Exodus 16:13
That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp.
The Provision of the MannaD. Young Exodus 16:1-15
Manna for the SoulH.T. Robjohns Exodus 16:1-36
The Manna of the BodyH.T. Robjohns Exodus 16:1-36
The Gift of MannaJ. Orr Exodus 16:4-16
Angel's FoodJ. C. Gray.Exodus 16:13-15
Bread from GodR. Newton.Exodus 16:13-15
Christ the True MannaSpurgeon, Charles HaddonExodus 16:13-15
Constancy of ProvidenceJ. R. Green's Short HistoryExodus 16:13-15
Dew and MannaJ. Bailey, Ph. D.Exodus 16:13-15
Food Providentially SuppliedExodus 16:13-15
Lessons from the MannaA. Nevin, D. D.Exodus 16:13-15
MannaBritish WeeklyExodus 16:13-15
MannaExodus 16:13-15
Manna and DewG. Wagner.Exodus 16:13-15
Physical ProvidenceHomilistExodus 16:13-15
Satisfied with God's ProvisionExodus 16:13-15
Soul Food NecessaryExodus 16:13-15
Spiritual ProvidenceHomilistExodus 16:13-15
Sufficiency of ProvidenceGleanings in Harvest Fields.Exodus 16:13-15
Supply of ProvidenceExodus 16:13-15
Symbolic Meaning of the MannaD. Moore, M. A.Exodus 16:13-15
The Bread of the WildernessJ. B. Brown, B. A.Exodus 16:13-15
The Food from HeavenJ. I. Mombert, D. D.Exodus 16:13-15
The MannaF. R. Young.Exodus 16:13-15
The MannaDe W. S. Clarke.Exodus 16:13-15
The MannaD. C. Hughes, M. A.Exodus 16:13-15
The Rain of BreadC. S. Robinson, D. D.Exodus 16:13-15
Threefold Aspects of ProvidenceW. A. Griffiths.Exodus 16:13-15
Divine Provision for Daily NeedJ. Urquhart Exodus 16:13-31


1. Their varied need was met. Flesh as well as bread was given. God gives us richly all things to enjoy.

2. They came in the order and at the time God said they would come. The evening brought the quails - the morning the manna. Nothing failed of all that he had promised.

3. They were given in abundance. The quails "covered the camp;" of the manna they "had no lack." There is princely bounty with God for all who trust in him. He gives richly, even where he has made no covenant: he fills "men's hearts with food and gladness." How much more then will he bless those whom he has pledged himself to sustain!


1. They wait on him. The supply he sends is only for the day, and he is trusted for the days that are to follow. They do not refuse to pass on further upon the wilderness path, because they do not see at the beginning all the needed provision for the way.

2. They obey God's call to toil.

(1) They "gathered" of it every man according to his eating."

(2) They did not miss the opportunity God gave them. "When the sun waxed hot it melted;" and they therefore gathered it "in the morning." Be "not slothful in business."


1. In attempting to save themselves from the toil which God commanded, they kept the manna for next day's use in defiance of the command to preserve none of it till the morning (Ver. 27).

2. In refusing to rest on the Sabbath. The contradiction and wilfulness of unbelief: it hoards to be able to abstain from toil, and refuses to obey God's command to rest.

3. Public indifference to the existence of sin. These things were done by a few only; but they called forth no public condemnation or holy fear of God's anger. The Christian community which does not mourn the sin abounding in its midst has itself no living trust in God. - U.

I. ITS MYSTIC CHARACTER. "What is this?" Christ was a mystery to His contemporaries. So is the Christian to his. "The world knoweth you not."

II. ITS USES. To save from starvation, famine, and death. Christ is "the Bread that cometh down from heaven."

1. The manna was for all.

2. The manna was for all, according to their wants — appetites. The Saviour is to us' just what we make Him to be. All fulness dwells in Him, infinite satisfaction; but we are straitened in ourselves, by our limited cravings, etc.


1. To be gathered early.

2. To be gathered every morning. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength."

3. To be used.

4. To be gathered within six days. Life has its appointed time for salvation. If we allow the end of life's week to come without a store of God's manna, we shall find none in the future.

5. To be gathered for others — for those who could not go out themselves.

(F. R. Young.)

An army must have a commissary department well administered. The ordnance, or recruiting, or medical, divisions are not more essential to its existence, whether in peace or war. A soldier's pay is but a trifle compared with the expense of maintaining him in vigour. Yet a more strange venture and gross neglect would seem to be recorded in the early history of Israel than has ever since been seen. Here were some two million souls led out of bondage, of whom it is said: "They had not prepared for themselves any victual." Every hour increased the peril and the need. Desperation was in their threats. Bread-riots have always been the fiercest outbreaks. The great camp was on the verge of mutiny.

