Bible Study – Exodus 16-20 – Weekly Recap

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Welcome back to week four of our Exodus Bible study. If you haven’t done so already, feel free to jump in and join us. You’ll find everything you need to get started, including a copy of the Bible study guide on our intro post. Click here to go there now.

Please note: If you have trouble keeping up with all of the questions in the study guide, I would suggest that you read a chapter and choose 2 or three questions/day. You don’t have to answer every question, and in fact, you could save those for the next time you go through the study. The questions are designed to help you dig deeper–not overwhelm you. So enjoy yourself and dig into God’s word!

Exodus 16-20 – Questions and Answers

Exodus Chapter 16


Why did the people grumble at Moses and Aaron?

There were hungry. I think they were more focused on their belly than they were with trusting in God.

What was God’s instructions regarding the gathering of the manna?

They were to gather only a certain amount each day (an omer for each person). On the sixth day they were to gather twice as much and prepare it for the seventh day. This was God’s way of testing whether they would obey His commandments or not.

Some of them didn’t listen to Moses. They kept some for the next day, and the excess stank the next day and had worms in it. Not so on the Sabbath day. Those who gathered more on the sixth day had food for the seventh.

What were they fed at night, and what were they fed in the morning?

In the morning they were fed manna and in the evening they were fed quail.

What do we learn about the appearance, the color, and the taste of manna?

It was small and round like hoar frost upon the ground. It looked much like coriander seed, but it was white and tasted like honey wafers.

In this chapter we see God’s people keeping the Sabbath. What else can we learn about the Sabbath from Hebrews chapter 4?

Hebrews 4:10 says, “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.”

This ceasing from work, or Sabbath day that we honor, is a symbol of eternal rest with God.

They had a promise set before them of a land flowing with milk and honey. We have a hope set before us of heaven:

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” – John 14:3

We can rest in that promise knowing that we’re saved by faith through grace. Not by our own works, but by the grace of God. Salvation isn’t something we earn, it’s a gift from God through faith.

Many today still believe that being good and doing good is all they need to be saved. While good works are important, they are an extension of our faith and not the root. The root of our faith is in Christ. It’s by His work on the cross that we’re saved.

The Israelites had a promise before them, but many failed to enter the land because of unbelief and disobedience.

Even God Himself rested after creating the world. Not because He was tired out obviously, but because He wanted to teach us the importance of rest, both through faith in Jesus Christ and also in a general sense that people and their workers need a time of rest.

How long did the people eat manna?

40 years.


Exodus Chapter 17

When the people complained about being thirsty, what was the Lord’s specific instructions to Moses regarding the rock? Compare this to Numbers 20:1-12, what is the difference?

God told Moses to go on before the people with the elders and to take his rod with him. He told Moses to smite the rock with the rod and water would come out.

Numbers 20:1-12:

God told Moses to go before the assembly with Aaron, to speak to the rock, and it would bring forth water.

Moses was disobedient to God’s specific instructions. Instead of speaking to the rock, he took the rod, spoke severely to the people, and smote the rock twice.

In Numbers 20 we see that Moses let his anger dictate his actions. In Exodus 17 he let God. We must be cautious as believers that we’re not ruled by emotions.

Romans 8:8 says, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

Faith is a process of letting go of the flesh. Of putting down our own sinful desires to follow His will.

What or Who did the rock represent? 1 Corinthians 10:4

“And [the Israelites] did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 10:4

Google this. What does the Hebrew word Massah mean? What does the Hebrew word Meribah mean?

Massah is testing and Meribah means quarreling. Moses called the place Massah and Meribah, because they quarreled and tested the Lord.

In this chapter, we see the Israelites in their first battle. Who was the enemy?


Note: To me, the “rod” represents authority and guidance. As a shepherd uses a rod to guide his sheep, so the Lord uses discipline and authority to guide us. What started out as a simple staff in Exodus chapter 4 was dubbed the “rod of God,” as Moses returned to Egypt to free God’s people. And so by the rod the Red Sea was divided, and by the rod water poured from a rock.

In this chapter, we’re introduced to Joshua. What can we learn about Joshua from Joshua 1:1-6?

He was the son of Nun

After the death of Moses, he was appointed by God to lead the Israelites into the Promised land

Who helped Moses keep his hands in the air?

Aaron and Hur

What can the story of Moses and raising up of his hands teach us about the spiritual battles we face?

The rod that Moses held up represented the authority of God. We can learn much from this example of God’s authority when it comes to the spiritual battles we face.

Verse like these remind us again of His power over this world:

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

When we put our faith in God we have victory over the battles we face.


Exodus Chapter 18 

What were Moses’ two sons named?

