Manna from Heaven

Exodus 16:1-36

One month after leaving Egypt, the Children of Israel are moved by hunger to again complain against Moses and Aaron. Going so far as to say things had been better in Egypt, they accuse the pair of trying to kill the people. God tells Moses He will rain food down upon them, instructing the people to collect only what they need for each day and a double portion on Fridays, for He will not send food on the Day of Rest.


Before sending the miracle food from heaven, however, God sends quail, that the people should eat meat that evening. In the morning, the Israelites find the camp surrounded by a strange, wafer-thin substance. ‘Man hoo?’ they ask each other — what is this? — which is how the Manna got its name.


Whatever was left by the end of the morning was melted by the sun, and whatever people tried to hoard for another day became spoiled, except on Fridays. Those who tested God on the matter found no Manna on the Sabbath.


God later commands Moses to save a measure of Manna for all eternity, placing a jar of it in the Ark of the Covenant.


The Children of Israel continued to eat Manna for forty years in the desert, until arriving at the Promised Land. The Israel Bible brings the explanation of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, who teaches that God intended for the Israelites to enjoy the produce of the land as if it were manna, provided directly by God.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

Manna is considered a great test of the Israelites’ faith in God. Why do you think their faith needed to be tested? What lessons do you think we can take away from the episode of the Manna for our lives today?


Comments ( 8 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • First of all there is the commandment of the Shabbat not to work, but have time for communication with the HOLY ONE.
    Secundary there is the commandment of taking just one portion for the day that you need it. You cann’t treasure up for yourself because when you do , the next day what you saved will be spoiled and your jar can never be used anymore after the trespassing because of the contamination of rotten manna .
    Thirdly they have to be trained in consequently listening to the Word of G-d.

  • Diana Brown

    Exodus 16:4 says the Lord spoke to Moshe about the giving of Manna and instructions for gathering Manna. It was to test them to see if they would keep His Law (Torah).

  • Drew

    Shabbat… in Gen. 2:1-3 the Hebrew stem is used as a verb with God as the subject. Now, for the first time, shabbat appears as a noun, to designate a fixed day that recurs regularly. Note that the Israelites are expected to observe Shabbat even befor it has been commanded of them at Mount Sinai.
    Where if memory serves me it is written ”remember”

  • Drew

    v31 Wafers.. the word tzapihit appears nowhere else in the Bible. In Num. 11:8 the taste is compared to ”cream of oil ” ie rich cream. Perhaps the verse here describes the taste of the manna in it,s raw state and the passage in Numbers characterizes it,s flavour when cooked.

  • Drew

    Just take it as a given if God says x then thats what he,ll do. Dont keep it it,ll stink, Yep it stank. Dont go looking for it on the seventh (sabbath ) day there wont be any, Yep there wasnt any.
    God means what he says and says what he means.

  • Kenneth Osterman

    Verse 15: man-hoo מָן הוּא
    Question: I see in the preceding verse 14 כַּכְּפֹר translated as hoar-frost. The “Shoresh” is the same as the shoresh for atonement. Interesting coincident or purposed? Is there a lesson of God’s atonement (covering of sin) in the manna?
    Practical application: If I had to eat the same thing every day for 40 years I would be sick of it UNLESS I really appreciated LIFE for its real purpose. Someone said – do we eat to live or live to eat? Too often, we live to eat because we have our priorities mixed up.

    • A great observation, the test of do we 'live to eat' or 'eat to live'. The lesson was therefore for us to see that we were made for the latter — we eat to live and that is feeding on the bread of Heaven (manna) who is Yahweh Himself, Yeshua Ha Mashiach, the Torah. It is on feeding on this (the Torah/manna/bread of heaven) that we can withstand the testing in the wilderness.

    • I think we do also, until we follow God we won't know either. Good information though thanks a lot.

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