I. THE LORD DID DAILY AND AMPLY PROVIDE FOR HIS PEOPLE. The fact of abundant food is clear and indisputable. There is no hint, however, as to its immediate source or methods of distribution. A similar mystery veils the agencies through which we find our present necessities met. Here the natural and the supernatural seem to work together. The political economist makes them his study, and extremists undertake to tell exactly how the nations of the earth are kept alive. The farmer, manufacturer, artisan, carrier, trader, accountant, teacher, labouring with hand or head, or both — each furnishing just that without which the rest must languish — constitute a most complex problem. Laplace set himself at no such intricate task when attempting the solution of the solar system. We fall back on the conviction that while none can see the vast organism, or all the forces which are operative in it, yet it does move by an instinctive impulse under s beneficent direction whose secrets none can wrest, whose failure no one can imagine. The suspension of one class of labourers affects, more or less, every other. But to trace, or tell, the infinite processes through which every person in the land finds daily that which will maintain the body and restore its energies, as they are constantly spent, is beyond the ability of any mortal. Over all is He upon whom all eyes, though so blind, wait. Men call Him God, or Nature, or Chance, or Law, each term being somewhat of a cloak for their ignorance.

II. THE LORD REQUIRED EACH MAN TO PROVIDE FOR HIMSELF. The combined wisdom and efforts of men could not create a grain of corn. Yet each and all must gather for themselves. The increase will vary as occasions and necessities do. But how often has the world seen that they who would for their own selfish ends heap up their stores find to their surprise and horror that it breeds only loathsome and hateful forms of death! Capital, unscrupulously held and wielded, is becoming the terror even of its possessors. Vast fortunes have generally proved vast vexations, while Agur's prayer, "Give me neither poverty nor riches," etc., seems to have its happiest answer in the state of those who are most observant of these very precepts given to Israel. To idle, or hoard, or squander, or fret, is sin now as then.

III. THE LORD PUT SPECIAL HONOUR ON THE SEVENTH. Good doctrine still, neither abrogated nor superseded, ye buoy men in these days of railroads, and steamships, and telegraphs, and fast mails, and Sunday papers, and apoplectic fits! Feel you not the Almighty hand on these flying wheels, bringing them to pause? Will you say, we must work a few of these forbidden hours to gain reprieve for the rest? Will you make hay, or post accounts, or write your commercial letters, or draw out your plans for greater barns, or repair your machine, or set foot on the train, to be first at the market on the morrow? Thus you do but repeat their folly, who hoped to gather the needful food, but failed. Emptiness will fill all your omers when the results of such disobedience are weighed.

(De W. S. Clarke.)

I. THEY BROKE UP FROM THEIR ENCAMPMENT IN ELIM IN AN ENERVATED AND MURMURING MOOD. They had eaten of the fat of the wilderness and become wanton, and they began to lust even for the fat of Egypt, the slave's portion; the lot of the freeman already seemed too spare and hard. Wisely, indeed, was the wilderness appointed for our wanderings. Wisely was Adam sent forth into the land in which "in the sweat of his brow he must eat bread." Bread won more cheaply may fatten the body, but it sends "leanness into the soul." I never heard that money won by gambling or thieving brought a blessing with it to its possessor. Did you ever hear of speculation enriching either mind or heart? Money which comes cheaply goes cheaply, and leaves no benediction. God's inscription on His coin is "Labour." It is of another mintage when that impression cannot be traced.

II. THE FIRST STAGE OF THEIR JOURNEY BROUGHT THEM OUT INTO A VAST SANDY PLAIN, WHERE THERE WAS REAL DANGER, TO THE EYE OF SENSE, OF THEIR DYING OF HUNGER. Elim had re-heartened them after Marah. But the wilderness of Sin renewed their pains and terrors, and "the whole congregation of the Children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron." Their cry after the flesh-pots was the fruit of Elim. They had renewed there the blunt edge of their lust. The old appetites resumed their sway, as they sat by the waters and ate of their flocks; when they went forth their murmurs broke out with new fierceness, as of lust rekindled, and in spirit, at any rate, they gave themselves again to be slaves. Beware of rekindling the flame of a dying lust or appetite. Starve it — it is the only policy. Let it taste again, let it look again, it flushes up into full fever glow, and you are once more enslaved.

III. REPHIDIM WAS THE SCENE OF THEIR FIRST BATTLE AND THEIR FIRST VICTORY. In the first great act of the drama of deliverance, their duty had been simply to "Stand still and see the salvation of God." The hour was now come when they must "quit them like men and fight." Not otherwise is it in the Christian life. To rest on Christ, to "stand still and see His salvation," is the true deliverance of a spirit: this is redemption, But we must fight hard, as if the victory depended on ourselves — not for redemption, but as redeemed, if we would reap all its glorious fruits. The first foes of Israel were their kinsmen. "And a man's foes shall be those of his own house." But come whence they may, foes soon beset the young pilgrim: before he has gone far, a long day's battle will test his courage and strain his strength. Lusts and passions, which he thought he had slain for ever, stand forth alive, and renew the conflict. The Egyptians slain, new enemies throng around us. Our pilgrimage must be a war-march, with battlemusic and banners: "Jehovah nissi," ("the Lord my banner") we cry, and renew the fight.

