SPECIAL TOPIC: MANNA

A. It was a supernatural provision by YHWH to sustain His people during the exodus and wilderness wandering period.

 

B. It is called “the bread which the Lord has given you to eat,” Exod. 16:15b (cf. Neh. 9:15; John 6:31,49,51,53,58). The popular name, “manna” (Exod. 31:1) comes from the question about it, asked by the people in Exod. 16:15a (i.e., “What is it?” from Hebrew “man hu,” BDB 577 and BDB 214).

 

C. It came with the dew every morning (cf. Exod. 16:13,21; Num. 11:9), as the sun rose and burned off the dew (cf. Exod. 16:14), a layer of white powder remained for a brief period, then the sun burned it all away (cf. Exod. 16:21).

They were to gather it, every family, every day, enough for all in the family to have enough to eat (cf. Exod. 16:16-18), but only enough for one day at a time (cf. Exod. 16:20). There was a special provision made to gather twice as much on Friday so that no work (i.e., gathering or cooking, cf. Exod. 16:23) would be done on the Sabbath (cf. Exod. 16:5, i.e., Friday night at twilight until Saturday night at twilight). On this special day the manna would remain edible for two days (cf. Exod. 16:22,24).

 

D. There was also a jar of manna kept in the ark that remained normal (cf. Exod. 16:33; Heb. 9:4).

 

E. Manna was a fine flake-like item, fine as the hoarfrost on the ground (cf. Exod. 16:14). It was white, like coriander seed, and tasted like wafers with honey (cf. Exod. 16:31; Num. 11:7-8).

 

F. This special provision of YHWH’s ceased when Israel crossed the Jordan River into Canaan (cf. Jos. 5:10-12). The pillar of cloud also ceased when they crossed into Canaan.

 

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