manna

What Is It? (Who Is It?)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat (Exodus 16:14,15 KJV).

What precedent did today’s Scripture set in Israel’s national life?

After complaining about not having potable water in the desert, the Jews behold a miracle of God in Exodus 15:23-26—He provides them with drinking water. In chapter 16, they whine because of hunger. God thus furnishes them with manna and quail in verses 13-15 (today’s Scripture).

The word “manna” is actually derived from a Hebrew word meaning, “What is it?” Notice how our English Bible defines it in today’s Scripture: “It is manna: for they wist not what it was.” Manna was so unlike anything they had ever seen. It was certainly not a natural substance; it supernaturally rained down from Heaven. However, today’s Scripture identifies manna as “bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.” It was like coriander seed, white, and had a taste similar to that of wafers made with honey (Exodus 16:31).

Turning to John chapter 6, we read: “[32] Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. [33] For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. [34] Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. [35] And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

Did they recognize Jesus as “the bread of life?” No. When He entered Jerusalem riding on the donkey, fulfilling prophecy (Zechariah 9:9), they asked “Who is this?” in Matthew 21:10. “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew [recognized] him not” (John 1:10). The Bible is amazing, huh?