(J. B. Brown, B. A.)

I. THAT GOD'S PHYSICAL PROVIDENCE RECOGNIZES THE PERSONAL WANTS OF EACH INDIVIDUAL. Manna fell for each, babe and man; not one overlooked. Poverty is not the institution of heaven. The causes of poverty being with us, let us seek to remove them.

II. THAT THE ENJOYMENT OF GOD'S PHYSICAL PROVIDENCE DEPENDS ON TRUSTFUL LABOUR. Each was to gather for himself, and to gather no more than his portion for the day. Labour is necessary to give a relish and felt value to our blessings; and trust in God is necessary to exclude all anxious thought about the future.



1. Religion does not require us to neglect the body.

2. Religion has special claims. It has to do with man's spiritual nature, relations, and interests.


I. THE MANNA WAS A PROVISION FOR A GREAT EMERGENCY. "When we were yet without strength" — to do the true work of life, to prepare for death, to gain acceptance with God — "in due time Christ died for the ungodly."


1. Undeserved.

2. Unsought.


1. In quantities commensurate with the wants of all.

2. Within reach of all.

IV. THE MANNA CAME WITH DIVINE DIRECTIONS. Gather for yourselves, and distribute to those who need help.

1. Proportionately.

2. Betimes.

3. Regularly. Constancy is the condition of religious life and growth.

V. THE MANNA DEMANDED THE REMEMBRANCE OF POSTERITY (ver. 32). All God's interpositions on behalf of the fallen world are facts that shall be had in everlasting remembrance. For this purpose they are recorded in His Word. His interposition in Christ specially calls for our commemoration in the ordinance instituted for that purpose.


I. THE OCCASION FOR THE MANNA. The supplies brought from Egypt exhausted.


1. To test the people.

2. To give an indisputable proof of the reality of their deliverance from Egypt by God's own hand.

3. To show the unreasonableness of their murmurings.


1. This standing miracle of forty years' duration is an irrefragable proof of all the Bible assumes concerning the personality, love, and power of God.

2. It teaches the faithfulness and deep interest of our heavenly Father, in all His children.

3. The murmurings and loss of appetite for the manna on the part of the Israelites are fraught with lessons of deepest practical moment to us.

4. The constant dependence on Christ as the true Manna is clear and emphatic.

5. The memorial pot of manna in the ark is a type of the "hidden manna" laid up in heaven for the believer (Revelation 2:17).

(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)


1. Providence is always timely in its assistance. Never too soon, never too late; never before the time, never after the time. Forgetting this, we bring upon ourselves no end of trouble by being over-anxious for the morrow.

2. Providence is always ample in its resources. There were many mouths to be filled and voracious appetites to be satisfied, and yet we have not heard that the supply failed for a single morning. You remember reading in the account of the Franco-Prussian war, that the army of Napoleon

III. loitered for days on the banks of the Rhine, when they ought to have advanced into the heart of Germany. What was the cause of this fatal delay? Want of provision; the commissariat was inadequate to supply the demands of three hundred thousand soldiers, and at Sedan the campaign proved disastrous to the empire. "He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly... bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure." Providence is conditional in its method of support. God rained down manna from heaven in small grain, like coriander seed, not in ready-made loaves. "Society," says Emerson, "expects every man to find his own loaf." God expects it too.

II. THE SPIRITUAL ASPECTS OF PROVIDENCE. "See that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath, therefore He giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days."

1. Its value as a day of rest for the body is very great.

2. Its importance as a day for spiritual contemplation and holy delight is incalculable.

III. THE HISTORICAL ASPECT OF PROVIDENCE. "This is the thing which the Lord commandeth, fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations, that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness."

1. The omer full of manna was meant to teach coming generations the greatness of God's power and the faithfulness of His promise. "Power belongeth unto God" as it belongeth to no other being, because it is absolute and independent. This is what makes His promises "exceeding great and precious," that He has abundance of resources to make good His word to man.

2. The omer full of manna was meant to teach coming generations the evil of hoarding up covetously the bounties of Providence.

(W. A. Griffiths.)

British Weekly.
The manna was a type of Christ.



III. AS THE MANNA WAS PROPORTIONED IN DAILY RATIONS, SO WE MUST HAVE COMMUNION WITH CHRIST EVERY DAY. Religious exercises are framed to recur. Thoughts of Jesus and communion with God cannot be stored; they must be repeated.

IV. THE MANNA WAS IN PERPETUAL REMEMBRANCE AFTER THEY ENTERED CANAAN, SO JESUS AND HIS CROSS WILL BE THE THEME OF ETERNITY. The manna was placed in the golden pot, and put, with the ark, in the most holy place, when they began to live on the old corn of the land. The daily gathering was over, and the journey, but the remembrance remained. Faith must make way to sight. Grand sight! We shall not forget Calvary. The scenes with Jesus must remain.

(British Weekly.)


