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This miracle bread from heaven saved God's people
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The beetle cocoon that was manna for Moses | The Independent
Elaine Hart. Contact Us aherzog mannadc. NW, Suite Washington, D. SE, Suite Washington, D. Tweets by MannaINC. This expression since the time of the Septuagint is generally translated "What is this? A substance named mannu was known in Egypt at that time, and the resemblance of the newly fallen food to this substance would naturally call forth the exclamation and suggest the name.
Many scholars have identified the Biblical manna with the juice exuded by a variety of Tamarix gallica Tamarix mannifera when it is pricked by an insect Coccus manniparus , and known to the Arabs as mann es-sama , "gift of heaven " or "heavenly manna". But although manna in several respects answers the description of the manna of the Bible , it lacks some of its distinctive qualities.
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It cannot be ground or beaten in a mortar, nor can it be boiled and made into cakes. It does not decay and breed worms, but keeps indefinitely after it is collected. Besides, being almost pure sugar, it could hardly form the chief nourishment of a people for forty years. But even if the identify were certain, the phenomenon of its fall, as recorded in Exodus, could not be explained except by a miracle. For, although the tamarisk was probably more plentiful in the days of the Exodus than it is now, it could not have furnished the large quantity of manna daily required by the Israelites.
Moreover, the tamarisk manna exudes only at a certain season, whereas the Biblical manna fell throughout the year; it exudes every day during its season, while the Biblical manna did not fall on the Sabbath. Most of these objections apply also to the juice exuded by the Camel's Thorn Alhagi Camelorum , which is sometimes considered identical with Biblical manna.
Others think they have found the true manna in a lichen, Lenora esculenta also known as Spharothallia esculenta , met with in Western Asia and North Africa. It easily scales off, and being carried away by the wind sometimes falls in the form of a rain. In times of famine it is ground and mixed with other substances to make a kind of bread. But this lichen is dry and insipid, and possesses little nutritive value.
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The regular fall in this case, too, would be miraculous. The manna may, indeed, have been a natural substance, but we must admit a miracle at least in the manner in which it was supplied. For not only does the phenomenon resist all natural explanation, but the account of Exodus, as well as the designation "bread from heaven", "bread of angels", i. Christ uses the manna as the type and symbol of the Eucharistic food, which is true "bread from heaven ", and "bread of life", i.
Paul in calling the manna "spiritual food" 1 Corinthians , alludes to its symbolical significance with regard to the Eucharist as much as to its miraculous character. Hence the manna has always been a common Eucharistic symbol in Christian art and liturgy. In Apocalypse , the manna stands as the symbol of the happiness of heaven. In Exod. Paris, , sq. APA citation. Bechtel, F.
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In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
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