What Does The Word 'Manna' Translate To? It's Hilarious!

March 08, 2016Mar 08, 2016

As described in Exodus 16, God provided manna raining down from heaven to the Israelites as they traveled hungrily through the desert. But do you know what the word "manna" actually means?


Verses 13 through 15 give the answer: "So it was that quails came up at evening and covered the camp, and in the morning the dew lay all around the camp. And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground. So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was."

Manna literally translates to "What is it?" The bread substance was provided in the exact amounts the Israelites needed, but some of the children of Israel lacked faith that God would provide it every day and saved some for the next morning. That's when they discovered manna's short shelf life and found it full of worms. The one exception was before the Sabbath, when God provided a two days' worth of manna that would not spoil so that the Israelites could observe the next day by resting.

In verse 31, manna is described as tasting "like wafers made with honey." Ever wonder if it was gluten free?

Numbers 11:1-9 describes the manna baking process in detail: "Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its color like the color of bdellium. The people went about and gathered it, ground it on millstones or beat it in the mortar, cooked it in pans, and made cakes of it; and its taste was like the taste of pastry prepared with oil." Mmmmm.

Today instead of manna we have angel food cake, but it lacks the same sustaining value.