1. Anticipating human need. He was before them in the way'; to turn "the barren wilderness" into "a fruitful field."

2. Providing a suitable supply.

(1)Suitable to their bodily need. Pleasant to the taste Nourishing.

(2)Suited to a wandering life. No time to sow and reap, even had the soil permitted.

(3)Furnishing a sufficient supply. Day by day; for forty years.

4. Watching over spiritual interests in meeting physical need. The Sabbath guarded. Both body and soul eared for; and at the same time.


1. To expect. Eyes of all wait on Him. The manna to be looked for. We are to expect that God will supply our wants. He has promised to do so.

2. To collect. This work might have been saved them. It had its use. Some collect for others. Young for aged, etc. All secular labour in fields or factories, but a collecting of the good gifts of God. So is prayer, study of the Bible, etc.

3. To economize. None to bewasted. Those who had gathered less were to be supplied out of another's abundance. A wise distribution of our good things is true economy. Sowing for eternity.

III. SPIRITUAL INSTRUCTION. The manna a type of Christ. So Jesus Himself regarded it (John 6.). It was so —

1. Because unexpected in its coming.

2. Came in time of great need.

3. Unostentatious in its form.

4. Pleasant to the taste.

5. Spread silently over the ground.

6. Lasted all the journey through.

7. The remembrance of it treasured for ever.

8. Mysterious in nature.What is it? Compare with "Who is He?" "Great is the mystery of godliness," etc. While curious minds are trying to understand a mystery into which angels desire to look, let our exhortation be, "O taste and see that the Lord is good," etc. Learn —

I. To trust in the care of Providence.

II. To act in harmony with Providence.

III. To seek the true Bread of Life.

(J. C. Gray.)

1. It was given in consideration of a great and urgent necessity. A like necessity lies at the foundation of God's gift of His Son to the world; it was not possible in the nature of things for any other resource to be found.

2. The manna was peculiarly the gift of God, coming freely and directly from His hand. How striking a representation in this respect of Christ all Scripture may be said to testify, as both in His person and in the purchased blessings of His redemption He is always presented to sinful men as the free gift of the Father's love.

3. The whole fulness of the Godhead is in Jesus, so that all may receive as their necessities require. So was it also with the manna; there was enough for all.

4. Then, falling as it did round about the camp, it was near enough to be within the reach of all; if any should perish for want, it could be from no outward necessity or hardship, for the means of supply were brought almost to their very hand. Nor is it otherwise in regard to Christ, who in the gospel of His grace is laid, in a manner, at the very door of every sinner; the word is nigh him; and if he should still parish, he must be without excuse — it is in sight of the Bread of Life.

5. The supply of manna came daily, and faith had to be exercised on the providence of God, that each day would bring its appointed provision; if they attempted to hoard for the morrow, their store became a mass of corruption. In like manner must the child of God pray for his soul every morning as it dawns, "Give me this day my daily bread." He can lay up no stock of grace which is to last him for a continuance without needing to repair to the treasury of Christ.

6. Finally, as the manna had to be gathered in the morning of each day, and a double portion provided on the sixth day, that the seventh might be hallowed as a day of sacred rest, so Christ and the things of His salvation must be sought with diligence and regularity, but only in the appointed way and through the divinely-provided channels.

(A. Nevin, D. D.)

I. THE BACKWARD LOOK OF THIS BIT OF HISTORY. Culminating point of a fit of murmuring. Shows sin and folly of persistent distrust.

1. Murmuring is a most unprofitable state of mind. Never did anybody any good. Source of all Israelites' troubles. Once a child was reading, apparently absorbed in the act: her parent asked what was the book; and looking up, she answered, with a sudden overflow of tears, "Oh father, the people have begun to murmur again, and now God will have to punish them some more!"

2. Murmuring is a most delusive disposition. It leads to dangerous self-deception in almost all instances. Christians reply to those who attempt to rebuke them, "It is my temperament." Often mere habit. Should be checked.

3. Murmuring is a most unwelcome indulgence. It prejudices piety. Makes a Christian disagreeable.

4. Murmuring is a growing sin in the heart. Israelites — sullen at first — now suspicious. They openly find fault.

5. Murmuring is contagious, and propagates itself far and wide.


1. Man's perversity. Little vexations make us petulant and revengeful.

2. God's patience. Lord Bacon quotes an old Spanish writer as saying: "To return evil for good is devilish; to return good for good is human; but to return good for evil is even godlike." Certainly this is what our God often does; but it would not do for any of us to presume upon such wonderful long-suffering. In ancient history we are told that there was once a statue of Jupiter erected at Crete; but the Cretans were liars, and the maker of the stone image had fashioned it without ears. The exultant people may have been pleased to think they had a god who could not hear their falsehoods; but they soon found that a deity who had no ears to hear prevarications had no ears to hear prayers either. We must remember that our God knows all our wickedness, and bears with us for a while; but it is to test our obedience to His law.

3. Heaven's sufficiency is also illustrated here. For in the story the promise takes a very significant and beautiful form; God says He will "rain bread from heaven" for their need (see Psalm 78:22-25; Philippians 4:19).


