Is Exodus 16:1-21 a Sabbath Day?

Some see the references to "the sixth day" in these verses and conclude that the instructions must have been given on the Sabbath so that people could count six days to the next "preparation day." If so, it would have been wrong for the Israelites to gather and prepare quail before sunset. This would then support the idea that ben ha arbayim (when they ate the quail) means "twilight."

However, there is nothing in this section that indicates it is a Sabbath. The expression "sixth day" can refer to the sixth day of the week—it does not imply a counting of days. They are not told to gather manna and quail for six days in a row until the following Sabbath (Ex 16:25-26). Secondly, verse 1 states they were traveling on that day—not something they would do on a Sabbath. Finally, the practicality is wrong. Was the Eternal teaching them to get busy and work hard the minute the Sabbath was over? Also, it would be very difficult to remove the feathers and gut quail without sunlight. We challenge anyone to try processing such small birds by twilight, moon-light or fire light.

The Biblical evidence that ben ha arbayim is in the afternoon is given at right.


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