Most translators seem to add some different phrases in this text which somehow was never in the Hebrew text.

וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה, בְּתֵת יְהוָה לָכֶם בָּעֶרֶב בָּשָׂר לֶאֱכֹל וְלֶחֶם בַּבֹּקֶר לִשְׂבֹּעַ, בִּשְׁמֹעַ יְהוָה אֶת-תְּלֻנֹּתֵיכֶם, אֲשֶׁר-אַתֶּם מַלִּינִם עָלָיו; וְנַחְנוּ מָה, לֹא-עָלֵינוּ תְלֻנֹּתֵיכֶם כִּי עַל-יְהוָה.

Exodus 16:8 New King James Version (NKJV)

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 16:8 KJV

8 And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.

Exodus 16:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB) The Lord Provides Meat

Exodus 16:8 NASB

8 Moses said, “This will happen when the Lord gives you [a]meat to eat in the evening, and bread to the full in the morning; for the Lord hears your grumblings which you grumble against Him. And what are we? Your grumblings are not against us but against the Lord.”

What could be the reason for adding these phrases?


2 Answers 2


Including the Phrase 'this shall be/seen' in Exodus 16:8

Here is one example of an attempt of covering over the meaning of Lord's name, however for the sentence to make any sense they feel they needed to add in the copula within the translation, however offered below gives example of how without using the copula.

Without the name covered

and Moses said, "He Was giving you his meat in the evening ..."

Failing when covering the name

and Moses said, "(copula) the LORD giving you his meat in the evening ..."

Varieties of use of the Copula

  • This shall be seen when
  • This shall be when
  • This will happen when

Since his name is the Copula
Each attempt failed at covering his name.

Covering his Name

and Moses said, "The LORD gives you his meat in the evening ..."


This is so because the text wouldn't make sense without it. Taken literally the text just says: When God gives you bread at night etc." but of course this sentence is incomplete and unreadable as it is unclear what will happen then. So they inserted the words "This will happen when" or "You shall know this when" to complete the sentence. This is not done capriciously as it is based on the previous verse which states "In the evening you will know that it was the Lord..." Taken together it reads thus: "You shall know it was the Lord when He gives you bread".

Like anything else in the bible this is subject to translation philosophy and highly depends upon the method one chooses to follow when interpreting biblical texts. I'm also aware that there are other ways to translate this verse, I still don't think they can be blamed for inserting these words as they serve to make the text more readable.

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