1. It was designed to be a type of Christ.(1) It came down to earth from heaven, as He did.(2) Every man must take of it for himself as he would need to take his own food.(3) It would work an individual experience of the new life; the book of Wisdom says that in the day of it the manna tasted to every one as he pleased.(4) It was free and sufficient for all: the rich and the poor, the sick and the well, the young and the old.(5) It must be sought not once for all, but daily.(6) It must be eaten; it must become part of one's self.(7) It was exclusive: there was no other food so safe in the desert.(8) It would cease only when no longer needed.

2. It was accepted as a type by our Lord Jesus Christ (see John 6.).

(C. S. Robinson, D. D.)

Manna was prepared for food by grinding and baking. It tasted like cakes made of meal and honey in its natural state, and like fresh olive oil when cooked; its shape resembled coriander seed, and its colour was white; its supply continued for forty years, and failed with their use of the first new corn in the land of Canaan. That it was altogether a miraculous gift and not a product of nature is clear from the following considerations. It fell in enormous quantity, with unfailing regularity, even in the exceptional failure of the Sabbath-day; its composition was exactly suited to the tastes of the people; heat both melted and hardened it; gathered in distrust, it bred worms and putrefied; in faith, it was preserved for generations. The natural products of the Arabian desert and other Eastern lands, called manna, fail almost in every particular noticed in the miraculous food from heaven. All serve rather medicinal than nutritious purposes. They can be gathered only three months in the year, and not all the year round, and then only in small quantities, out of all proportion to the actual consumption of the Israelites, which, calculating the omer at three English quarts (each man had an omer a day, ver. 16), could not have been less than 15,000,000 of pounds a week; they may be preserved for a long time, may be gathered on all days, indiscriminately, without a perceptible increase or diminution in their supply. The manna now found in the Arabian desert is the product of the tamarisk (Tamarix gallica), gathered in June. According to Burckhardt, "it drops from the thorns on the sticks and leaves with which the ground is covered, and must be gathered early in the day or it will be melted by the sun. The Arabs cleanse and boil it, strain it through a cloth, and put it in leather bottles; and in this way it can be kept uninjured for several years. They use it like honey or butter with their unleavened bread, but never make it into cakes or eat it by itself. It abounds only in very wet years, and in dry seasons it sometimes disappears entirely." The same traveller found in the valley of Jordan "manna like gum on the leaves and branches of the tree gharrob, which is as large as the olive-tree, having a leaf like the poplar, though somewhat broader. It appears like dew upon the leaves, is of a brown or grey colour, and drops on the ground. When first gathered it is sweet, but in a day or two becomes acid. The Arabs use it like honey or butter, and eat it in their oatmeal gruel. They also use it in cleaning their leather bottles and making them air-tight. Tim season for gathering this is in May or June. Two other shrubs which have been supposed to yield the manna of Scripture are the Alhagi maurorum, or Persian manna, and the Alhagi desertorum, thorny plants common in Syria." In addition to what has been said of the miraculous nature of the manna supply and the character of the natural products just specified, a brief reference to three explanations of the manna may be in place.

1. It is said to be miraculous food, that is, dew changed into bread. "The dew of heaven" promotes the fertility of the earth. During the wanderings of Israel through the wilderness, which is "no place of seed," the dew, without sowing, brought bread from heaven (ver. 4; Psalm 78:24; Psalm 105:40). So that the manna answers to the wine at the marriage of Cana.

2. The manna is the same food of the. desert still found in the peninsula of Sinai. This, of course, lands us in the region of mythical embellishment, and requires a degree of credulity which the writer does not possess.

3. The manna is a miracle of accretion, answering to the miraculous feeding of the multitude in the New Testament, and to the increase of meal and oil by Elijah in the Old.

(J. I. Mombert, D. D.)

Bonar gives the following twelve reasons why manna cannot be identified with the exudation of the tarfa-tree.

1. The tarfa exudes only small quantities. The Arabs could not live on it for a week.

2. The tarfa only exudes at certain seasons — March and April.

3. The tarfa does not yield its exudation regularly, even once a year.

4. The exudations of the tarfa come out from the branches of the tree, they do not come down from the air or sky.

5. The tarfa exudations are in composition and consistency somewhat like honey. They are quite unfit for grinding, or pounding, or baking, or boiling.

6. The taste of manna is said to have been as fresh oil (Numbers 11:8). No one who has tasted the tarfa-manna would compare it to oil.

