Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Numbers 11:7

Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance like that of bdellium.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Bdellium;   Blessing;   Coriander;   Manna;   Murmuring;   Trouble;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Desert, Journey of Israel through the;   Manna;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Bdellium;   Coriander;   Manna;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Grace;   Moses;   Prayer;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Discontent;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Bdellium;   Coriander;   Eye;   Manna;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Bdellium;   Coriander;   Manna;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Bdellium;   Colors;   Coriander Seed;   Meat;   Mill;   Numbers, Book of;   Resin;   Spices;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Bdellium;   Coriander Seed;   Food;   Manna;   Moses;   Numbers, Book of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Bdellium;   Manna;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Bdellium;   Manna;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Bdellium;   Coriander;   Manna;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Color;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Bdellium;   Coriander;   Eye;   Manna;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - On to Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Bdellium;   Coriander;   Stones, Precious:;   Wrath (Anger);   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Bdellium;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Angelology;   Bdellium;   Blessing, Priestly;   Color;   Coriander;   Eleazar (Eliezer) Ha-ḳ;   Manna;   Sanhedrin;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The manna was as coriander seed - Probably this short description is added to show the iniquity of the people in murmuring, while they had so adequate a provision. But the baseness of their minds appears in every part of their conduct. About the bdellium of the ancients the learned are not agreed; and I shall not trouble the reader with conjectures. See the note on Genesis 2:12. Concerning the manna, see the notes on Exodus 16 (note).

Numbers 11:11-15. The complaint and remonstrance of Moses in these verses serve at once to show the deeply distressed state of his mind, and the degradation of the minds of the people. We have already seen that the slavery they had so long endured had served to debase their minds, and to render them incapable of every high and dignified sentiment, and of every generous act.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Numbers 11:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/numbers-11.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the manna was as coriander seed,.... Not in colour, for that is black or darkish, whereas the manna was white, as is generally observed; of which See Gill on Exodus 16:31; however it might be like the coriander, because of its form and figure, being round, and because of its quantity, being small, Exodus 16:14; Some think the mustard seed is meant, as Aben Ezra observes, which is the least of all seeds; it seems that the manna fell in small round grains, like to such seed. This, with what follows, is observed, to expose the folly and ingratitude of the Israelites, that having such bread from heaven, angels food, that they should slight it, and hanker after other food:

and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium; not an aromatic gum, which PlinyF11Nat. Hist. l. 12. c. 9. speaks of, which is clear as wax, for that is black or blackish, and not white as the manna; besides, this should be read, not "bdellium", but "bdeloah", and is a precious stone, and, according to Bochart, the pearl; so Ben Melech observes, that it is a precious stone; some say the diamond, and others a round white stone, which they bore and join stones together, and make a chain of, he doubtless means a pearl necklace; though Jarchi says it is the crystal, and so the Jewish writers commonly; See Gill on Genesis 2:12; hence it appears the manna was very pleasant to look at, being of a round form, and of a pearl or crystal colour.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/numbers-11.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And the manna [was] as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of e bdellium.

(e) Which is a white pearl, or precious stone.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Numbers 11:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/numbers-11.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.

As coriander-seed — Not for colour, for that is black, but for shape and figure.

Bdellium — Is either the gum of a tree, of a white and bright colour, or rather a gem or precious stone, as the Hebrew doctors take it; and particularly a pearl wherewith the Manna manifestly agrees both in its colour, which is white, Exodus 16:14, and in its figure which is round.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:7". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/numbers-11.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Numbers 11:7 And the manna [was] as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.

Ver. 7. And the manna.] {See Trapp on "Exodus 16:14"} {See Trapp on "Exodus 16:31"} There was therefore no such cause they should so loathe it.

Was as coriander seed.] Small, but full of sweetness and nourishment. This might be some cause of Moses’ undecayedness. [Deuteronomy 34:7]

As the colour of bdellium.] A kind of transparent and precious gum.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/numbers-11.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Numbers 11:7. The manna was as coriander-seed, &c.— This description of the manna, its excellence as a food, its immediate descent from God, and the easiness of its procural, appear to be subjoined by the sacred writer, to shew the ingratitude and luxury of the people in despising so agreeable a food.

