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Readers’ Theatre: Food in the Desert

(Excerpts from Exodus 16)

Narrator:
As soon as the Israelites got to the desert of Sin,
the entire community of Israelites complained to Moses and Aaron.

People:
It would have been better if we had died
by the hand of God in Egypt.
At least we had plenty to eat and drink,
for our pots were stuffed with meat
and we had as much bread as we wanted.
But now you have brought the entire community
out to the desert to starve us to death.

Narrator:
Then God spoke to Moses:

God:
I have heard the constant complaining of the Israelites.
Tell them, “In the evening, you will have meat to eat;
and in the morning,
you will have enough bread to satisfy your hunger.
Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.”

Narrator:
That evening, quail flew in and covered the camp;
and when morning arrived,
what seemed to be ordinary dew was all around the camp.
But when the dew evaporated,
it left behind a thin, mysterious, flaky substance
that looked like frost on top of the dry desert ground.
The people of Israel went out to examine it.
They had never seen anything quite like it.
They didn’t have a clue what this strange substance was.
But Moses told them:

Moses:
It is the bread which God has given you to eat.
Here are His instructions:
Gather only as much of it as you should eat by yourself.
Pick up two quarts of bread for each person who lives in your tent.

Narrator:
The Israelites did as they were told.
Some people gathered a lot, others gathered less.
When they used a two-quart jar to measure it,
the one who had gathered a lot didn’t have more than he needed;
and the one who gathered less had just what he needed.
Miraculously, each person and each family—
regardless of how much they gathered—
had exactly what they needed.

– Christine Longhurst, for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank

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