7. The tarfa-manna does not stink, or breed worms, in a single night.

8. The tarfa-produce does not evaporate as soon as the sun arises (ver. 21).

9. Tarfa-manna does not give particular quantities on particular days.

10. The tarfamanna is purgative medicine, not food.

11. The Israelites knew well the tarfatree, but they did not recognize the manna.

12. Israel could not have subsisted so long on this one food.

Dew corresponds to that inward truth which descends into the soul from the Lord when all is peaceful and happy within. When, in a spiritual morning, this dew has descended upon him, fear is unfelt, solicitude no longer disturbs him; he relies with a child's confiding trust on the Giver of all good, and feels a freshness and vigour like those of heaven's own morning over the soul. This cheering, inward, blessed sensation is often in the Word described by dew (Micah 5:7; Isaiah 18:4; Hosea 14:5). When, on a summer's morning, we walk forth in a beautiful country, the red light of the early dawn tinging the whole eastern horizon with golden splendour, a holy quiet reigning round, not broken, but charmed and enriched with the thrilling songs of the birds, while every leaf, blade, hedgerow, and flower are gemmed with pearly dew glittering like diamonds in the sun's new beams, there is an image of the soul — calmed, illuminated, and blessed with the truth of peace. But after the dew we come to the manna — the substantial food which gave so much pleasure and so much support. When it is seen that solid food in Divine language corresponds to goodness, which supplies the will of every one who is living for heaven with energy and delight, and remember that this manna was given to supply food to the Israelites while they were in the transition period between living in Egypt and living in Canaan, we shall easily perceive that it is the symbol of that heavenly goodness which the Lord can impart to the soul of man while it is in the transition state, labouring to become regenerate, following the truth, fighting against its evils as they from time to time present themselves, but not yet entered into that phase of the spiritual life in which he feels at home in heavenly things. Hence the manna describes the goodness and the delight which the Divine mercy imparts to man while labouring to become regenerate. It is small, because, as compared with true angelic joy, it is of little account. It is round, because roundness expresses the smoothness, and also the completeness, of goodness, as compared with truth — truth is ever sharp and piercing. It is white, to denote its purity, and sweet, to express its deliciousness. It is like a thin cake, or wafer, to mark its inferiority, its shallowness, so to speak, when compared with true celestial joy. Yet feeble as it is, so far does it transcend all merely human and external joy, that when it is first truly awakened in the soul, all other delights in the estimation of the possessor become as nothing, and he cries out in the spirit, "What is this?" — for he knows not what it is. It is a state of peace, of richness, of sweetness that passeth all understanding. It may be felt, but cannot be described. It is as if every fibre of the soul thrilled with joy. It is blessedness unspeakable. All other delights seem now unutterably poor. They are as the lights of earth in the presence of the sun. By receiving each day the food for the day, and no more, the important lesson is conveyed that we should ever be guided in our wish to receive heavenly blessings not by the desire of selfish gratification, but by the love of use. So much as we need for our work, so much should we desire to receive. Seek food for use and delight will be given in. Seek it also for the duties of to-day. The only way to make any advance in heavenly things is to do our duty now. The good not used now will vanish when the sun of selfishness becomes vigorous within us. If we attempt to save it for the future, and to deceive ourselves with the good we will some day do, it will breed the worms of vain conceits, flattering and false, It may become polluted hypocrisy, most abhorrent in the sight of God and angels, but can never be saving good. The lesson involved in the corruption of the manna in the hands of those who gathered to hoard and not to use is of inestimable value. To be a miser is bad in earthly things, but far worse in heavenly. And it is to be feared that spiritual hoarding is even more prevalent than natural. How many sermons do we hear with delight, but whose influence goes no farther than to stock our memories! How many good books do we read whose pages unfold to us exalted lessons and truths of sterling worth! We hear, we read, and we admire, but our hearts remain as cold, heedless, and unpractical as before. We are no better, we admit; but we do not suspect what is the real truth — that we are worse. The manna we are hoping to preserve for future use is becoming corrupted and defiled. We are gliding into states of self-dependency, self-complacency, self-flattery. We are supposing we are righteous, or, at least, in no danger, because we know righteous things, while with every effort we make we are strengthening our inherent evils, our hereditary tendencies. We are not searching out our frailties and opposing them, but indulging them and salving them over with our religious knowledge and pious observances. The richest substances become, when corrupted, the most loathsome; and nothing is so abhorrent in the Divine sight as a religion unused for good, pandering only to self-gratulation and deceit. Our whole progress depends on eating to-day what God gives to-day. The same lesson would teach us also the duty of doing as it comes the work of each successive stage of our business of life and the reception of its proper and present blessing. "Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man. Let no man leave it until the morning" (vers. 16, 19). One exception to this rule, however, there was (ver. 29). Days for the soul are states. The six days of labour represent the states of the soul in which it is striving to obey a truth, although as yet it is laborious to do so in consequence of oppositions within and without. The sixth day is the end of this struggle, when the soul has succeeded in realizing not only the truth of a duty or a principle but also the good, the blessedness of it. Two omers are then received, the bread of two days. One more incident we would notice. The manna was gathered by an omer full at once, and no otherwise; and we are informed at the conclusion of the narrative, "Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah" (ver. 36). There were three chief measures for dry articles, each ten times larger than the other — the omer, the ephah, and the homer (Ezekiel 45:11). These three measures, like the three kinds of bread of the tabernacle — the loaf, the cake, and the wafer — we may readily conceive, have relation to the reception of heavenly good by the three grand classes of Christians who form afterwards the three heavens of the Lord (2 Corinthians 12:2). The good which they receive who have entered fully into love to the Lord as the supreme source of all their operations is of the largest measure, the homer. The good of those who glory rather in the light than the love of heaven, though they are true to the light and sons of the light, is of the second measure, the ephah. The good of those who are not even intellectual Christians, but still steadily obey what they see to be enjoined in the Word, is the lowest measure, the omer, which is the tenth part of the ephah. And this is the measure by which we all receive heavenly good in our spiritual journey. Our law of duty is to obey the Ten Commandments. Each commandment obeyed brings its omer of blessing.

