Exodus 16:31

Exodus 16:31

And the house of Israel called the name thereof manna
For till now they had given it no name; which shows that the words are not to be read as we render them in ( Exodus 16:15 ) it is manna, unless this is to be considered as a confirmation of that name; but rather as an interrogation, "what is it?" though, from thence, "man" being the first word they made use of on sight of it, might so call it; or as others, from its being now an appointed, prepared, portion and gift, which they every day enjoyed, (See Gill on Exodus 16:15),

and it was like coriander seed, white
that the colour of the manna was white is not only here asserted, but is plain from other passages, it being like the hoar frost, which is white, ( Exodus 16:14 ) and its colour is the colour of bdellium, ( Numbers 11:7 ) or pearl, which is of a white bright colour, as the word is interpreted by the Jews; and who say {u}, that the manna was round as a coriander seed, and white as a pearl; but then if it is here compared to the coriander seed on that account, some other seed than what we call coriander seed must be meant, since that is off darkish colour; though it is thought by most that the comparison with it is not on account of the colour, but its form being round, as a coriander seed is, and as the manna is said to be, ( Exodus 16:14 ) . Josephus F23 thinks it is compared to the coriander seed for its being about the size of that seed; though I must confess it seems to me to be compared to the coriander seed for its colour, and therefore "Gad", the word used, must signify something else than what we call coriander seed; but what that is, is not easy to say: Ben Gersom is of the same mind, and thinks it refers to colour, and fancies the "Gad" had his name from his whiteness, ( Genesis 20:11 ) . Artapanus F24, the Heathen, makes mention of this food of the Jews in the wilderness, where, he says, they were thirty years; during which time God rained upon them meal like to panic (a sort of grain like millet), in colour almost as white as snow: and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey; or cakes that had honey mixed in them: though in ( Numbers 11:8 ) the taste of it is said to be as the taste of fresh oil, which Saadiah Gaon, Aben Ezra, and others, account for thus; that if a man ate of it as it came down, it was as cakes of honey, but, when dressed, it was as the taste of fresh oil; however, it was very palatable and agreeable to the taste; honey that drops from palm trees is said to be not much different in taste from oil: the Jews F25 have a notion that there were all kinds of tastes in the manna, suited to the ages and appetites of persons, and that as they would have it, so it tasted; which notion the author of the book of Wisdom seems to give into,

``Instead whereof thou feddest thine own people with angels' food, and didst send them from heaven bread prepared without their labour, able to content every man's delight, and agreeing to every taste. For thy sustenance declared thy sweetness unto thy children, and serving to the appetite of the eater, tempered itself to every man's liking.'' (Wisdom 16:20-21)

Leo Africanus F26 speaks of a sort of manna found in great plenty in the deserts in Libya, which the inhabitants gather in vessels every morning to carry to market, and which being mixed with water is drank for delight, and being put into broth has a very refreshing virtue: of the round form and white colour of manna, as applicable to Christ, notice has been taken on ( Exodus 16:14 ) and the sweetness of its taste well agrees with him the antitype: his person is so to them who have tasted that the Lord is gracious; his word or Gospel is sweeter than the honey or the honeycomb; his mouth is most sweet, the doctrines that proceed from it, and the exceeding great and precious promises of it; his fruits and the blessings of his grace, peace, pardon, righteousness are sweet to those that sit under his shadow, where faith often feeds sweetly and with delight upon him,


FOOTNOTES:

F21 T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 75. 1.
F23 Antiqu. l. 3. c. 1. sect. 6.
F24 Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 27. p. 436.
F25 Shemot Rabba, sect 25. fol. 108. 4. & Bemidar Rabba, sect. 7. fol. 188.
F26 Descriptio Africae, l. 7. p. 631.
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