[On Sabbath] Exodus 16: Secretive Manna

Manna takes its name from the Hebrew for “What is it?” which is what you’ll be asking after you read about it. The stuff comes down with the morning dew and forms a flaky white crust on the ground once the dew evaporates. Its bizarre properties include that after morning, if not stored in a cool place, “when the sun grew hot, it would melt” (21). Moreover, after twenty-four hours it “it bred worms and became foul” (20). But there’s an exception: on the sixth day, it doesn’t spoil after twenty-four hours. As the Hebrews discover, on the seventh day their stored mana from the previous day “did not become foul nor was there any worm in it” (24). It’s enough to make 17th century deists spin in their graves, but we risk getting far afield from our Sabbath study if we don’t reel it back in. What’s the significance of the manna’s physical properties?

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