Exodus 16:14

14 And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness a small round thing, small as the hoar-frost on the ground.

Exodus 16:14 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 16:14

And when the dew that lay was gone up
Exhaled by the sun upon the rising of it: behold, upon the face of the wilderness;
upon the surface of it, all around the camp of Israel: there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the
which is what is in the next verse called "manna". Before the sun rose there was nothing but a dew to be seen; when that was gone off through the force of the sun, then the manna appeared; which was but a "small thing", and very unpromising for food, and especially for such a vast number of people; and a "round" thing, for which it is after compared to a coriander seed, as is thought; though the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan do not interpret the word of the round form, but rather refer to its smallness; and which is expressed in the Vulgate Latin version,

``small, and as if beat with a pestle;''
and for its white colour, as well as its smallness, it looked like hoar frost on the ground. Jarchi says there were two dews, within which it lay as something covered in a box, and he seems to be right; for it is certain from ( Numbers 11:9 ) , that there was a dew which fell first, and then the manna fell upon it; and from hence it is plain also, that there was a dew over the manna, which went up from it when the sun rose: and the design of this seems to be to keep this heavenly bread pure and clean for the Israelites, that it might neither partake of the dust nor sand of the wilderness where it fell, and that nothing might light upon it until the time of gathering it came. The Jews, in memory of this, will sometimes put bread upon the table between two table cloths F14; and it is highly probable, that to this the allusion is of the "hidden manna" in ( Revelation 2:17 ) , by which is meant our Lord Jesus Christ, the antitype of this manna, as will be observed as we pass on, in all the circumstances of it; the manna came with the dew, and was covered with it, and hid in it; Christ is the gift of God's free grace to the sons of men, and is exhibited in the word of grace, where he lies hid to men in the glory of his person and the fulness of his grace, until revealed and made known. The figure of the manna being "round", which is a perfect figure, may denote the perfection of Christ in his person, natures, and office; he being perfectly God and perfectly man, having all the essential perfections both of the divine and human natures in him, as well as all fulness of grace; and being made perfect through sufferings, is become a complete Saviour, and by his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, has perfected for ever his sanctified ones: and the manna being "small", may signify the meanness of Christ in the eyes of men in his state of humiliation, and the unpromising appearance he made of being the Saviour and King of Israel; the white colour of it may direct to the purity of Christ, to the holiness of his natures, and the beauty of his person, being white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousands.

F14 Vid. Fagium in loc.

Exodus 16:14 In-Context

12 I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread: and ye shall know that I am Jehovah your God.
13 And it came to pass at even, that the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the camp.
14 And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness a small round thing, small as the hoar-frost on the ground.
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 Jehovah hath given you to eat.
16 This is the thing which Jehovah 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.
The American Standard Version is in the public domain.