John 6:31

31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’a

Read John 6:31 Using Other Translations

Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"
After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”

What does John 6:31 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
John 6:31

Our fathers did eat manna in the wilderness
Which was a sort of food prepared by angels in the air, and rained down from thence about the tents of the Israelites; it was a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground; it was like a coriander seed, and the colour of it was the colour of bdellium: it was so called, either from (hnm) , "to prepare", because it was prepared, and got ready for the Israelites; or from the first words that were spoken upon sight of it, (wh Nm) , "what is it?" for they knew not what it was: and this the Jewish fathers fed upon all the while they were in the wilderness, till they came to Canaan's land, and they only; it was food peculiar to them: "our fathers did eat"; and so the Jews F6 observe on those words in ( Exodus 16:35 ) :

``"and the children of Israel did eat manna forty years"; the children of Israel, (arxa alw) , "not another". And the children of Israel saw, and said, what is it? and not the rest of the mixed multitude.''

Now these Jews object this miracle to Christ, and intimate, that he indeed had fed five thousand of them with barley loaves, and fishes, for one meal; but their fathers, in the times of Moses, to the number of six hundred thousand, and more, were fed, and that with manna, very sweet and delightful food, and for the space of forty years; even all the white they were in the wilderness: and therefore, unless he wrought as great a miracle, or a greater than this, and that of the like kind, they should not think fit to relinquish Moses, and follow him; and in proof of what they said, they produce Scripture,

as it is written
in ( Psalms 78:24 Psalms 78:25 ) , or rather in ( Exodus 16:15 ) ; and perhaps both places may be respected:

he gave them bread from heaven to eat;
they leave out the word Lord, being willing it should be understood of Moses, to whom they ascribed it, as appears from the following words of Christ, who denies that Moses gave it; and add the phrase "from heaven", to set forth the excellent nature of it, which is taken from ( Exodus 16:4 ) , where the manna, as here, is called "bread from heaven".


F6 Zohar in Exod. fol. 75. 2.
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