(J. Bailey, Ph. D.)

I am told there is a country where men in times of want eat clay in great lumps, and fill themselves with it so as to deaden their hunger. I know that many people in England do the same. There is a kind of yellow clay (gold) which is much cried up for staying spiritual hunger: heavy stuff it is, but many have a vast appetite for it. They prefer it to the choicest dainties. Many try to stave off hunger by indifference, like bears in winter, which are not hungry because they are asleep. They would not like to be aroused, because if they were they would wake up to an awful hunger. I wish they could be awakened, for that hunger which they dread would drive them to a soul-satisfying Saviour. Depend upon it, the only way to meet hunger is to get bread, and the only way to meet your soul's want is to get Christ, in whom there is enough and to spare, but nowhere else.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Another time Billy Bray tells us that his crop of potatoes turned out poorly; and as he was digging them in the autumn, Satan was at his elbow, and said, "There, Billy, isn't that poor pay for serving your Father the way you have all the year? Just see those small potatoes." He stopped his hoeing, and replied, "Ah, Satan, at it again, talking against my Father, bless His name. Why, when I served you, I didn't get any potatoes at all. What are you talking against Father for?" And on he went hoeing and praising the Lord for small potatoes. A valuable lesson for us all.

Some time ago a good Christian man was living among the hills of Scotland. He was very poor, but so good that every one who knew him loved and honoured him. One winter there was a violent snowstorm. The wind was high, and drifting snow blocked up the roads, and quite covered the humble dwelling of poor Caleb, as this good man was called. For three days he had been unable to go out and get food for himself and family. They were in great need, and had prayed earnestly for relief. A gentleman living in that neighbourhood, who knew Caleb well, awoke suddenly one night. It seemed as if a voice was calling to him which said, "Send provisions to Caleb." He thought little of it, but turned on his pillow and went to sleep again. Again the voice seemed to sound in his ears, "Send provisions to Caleb." Again he slept. A third time the call came. Then he arose hastily, dressed himself, called up his servant, and told him to harness the horse, while he filled a basket with provisions of all kinds. "Take this basket to Caleb," said he, "and if he asks who sent it, tell him it comes from God." The servant did as he was bidden. A path was made through the snow. The basket of food was left at Caleb's cottage: and he and his family received it with hearty rejoicings. They felt sure that it was food from heaven, just as truly as the manna was in the wilderness on which the Israelites lived. Moses secured the blessing of bread for the Israelites in the wilderness, and Jesus is "the Prophet like Moses," because He secures this blessing both for the bodies and the souls of His people.

(R. Newton.)

At the Turners' banquet given in his honour a short time since, Mr. Stanley alluded to the strange sufferings in which he shared fifteen or sixteen months ago. For six weeks they had not seen a bit of meat; for ten days they had not seen a banana or a grain, and the faces of the people were getting leaner, and their bodies were getting thinner, and their strength was fading day by day. One day the officers asked him if he had seen anything like it in any African expedition before. He replied "No," though he remembered on a former occasion when they were nine days without food, and ended their famine with a fight. Then, however, they knew where there was grain, and all they had to do was to hurry on; but in the late expedition they had been ten days without, and they did not know when their hunger was to terminate. They were all sitting down at the time, and he expressed his belief that the age of miracles was not altogether past. Moses struck water out of the Horeb rock, the Israelites were fed with manna in the wilderness, and he told them that he did not think they should be surprised to see some miracle for themselves — perhaps on the morrow or the following day. He had scarcely finished when some guinea fowl flocked round them and were at once seized.

A man was leaving a church at St. Louis where Mr. Moody had been holding a service. The eminent preacher noticed him, and gives the following account of their conversation — "I said to him, 'My friend, why is it that you don't accept Christ?' He shook his head, and said he didn't know. 'Well, what is your soul feeding on?' He said it was feeding on nothing. 'Well,' I said, 'that is pretty hard for the soul, isn't it — giving it nothing to feed on?' He was a man about my age, forty years old, and he had given his soul nothing for forty years; he had been starving that soul. And that man is but a type of thousands and tens of thousands in this city to-day; their poor souls are starving. This body that we inhabit for a day and then leave, we take good care of that; we feed it three times a day, and we clothe it and take care of it and deck it, and by and by it is going into the grave to be eaten up by the worms; but the inner man, that is to live on and on for ever, is lean and starved."

