sudan.

The Soleb Inscription, which is on a stone column base and which is written on the body of a bound enemy soldier, refers to a people called the “Shasu of Yahweh.” Shasu is a term used in ancient Egypt for semi-nomadic–generally Semitic–peoples with herd animals, who lived almost exclusively to the east and west of the Jordan River. All Shasu tribes were seen as the mortal enemies by the Egyptians.

The entire Soleb Inscription reads “the land of the Shasu of Yahweh.” It is highly probable that the Shasu mentioned in the Soleb Inscription were the Israelites who had just invaded into Canaan under Joshua. Incidentally, there is no archaeological evidence that the ancient Egyptians ever exercised any administrate authority in the Shasu lands east of the Jordan River.

The name Yahweh in the Soleb Inscription is recognized by nearly alll ancient historians and archeologists today as the very name for God–Jehovah in some English translations–that is found in the Hebrew Old Testament. Exodus 3:13-15 indicates that Yahweh was a new name for God that was first revealed to Moses at the Burning Bush just prior to the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.

After being commissioned by Yahweh as his representative, Moses and his brother Aaron went to the Pharaoh of Egypt. Exodus 5:1-2 records that discourse between Moses and Pharaoh during their first meeting, and this meeting is highly relevant to this discussion on the date of the Exodus. It reads:

Afterwards Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “Thus says Yahweh, the God [Elohim] of Israel, ‘let my people go that they may hold a feast to me wilderness.'” But Pharaoh said, “Who is Yahweh that I should obey his voice and let Israel go. I do not know Yahweh, and I will not let Israel go.”

It is clear from this passage of Scripture that the Pharaoh of the Exodus had never heard of a God named Yahweh. However, Pharaoh Amenhotep III (ruled ca. 1391-1354 BC) clearly had heard of Yahweh since he mentions him by name in the Soleb Inscription.

Since Pharaoh Amenhotep III knew of Yahweh in ca. 1385 BC and since the name Yahweh is not used until the life of Moses, then the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt must have happened before ca. 1385 BC. Tis makes the Late Date of the Exodus in ca. 1265 BC under Pharaoh Ramses II (ruled ca. 1279-1212 BC) untenable for Bible believers! Billington C. The New Crossway Archaeology Study Bible Reviewed. Artifax, Summer 2018, pp. 21-22)

Thus, the Soleb Temple Inscription supports a fifteenth century B.C. exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt like many of us have pointed to for years.

As for others who do not believe it occurred because of looking at dates about two centuries later, understand that the Bible teaches:

4… Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. (Romans 3:4)

20… Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge — 21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. (1 Timothy 6:20-21)

The Bible also tells of people who are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7).

So, when you hear the opinion of ‘scholars’ when they blatantly contradict the Bible, realize that the Bible is still true.

Dr. Doug Petrovich, author of, The World’s Oldest Alphabet: Hebrew As The Language Of The Proto-Consonantal Script, was interviewed, which I watched (http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2017/01/08/ABR-Associate-Dr-Doug-Petrovich-Reveals-Ancient-Moses-Inscription.aspx?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIiuHf2Iq-4AIVlYxpCh1SMwScEAAYASAAEgLtqPD_BwE#Article).

He claims, and shows various artifacts, the connections between Hebrew letters and Egyptian hieroglyphics indicates that the Hebrew alphabet was developed from Egyptian hieroglyphics. Presuming this is the case, this supports the view that the Hebrews were in Egypt for centuries.

According to Dr. Petrovich’s translation of certain inscriptions, one dating to 1842 BC., includes the phrase, "Hebrews of Bethel, the beloved." Since the Israelites needed to be in Egypt by 1876 BC. This is because Exodus 12:40 says that the children of Israel were in Egypt 430 years, so if the Exodus was 1446 BC this would point to an arrival of 1876 B.C. So having evidence pointing to the Israelites being there 34 years later fits.

He also said that there were three other inscriptions naiming three biblical people These, he said, were Asenath, the wife of Joseph (Genesis 41:45), Ahisamach, the father of one of the craftsmen who would build the Tabernacle (Exodus 35:34), and Moses.

The most exciting inscription would be the one which names Moses. Dr. Petrovich says that this dates to 1446 BC, a possible year of the Exodus. That inscription reads,

"Our bound servitude had lingered, Moshe then provoked astonishment."

Moses is Moshe in Hebrew. Near that is an inscription that talks about a "year of astonishment," which is consistent with the ten plagues, etc. recorded in the Book of Exodus. So, although secular scholars seem disinterested, there appears to be much evidence that they overlook or overly discount.

Do not be like them.

Thiel B. Exodus 16-19. COGwriter (c) http://www.cogwriter.com/exodus16.htm 2019 0316

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