What Is The Manna From Heaven That Nourished The Hebrews in The Bible

Manner from Heaven is the name given to the miraculous food provided by God to the Hebrews during their wandering in the wilderness. Collins world dictionary defined it as: 1. the miraculous food which sustained the Israelites in the wilderness. 2. Any spiritual nourishment. 3. A wind fall; an unexpected gift. It was referred to as the food of angels in (psalm78: 24-25).

The Bible in the book of Exodus16 told us that this provision was on the fifteenth day of the second month in the desert of sin after the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron saying “if only we had died by the Lord in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” However, Moses made them understand that, there complain was to the Lord and not to him and that the Lord has heard them and will provide for them. That evening the glory of the Lord filled the cloud to give them the bread from heaven.

Early in the morning a layer of dew was around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost appeared on the floor. The Hebrews saw it and called it manna, which means “what is it”. God gave them an instruction on how each man will gather for His family daily and that no one should gather for two days except on the day before the Sabbath. 

The Bible described this manna from heaven in the book of Exodus and Numbers as white as the coriander seed in color, thin flakes like frost that appeared on the floor of the desert, having the color of bdellium and tasted as wafers mixed with honey. It could be boiled, baked, grinded in mill or beaten in a mortar.

Each day one omer of manna was gathered per family (about 3.64 liters). If any was kept till morning it became corrupt and bred worms and stank. But on the Sabbath day was an exemption since no manna fell on that day. A double portion was given the preceding day that could be kept over to supply the want of the Sabbath without becoming corrupt.

The Hebrews consumed the manna for 40 years till they encamped at Gilgal, after crossing the Jordan when it suddenly ceased (Joshua5:12). This manna from heaven was evidently a miraculous gift totally different from any natural product we know or the name. Jesus referred to this manna when he called Himself the bread that comes from heaven and gives life to men (John6: 31-35).