Monday, January 18, 2016

Exodus 16:18 Illustration by Shelley Houser

This is a guest post by my friend Shelley Houser of, in which she shows how it was possible to do what is described in Exodus 16:18. This is an abridged version, so go to her web site for more details or email her at


[Aleksandr Sigalov:] Exodus 16:18 says the following:
YLT Ex 16:18 and they measure with an omer, and he who is gathering much hath nothing over, and he who is gathering little hath no lack, each according to his eating they have gathered.
This was possible because adults have large handfuls and children have small ones. You can eat what you can grab with both hands so to speak. Omer was proportional to human body, just like cubit which is arm length.

[Shelley Houser]: My children are ages 8 and 9. With one, we tried to do repeatable, level double handfuls measurement. With another, we tried to do more of a max-min measurement. I had him just randomly scoop out a double-handfuls, and as long as he could transfer the amount to another bowl without spilling it, it counted as a valid measurement.

Child One:
Trial 1.  1/2 C + 2 Tablespoons  (scant 3/4 C)
Trial 2.  3/4 C level exact
Trial 3.  3/4 C level exact.

Child Two:
Trial 1.  1/2 C + 3 Tablespoons (very nearly 3/4 C level, but just a bit under)
Trial 2.  3/4 C level exact.
Trial 3.  3/4 C + 2 Tablespoons (somewhere between 3/4 C and 1 C)
Trial 4.  3/4 C level  exact.

Without doing the exact standard deviation, it looks like the average is 3/4 C plus or minus 2 Tablespoons.

On the picture, double hands-full, level scoop by a first child, which is roughly 25% less than adult portion of 1 Cup.

You can use this web site to see that 25% less is perfect amount for a 9 year old. This confirms the theory experimentally.

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