Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Manna is for real!

Photo by Erin Gleeson
In case you didn't see it, today's New York Times had a fascinating article about the modern-day existence and use of Manna.  What is fascinating is that the description of what Manna is, when and where it is found, how it is created in nature, its texture and its variety of tastes attributed to it, fits incredibly well with what the Bible tells us about the stuff.

Here is the biblical description (text from Mechon-Mamre) - then click here for the NY Times article.

 וַיְהִי בָעֶרֶב--וַתַּעַל הַשְּׂלָו, וַתְּכַס אֶת-הַמַּחֲנֶה; וּבַבֹּקֶר, הָיְתָה שִׁכְבַת הַטַּל, סָבִיב, לַמַּחֲנֶה.13 And it came to pass at even, that the quails came up, and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew round about the camp.
יד  וַתַּעַל, שִׁכְבַת הַטָּל; וְהִנֵּה עַל-פְּנֵי הַמִּדְבָּר, דַּק מְחֻסְפָּס--דַּק כַּכְּפֹר, עַל-הָאָרֶץ.14 And when the layer of dew was gone up, behold upon the face of the wilderness a fine, scale-like thing, fine as the hoar-frost on the ground.
טו  וַיִּרְאוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, וַיֹּאמְרוּ אִישׁ אֶל-אָחִיו מָן הוּא--כִּי לֹא יָדְעוּ, מַה-הוּא; וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה, אֲלֵהֶם, הוּא הַלֶּחֶם, אֲשֶׁר נָתַן יְהוָה לָכֶם לְאָכְלָה.15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another: 'What is it?'--for they knew not what it was. And Moses said unto them: 'It is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.
טז  זֶה הַדָּבָר, אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָה, לִקְטוּ מִמֶּנּוּ, אִישׁ לְפִי אָכְלוֹ:  עֹמֶר לַגֻּלְגֹּלֶת, מִסְפַּר נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם--אִישׁ לַאֲשֶׁר בְּאָהֳלוֹ, תִּקָּחוּ.16 This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded: Gather ye of it every man according to his eating; an omer a head, according to the number of your persons, shall ye take it, every man for them that are in his tent.'
יז  וַיַּעֲשׂוּ-כֵן, בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל; וַיִּלְקְטוּ, הַמַּרְבֶּה וְהַמַּמְעִיט.17 And the children of Israel did so, and gathered some more, some less.
יח  וַיָּמֹדּוּ בָעֹמֶר--וְלֹא הֶעְדִּיף הַמַּרְבֶּה, וְהַמַּמְעִיט לֹא הֶחְסִיר:  אִישׁ לְפִי-אָכְלוֹ, לָקָטוּ.18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.
יט  וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה, אֲלֵהֶם:  אִישׁ, אַל-יוֹתֵר מִמֶּנּוּ עַד-בֹּקֶר.19 And Moses said unto them: 'Let no man leave of it till the morning.'
כ  וְלֹא-שָׁמְעוּ אֶל-מֹשֶׁה, וַיּוֹתִרוּ אֲנָשִׁים מִמֶּנּוּ עַד-בֹּקֶר, וַיָּרֻם תּוֹלָעִים, וַיִּבְאַשׁ; וַיִּקְצֹף עֲלֵהֶם, מֹשֶׁה.20 Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and rotted; and Moses was wroth with them.
כא  וַיִּלְקְטוּ אֹתוֹ בַּבֹּקֶר בַּבֹּקֶר, אִישׁ כְּפִי אָכְלוֹ; וְחַם הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ, וְנָמָס.21 And they gathered it morning by morning, every man according to his eating; and as the sun waxed hot, it melted.
כב  וַיְהִי בַּיּוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי, לָקְטוּ לֶחֶם מִשְׁנֶה--שְׁנֵי הָעֹמֶר, לָאֶחָד; וַיָּבֹאוּ כָּל-נְשִׂיאֵי הָעֵדָה, וַיַּגִּידוּ לְמֹשֶׁה.22 And it came to pass that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one; and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
כג  וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם, הוּא אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהוָה--שַׁבָּתוֹן שַׁבַּת-קֹדֶשׁ לַיהוָה, מָחָר:  אֵת אֲשֶׁר-תֹּאפוּ אֵפוּ, וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר-תְּבַשְּׁלוּ בַּשֵּׁלוּ, וְאֵת כָּל-הָעֹדֵף, הַנִּיחוּ לָכֶם לְמִשְׁמֶרֶת עַד-הַבֹּקֶר.23 And he said unto them: 'This is that which the LORD hath spoken: To-morrow is a solemn rest, a holy sabbath unto the LORD. Bake that which ye will bake, and seethe that which ye will seethe; and all that remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.'
כד  וַיַּנִּיחוּ אֹתוֹ עַד-הַבֹּקֶר, כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה מֹשֶׁה; וְלֹא הִבְאִישׁ, וְרִמָּה לֹא-הָיְתָה בּוֹ.24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade; and it did not rot, neither was there any worm therein.

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