Eliezer and Gershom

What are some facts we know about Jethro? Also see Exodus 2:15-21

He was also called Reuel
He was a priest of Midian
He had seven daughters
He watched over Zipporah and her children for a while
He was Moses’ father-in-law

What advice did Jethro give to Moses?

That instead of Moses judging every matter that came to him, he should delegate men who would judge over groups of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. These men could handle small matters and the bigger issues (the difficult ones) would be brought to Moses for his judgment. This would lighten Moses’ load.

How did the judges handle difficult disputes?

They brought the difficult disputes to Moses.

Verse 25 said that Moses appointed rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens, which tells us that there were multitudes of people in this camp. How many Israelites left Egypt? See Exodus 12:37

600,000 men besides children. The Amplified Bible says, “besides [women and] children.” A more accurate number of 603,550, is found in Numbers 1:46.


Exodus Chapter 19 

Let’s establish a time frame. How long had it been since the Israelites left Egypt?

This was two months after they left. Most Bible scholars believe that this takes place 50 days after they leave Egypt.

What was the promise that God told Moses to convey in verses 5 and 6? And what was the condition?

They would be a treasure to Him, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation above other people.
The condition: If you obey his voice and keep his covenant.

How do these promises compare to 1 Peter 2:9?

The new church established through faith in Jesus Christ is “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.”

Those who were not His people before (the Gentiles) are brought into the new covenant by the blood of Jesus.

What was their response in verse 7?

They agreed to every word the Lord had spoken to them through Moses.

The Lord told Moses to sanctify the people. What does “sanctify” mean?

To make holy, set apart, consecrate. (dictionary.com)

What similarities do we find in Hebrews 10:19-23? What might the washing of clothes symbolize?

I see this portion of scripture being two-fold. One is that Moses sanctified them, the other is that they also did their part by washing their clothes.

When we come to Christ, we are sanctified through His blood. We are righteous because He is righteous. But still we are called to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which the Bible refers to in Romans 12:1 as our reasonable service.

Righteous living is an outward expression of an inward change. Baptism is a symbol of this change as it illustrates one dying to self and rising again with Christ.

What three things took place in verse 16?

There was thunder and lightning, a thick cloud appeared upon the mountain, and the voice of the trumpet sounded.

Why was it important for Moses to prevent the people from going up the mountain?

If they broke through and looked at God, they would die. Later in the book, we’ll read about Moses covering his face with a veil when God appeared in His glory.

Exodus Chapter 20 

Briefly list the ten commandments.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me
You shall not worship any graven image
You should not take God’s name in vain
Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
Honor thy father and mother
Thou shalt not kill
Thou shalt not commit adultery
Thou shalt not steal
Thou shalt not bear false witness
Thou shalt not covet

What may be some of the things that we treasure more than our Lord?

Marriage, family, self, pride, jobs, money, power, romance, sex…

Some churches omit the second commandment, and instead split the tenth. What is the second commandment?

Thou shalt not make any graven image and bow down to worship it. This is obviously different than having a painting or a statue. It’s the worship of that painting or statue that misplaces our devotion to God.

How is the second commandment different from the first?

Having other gods before God can be anything that takes first priority in our life. God is jealous for us. He wants our attention and devotion. In order to serve Him, we must put Him before anything else in our lives.

A graven image is something carved, sculpted, or painted to reflect the image of a deity. We aren’t to put our faith in anything other than God Himself. The Bible says:

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” – John 4:24

Verse five tells us that He is a jealous God. What is the difference between being jealous of us, and being jealous for us?

When you are jealous of someone you have a feeling of opposition to them. Instead of wanting them to succeed, you want them to fail so that you might succeed in their place.

Galatians 5:20 talks about the sin of jealousy, which is the former.

Being jealous for someone is wanting their time and attention. It’s a desire to be in an exclusive relationship with them because of their love toward the person. God has created us for His pleasure, and therefore we belong to Him, as a wife belongs to her husband.

What are two of the ways that we might use God’s name in vain?

By saying that we are believers and living contrary to His Word.
By using His name as a curse word.
By using His name in useless talk such as “Oh my _____!”

What are some things we might learn about the Sabbath from the New Testament?

Mark 2:27 – The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
Colossians 2:16-17 – We are not to judge or be judged with respect to the Sabbath.
Hebrews 4:9-11 – The Sabbath is a shadow of resting in the righteousness of Christ through grace.
Acts 20:7 – The disciples gathered on the first day of the week in the New Testament, which is why most churches today have adopted the first day of the week for church services. Also because Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week.
1 Corinthians 16:2 – The churches collected an offering on the first day of each week for the Saints.

 A Journey Through Exodus – Bible-Study Journal
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