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Bible Dictionaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary


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In the margin of the Bible it is called Man-hu, (Exodus 16:15) meaning the bread with which the Lord fed. Israel in the wilderness. It was altogether miraculous: for this food began to fall from heaven from the time the Israelites arrived in the wilderness of Zin, which was the sixteenth day of the second month after their departure from Egypt, until that they came to Canaan, during the pilgrimage of forty years. And what rendered this daily mercy the more miraculous was, that on the Sabbath-days it never fell, during the whole of this eventful period. I beg the reader to read the interesting account of it, Exodus 16:1-36 throughout: it will well reward his attention, The children of Israel called it Man-hu; that is, they asked the question, "What is this, far it is peculiar?" And hence Moses, (Deuteronomy 8:3) reminds Israel of their surprize at first beholding it. "Who fed thee (said Moses) with that peculiar things which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know."

The miracle itself was designed to be a standing miracle, for Israel to remember and record in their generations for ever; hence an omer of it was to be reserved in a pot, and laid up before the Lord for a memorial. Here was a double proof of the miracle; for the manna itself was s perishable and delicate, that if only kept for day, it bred worms and stank; yet, to teach Israel to reverence the Sabbaths, that which we kept for the use of the Sabbath bred no worm nor stank; and the omer of it also which was laid up before the Lord, was preserved pure generation to generation.

It was also no less miraculous, the immense quantity which regularly fell every day in the supply. It gave supply to the whole camp Israel—six hundred thousand on foot that we men, besides children, and mixed multitude that went with Israel, came out of Egypt; therefore allowing for increase, we may safely put down near a million of souls, who were daily fed from the supply of manna. (See Exodus 12:37-38) The manna had a remarkable quality, which, though not miraculous, is recorded as worthy our observation. Though it melted at the heat of the sun, yet when brought into the tent it became hard, so that the people ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar. (See Numbers 11:7-8 and Exodus 16:20-21) It may be proper to observe, that what is now called manna in the shop of the apothecary, hath no One resemblance or connection whatever with the manna of Scripture, but is the gum, or balsam, of certain trees. We are told indeed by historians, that in Arabia and in Calabria, and in other places, there is a dew on the ground still to be seen like manna. But that this cannot be similar to the manna of Israel is evident, for it is of medicinal quality, and affects the bowels. The Jews are so tenacious respecting the manna of their fathers, that they pronounce an anathema and execration on every one that would call in question the miraculous nature of it. And Christians ought not to be less earnest in defence of the same precious truth, since the manna of the Old Testament was but typical and figurative of the bread of life under the New. Jesus was all along thus represented to Israel; and was then, and is now, the living bread, by faith, with which the Lord feeds all the true Israel. (See John 6:31-58; Revelation 2:17)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Manna'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. London. 1828.

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