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February 13

Exodus 16, Matthew 26:36-56

Thought from Today's Old Testament Passage:

Many have speculated on the precise nature of this manna, and several partial parallels are known. To the present time in Sinai, certain insects produce honeydew excretions on tamarisk twigs seasonally every June for some weeks. At night these drops fall from the trees to the ground, where they remain until the heat of the sun brings forth the ants which remove them. These drops are small, sticky, light-coloured, and sugary-sweet, quite strikingly like the biblical descriptions in Ex. 16 and Nu. 11. Other honeydew-producing insects are known in Sinai and elsewhere, e.g. cer­tain cicadas. However, these products do not fit the biblical description in all particulars. On them, see F. S. Bodenheimer, BA 10, 1947, pp. 1-6; for a photo of tamarisk-twigs with drops, see W. Keller, The Bible as History, 1956, plate between pp. 112-113. In S Algeria in 1932 and also about 70 years before, after unusual weather ‘there were falls of a whitish, odourless, tasteless matter of a farinaceous kind which covered tents and vegeta­tion each morning' (A. Rendle Short, Modern Discovery and the Bible, 1952, p. 152). Also in 1932, a white substance like manna one morning covered an area of ground 640 x 18 m on a farm in Natal and was eaten by the natives (H. S. Gehman in WDB, p. 375a). None of these phenomena satisfies the biblical data, and the provision of the manna remains ultimately in the realm of the miraculous, especially in its con­tinuity, quantity and 6-day periodicity. The partial parallels cited above may indicate, however, the kind of physical bases used by God in this provi­sion.

J. D Douglas, et al, eds, New Bible Dictionary, Second Edition (Leichester, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 1962), p. 735

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