REFLECTIONS.—One sin severely visited prevents not new provocations. 1. The mixed multitude, a mongrel breed, such as followed in hopes of sharing Israel's good, not to serve Israel's God, began the mutiny, and communicated the spirit of infection to the camp. A bad neighbourhood is dangerous, and sin contagious; nor are any so high in grace or attainments, but they need to watch and pray lest they enter into temptation. 2. They lusted for flesh to eat, dissatisfied with God's provision, and wanting to be their own caterers. Indulging our appetites, is usually our ruin: to gratify the body, men destroy the soul. 3. They distrusted God's power to supply their wants, though every day living by a miracle. Unbelief is a sin which miracles cannot cure. 4. They compare their present with their past estate, and draw the most ungrateful conclusions. They remember the leeks and onions, but not the task-masters of Egypt, and speak of that manna, the bread of heaven, as if it famished instead of fed them. Note; (1.) Ingratitude is among the greater sins. (2.) The discontented loath their very blessings, and seem solicitous to make themselves miserable. (3.) It is a strong mark of the curse of God upon the heart, to see repining in the midst of plenty.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Numbers 11:7". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/numbers-11.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

As coriander seed; not for colour, for that is black, but for shape and figure.

Bdellium is either,

1. The gum of a tree, of a white and bright colour; or rather,

2. A gem or precious stone, as the Hebrew doctors take it; and particularly a pearl, as some render it, wherewith the manna doth manifestly agree both in its colour, which is white, Exodus 16:14, and in its figure, which is round. See more on Genesis 2:12.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Numbers 11:7". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/numbers-11.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7.Manna — See Exodus 16:14-15, and Joshua 5:12, notes. The coriander is found in Egypt, Persia, and India. It has a round, tall stalk, white or reddish flowers, and grayish, spicy seeds used by confectioners and druggists. It grows wild in Egypt and Palestine. Tristram found it in the valley of the Jordan. It is a spice to bread in the East, and an aroma to sweetmeats. Bdellium occurs only here and in Genesis 2:12. It is impossible to say whether it is a mineral, (beryl or crystal, as in the Septuagint,) animal, as pearl, for which some of the Jewish doctors contend, or vegetable, as an aromatic exudation.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Numbers 11:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/numbers-11.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Bdellium. Bdellium, according to Pliny, ([Natural History?] lib. xxi. chap. 9,) was of the colour of a man's nail, white and bright; (Challoner) or like wax, ([Natural History?] lib. xii. 9,) between white and yellow. It might resemble a tarnished pearl or ivory in colour, and coriander-seed in shape.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Numbers 11:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/numbers-11.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

manna. Compare John 6:31-33. 1 Corinthians 10:3.

colour. Hebrew "eye", put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), App-6, for that which it distinguishes. Exodus 16:14, Exodus 16:31.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Numbers 11:7". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/numbers-11.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(7) And the manna was . . . —The design of the description of the manna in this place (comp. Exodus 16:14; Exodus 16:31, and Notes in loc.; also Article Manna, in “Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible”) was probably to exhibit in its just light the sinfulness of the Israelites in repining at the merciful provision which God had made for the supply of their wants. The dissatisfaction of the Israelites with the sweet bread of heaven, and their craving after the more savoury and more stimulating food of Egypt may be regarded as typical of man’s natural repugnance to the spiritual food which is provided in the Gospel, and his restless cravings after the pleasures of the world.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/numbers-11.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.
the manna
Exodus 16:14,15,31; 1 Corinthians 1:23,24; Revelation 2:17
colour thereof as the colour of
Heb. eye of it as the eye of. bdellium.
Genesis 2:12
Reciprocal: Psalm 105:40 - satisfied

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Numbers 11:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/numbers-11.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

7.And the manna was as coriander seed. Moses had already adverted to this in Exodus 16:0; (18) but he now repeats it, in order more fully to condemn their perverse desire; for what could be more unseemly and intolerable than thus to eschew a food delightful both in appearance and taste v. For the same reason the Prophet, in Psalms 78:0, records that men were not satisfied with “angels’ food,” and “corn from heaven.” Here, instead of saying that it was white, he calls it the color of Bedola, (19) a precious stone, whether a pearl, or some other kind. Its very appearance, then, was calculated to give them pleasure; and, since without much labor, either by grinding or crushing it, they might make it into various sorts of food, and all of a sweet and pleasant taste;. the baser was their ingratitude in complaining, as if God treated them with but little liberality as to their food.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Numbers 11:7". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/numbers-11.html. 1840-57.