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Manna

“Manna” from the Bible refers to the miraculous food that God provided for the Israelites during their 40-year journey through the desert after their exodus from Egypt. According to the Bible, specifically in the book of Exodus, manna fell from the sky in the morning and collected on the ground like dew. The Israelites were instructed to gather just enough manna each day for their needs, with a double portion collected the day before the Sabbath, as none would fall on the Sabbath itself.

The description of manna varies somewhat in the text, but it’s often described as small, round, white, and tasting like wafers made with honey. It was a crucial sustenance for the Israelites and is frequently cited as an example of divine providence. The term “manna” itself sometimes metaphorically represents spiritual nourishment or a miraculous gift.

Before the Fall, wheat grew to a tree with leaves like emeralds. The ears were red as rubies and the grains white as snow, sweet as honey, and fragrant as musk. Eve ate one of the grains and found it more delicious than anything she had hitherto tasted, so she gave a second grain to Adam.

Fall of Man (link)

The angel Gabriel was sent out of Paradise to give him the rest of the wheat-grains Eve had plucked from the forbidden tree, together with two oxen, and various instruments of husbandry. Hitherto he had fed on roots and berries, and had known nothing of sowing grain; acting under Gabriel’s directions, he ploughed the land, but the plough stuck, and Adam impatiently smote one of the oxen, and it spoke to him and said, “Wherefore hast thou smitten me?”

Adam replied, “Because thou dost not draw the plough.”

“Adam!” said the ox, “when thou wast rebellious, did God smite thee thus?”

“O God!” cried Adam to the Almighty, “is every beast to reproach me, and recall to me my sin?”

Then God heard his cry, and withdrew from beasts the power of speech, lest they should cast their sin in the teeth of men.

But as the plough was still arrested, Adam dug into the soil, and found that the iron had been caught by the body of his son Abel.

When the wheat was sprung up, Gabriel gave Adam fire from hell, which however he had previously washed seventy times in the sea, or it would have consumed the earth and all things thereon. In the beginning, wheat-grains were the size of ostrich eggs, but under Edris (Enoch) they were no bigger than goose eggs; under Elias they were the size of hen’s eggs; under Christ, when the Jews sought to slay him, they were no larger than grapes; it was in the time of Uzeir (Esdras) that they diminished to their present proportions.

The legend of the old testament

The Persian story, adopted by the Arabs, is that the forbidden fruit was wheat, and that it grew on a tree whose trunk resembled gold and its branches silver. Each branch bore five shining ears, and each ear contained five grains as big as the eggs of an ostrich, as fragrant as musk, and as sweet as honey.

The people of Southern America suppose it was the banana, whose fibres form the cross, and they say that thus, in it, Adam discovered the mystery of the Redemption.

The inhabitants of the island of St. Vincent think it was the tobacco plant. But, according to an Iroquois legend, the great mother of the human race lost heaven for a pot of bears’ grease.

Exodus 16:15 – When the Israelites saw the food provided by God, they said to one another, “It is manna,” because they did not know what it was.

Exodus 16:31 – The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.

Exodus 16:33 – Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put an omer of manna in it. Then place it before the Lord to be kept for the generations to come.”

Numbers 11:6-9 – The text here talks about the Israelites growing weary of eating manna, describing it and how it fell with the dew at night.

Nehemiah 9:20 – It mentions that God gave his good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold his manna from their mouths.

Psalm 78:24 – It mentions that God rained down manna for the people to eat and gave them the grain of heaven.

John 6:31-58: In the New Testament, manna is referred to in Jesus’ discourse where he compares himself to the manna that was provided to the Israelites, calling himself the “true bread from heaven” that gives life to the world, contrasting the temporary sustenance of manna with the eternal life he brings.

There they (Adam and Eve) saw a tree, and found on it solid manna; and wondered at God’s power. And the angels commanded them to eat of the manna when they were hungry.

The First book of Adam and Eve