Exodus 16:34
As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.
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16:32-36 God having provided manna to be his people's food in the wilderness, the remembrance of it was to be preserved. Eaten bread must not be forgotten. God's miracles and mercies are to be had in remembrance. The word of God is the manna by which our souls are nourished, Mt 4:4. The comforts of the Spirit are hidden manna, Re 2:17. These come from heaven, as the manna did, and are the support and comfort of the Divine life in the soul, while we are in the wilderness of this world. Christ in the word is to be applied to the soul, and the means of grace are to be used. We must every one of us gather for ourselves, and gather in the morning of our days, the morning of our opportunities; which if we let slip, it may be too late to gather. The manna must not be hoarded up, but eaten; those who have received Christ, must by faith live upon him, and not receive his grace in vain. There was manna enough for all, enough for each, and none had too much; so in Christ there is enough, but not more than we need. But those who ate manna, hungered again, died at last, and with many of them God was not well pleased; whereas they that feed on Christ by faith, shall never hunger, and shall die no more, and with them God will be for ever well pleased. Let us seek earnestly for the grace of the Holy Spirit, to turn all our knowledge of the doctrine of Christ crucified, into the spiritual nourishment of our souls by faith and love.The Testimony - See the marginal references. 32-36. Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations—The mere fact of such a multitude being fed for forty years in the wilderness, where no food of any kind is to be obtained, will show the utter impossibility of their subsisting on a natural production of the kind and quantity as this tarfa-gum [see on [19]Ex 16:13]; and, as if for the purpose of removing all such groundless speculations, Aaron was commanded to put a sample of it in a pot—a golden pot (Heb 9:4)—to be laid before the Testimony, to be kept for future generations, that they might see the bread on which the Lord fed their fathers in the wilderness. But we have the bread of which that was merely typical (1Co 10:3; Joh 6:32). i.e. Before the ark, which is called the ark of the testimony, Exodus 25:16; and here, by way of abbreviation,

the testimony, or witness, because in it were the tables of the covenant, or the law of God, which was a testimony of God’s authority and will, and of man’s subjection and duty, or of the covenant made between God and man. See Deu 10:5 31:26.

Quest. How could this be laid up before the ark, when the ark was not yet built?

Answ. This text only tells us that Aaron did lay it up, but it doth not determine the time, nor affirm that it was done at this instant, but rather intimates the contrary, and that it was done afterwards when the testimony, i.e. the ark, was built. As the next verse also speaks of what was done in the following forty years.

As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the testimony, to be kept. That is, before the ark of the testimony; when that was made, as it was in a little time after this, called the testimony, because it contained in it the law, which was a testimony or testification of the mind and will of God unto Israel, see Exodus 25:16 the apostle says, the pot of manna was in the ark, Hebrews 9:4 that is, on one side of it; see Gill on Hebrews 9:4. As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the {p} Testimony, to be kept.

(p) That is, the Ark of the covenant that is, after the Ark was made.

34. before the Testimony] i.e. before the Ark, which contained the ‘Testimony,’ P’s standing expression for the Decalogue (see on Exodus 25:16): cf. Exodus 30:36, Numbers 17:4; Numbers 17:10. Cf. Hebrews 9:4.

Verse 34, - Aaron laid it up before the testimony. "The testimony" is not the Ark of the Covenant, which is never so called, but the Covenant itself, or the two tables of stone engraved by the finger of God, which are termed "the testimony" in Exodus 25:16-21; Exodus 40:20; etc. The pot of manna was laid up inside the ark (Hebrews 9:4) in front of the two tables. Exodus 16:34As a constant memorial of this bread of God for succeeding generations, Jehovah commanded Moses to keep a bowl full (העמר מלא, the filling of a bowl) of the manna. Accordingly Aaron placed a jar of manna (as it is stated in Exodus 16:34, Exodus 16:35, by way of anticipation, for the purpose of summing up everything of importance relating to the manna) "before Jehovah," or speaking still more exactly, "before the testimony," i.e., the tables of the law (see Exodus 25:16), or according to Jewish tradition, in the ark of the covenant (Hebrews 9:4). צנצנת, from צנן to guard round, to preserve, signifies a jar or bottle, not a basket. According to the Jerusalem Targum, it was an earthenware jar; in the lxx it is called στάμνος χρυσοῦς, a golden jar, but there is nothing of this kind in the original text.
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