Numbers 11:7

7 And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.

Numbers 11:7 Meaning and Commentary

Numbers 11:7

And the manna [was] as coriander seed
Not in colour, for that is black or darkish, whereas the manna was white, as is generally observed; of which (See Gill on Exodus 16:31); however it might be like the coriander, because of its form and figure, being round, and because of its quantity, being small, ( Exodus 16:14 ) ; Some think the mustard seed is meant, as Aben Ezra observes, which is the least of all seeds; it seems that the manna fell in small round grains, like to such seed. This, with what follows, is observed, to expose the folly and ingratitude of the Israelites, that having such bread from heaven, angels food, that they should slight it, and hanker after other food:

and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium;
not an aromatic gum, which Pliny F11 speaks of, which is clear as wax, for that is black or blackish, and not white as the manna; besides, this should be read, not "bdellium", but "bdeloah", and is a precious stone, and, according to Bochart, the pearl; so Ben Melech observes, that it is a precious stone; some say the diamond, and others a round white stone, which they bore and join stones together, and make a chain of, he doubtless means a pearl necklace; though Jarchi says it is the crystal, and so the Jewish writers commonly; (See Gill on Genesis 2:12); hence it appears the manna was very pleasant to look at, being of a round form, and of a pearl or crystal colour.


F11 Nat. Hist. l. 12. c. 9.

Numbers 11:7 In-Context

5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:
6 But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.
7 And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.
8 And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.
9 And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.