In the sixth chapter of St. John, where our Lord so emphatically applies to Himself the miracle of the manna, it will be seen He discovers no wish to take from the high estimate which the Jews entertained of this ancient miracle, so only that it was considered as a type, not a mere interposition of Providence to provide by miracles means for their daily support. And casting aside many minor analogies which have been contended for, but which are too much of the nature of fanciful refinements, it is not difficult to trace between the manna and Christ, the True Bread, several broad and instructive resemblances.

1. Thus both were the free, unsolicited gift of heaven, prompted by the sight of man's helplessness and man's misery. "Moses gave you not that bread from heaven," saith our Lord; "but My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven." But observe, the gift in either case was the unmerited bestowment of the Eternal Father; whether to nourish the physical life of those wilderness wanderers or to support the spiritual life of believers to the end of time. Jesus Christ is a gift, the eternal life is a gift, enlightening, converting grace is a gift. Human efforts could no more avail to procure these things than the sowing of coriander seed could produce a harvest of manna.

2. Again, this gift was to preserve life. "Ye have brought us forth into the wilderness," said the Israelites to Moses, "to kill this whole assembly with hunger." They saw nothing before them but certain death. The place was desert; a curse of barrenness and drought laid upon it. The whole is a picture of man in this wilderness-world. His soul perishes with hunger; he has the sentence of death within him, a prospect of death before him. But God has rained bread from heaven. Christ, the Wellspring of all spiritual life; Christ, the Source of every active and passive grace; Christ, the energizing Principle of all acceptable obedience. "Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead." It saved them not from the common lot of all men, this bread ye boast of, but "I am the living Bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this Bread he shall live for ever."

3. Trace this parallel further, in the universality of the gift. There were in that wilderness all diversities of character — masters and disciples, owners of flocks and keepers of flocks; rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, and rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: yet to all was to be given the same portion, "an omer to every man, according to the number in their tents." And in like manner, as far as concerns the offer of the blessing, Christ is a universal portion.

(D. Moore, M. A.)

Does not the manner in which this bread descended from above, along with the gentle, silent dew, apply very beautifully to the True Bread from heaven? It is not in the bustle of the world or in the excitement of religion, but in secret and in silence that Jesus descends upon the soul, when the spirit communes with God — when the eye is turned within in earnest searching self-examination — when the heart calmly meditates on the Divine Word. And what is the "dew" on and with which He descends? What but the Spirit of God, of which the dew is the constant symbol in Scripture? When the Spirit falls gently upon our hearts, then Jesus descends there. Where the one is, the other is — yet they are distinct. It is not the Spirit, but Christ in His living Person who is the Bread of Life. The Spirit is as the dew; Jesus as the manna, the Bread from heaven. We must, then, cherish every gentle influence of the Spirit of God if we would have our souls nourished.

(G. Wagner.)

The following anecdote of Mr. Spurgeon is well authenticated: — On a certain occasion, when dining at a lady's house in Regent's Park, with the late Dr. Brock, he (Mr. S.) remarked that £2,000 had to be forthcoming for his builder to-morrow, and though nothing was in hand, the money would be paid at ten o'clock. "I wish you would not say that," Dr. Brock replied; but immediately after, while they were still at the table, a telegram came to say that A. B. had just left £2,000 for the Orphanage; and then, confessing that he had never seen anything like that, the doctor called upon all to put down their knives and forks and return thanks to God. They never knew who A. B. was, nor whence he came.

(Gleanings in Harvest Fields.)

Harms of Hermannsburg, the pastor of a poor village on the Luneberg Heath in Hanover, said in his annual missionary sermon in 1857: "I have expended much in the past year in sending out the ship with her fifteen passengers, for the printing house, the press, and the paper, altogether 14,781 dollars, and I have received altogether 14,796 dollars, so I have fifteen dollars over. Is not that a wonder? So much spent, and yet something over! And I thank God that He has given us the fifteen dollars overplus. Riches only make cares. God has heard all my prayers. He has given me no riches, and I have also no debts. We have neither collected nor begged, but waited patiently on God in prayer."

J. R. Green's Short History.
"Never did man die of hunger who served God faithfully," was a saying of Cuthbert, the apostle of Northumbria, when he and his companions were overtaken by night without food or shelter. "Look at the eagle overhead," he would add; "God can feed us through him if He will." And this faith was on one occasion signally justified by the bird in question letting fall a fish, which furnished the needed meal.

(J. R. Green's Short History.)

Exodus 16:13 NIV
Exodus 16:13 NLT
Exodus 16:13 ESV
Exodus 16:13 NASB
Exodus 16:13 KJV

Exodus 16:13 Bible Apps
Exodus 16:13 Parallel
Exodus 16:13 Biblia Paralela
Exodus 16:13 Chinese Bible
Exodus 16:13 French Bible
Exodus 16:13 German Bible

Exodus 16:13 Commentaries

Bible Hub
Exodus 16:12
Top of Page
Top of Page