Manna: The Food of God
Manna—also known as Mana—was a mysterious substance which was, according to the Bible, sent by God and given to the Israelites as they traveled in the desert during their ‘forty-year’ period following the Exodus.
In the Bible, it explains how the Israelites got from Egypt, where they’d been slaves, to the Promised Land.
They had to cross the Sinai Desert. And inevitably, given that there was a lot of Israelites and very little growing, as it was a desert, they ran short on supplies. At this point, in order to prevent the population from starving, God sent down Manna from heaven.
As it fell to Earth, Manna is described as some kind of seed. These seeds were connected the day after they had fallen to Earth. Manna provided food for the Israelites every day except Friday, since on Saturday—the Sabbath—it did not fall.
In the Biblical book of the Exodus, it is written that Manna appeared every night and every morning after the dew had disappeared and that it had to be collected before the heat of the sun melted it.
According to historical accounts, Manna arrived with the dew, at night.
The manna is described as a kind of seed similar to that of the coriander, white, which after being ground and baked resembled wafers with honey, although in some accounts it is described as being the same color as Indian myrrh.
If we take a look at the Hebrew Bible, we will find two descriptions referring to Manna.
We find the first description in Exodus 16:1–36 and once again in Numbers 11:1–9.
In Exodus, manna is described as “a fine, flake-like thing” similar to the frost on the ground. In Exodus Manna is described as being similar to hoarfrost in color. The ‘Food’ had to be gathered before it melted by the sun. Exodus describes manna as tasting like wafers that had been prepared with honey.
The Gathering of the Manna by James Tissot. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
In the Book of Numbers Manna is detailed as arriving with the dew during the night. In Numbers, we find details of Manna resembling bdellium—a semi-transparent oleo-gum-resin extracted from trees growing in Ethiopia, Eritrea and sub-Saharan Africa.
So, basically, Manna was a food sent by God, to keep the population from starving. But we still don’t know what it was.
In the book of Exodus, we find that the Israelites were told only to eat manna they had gathered for each day as stored mana “bred worms and stank.”
However, curiously, manna stored the day before the Sabbath did not spoil overnight, as it clearly states in Exodus 16:23–24:
This is what the Lord commanded: “Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. So, bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.” So, they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it.
So, what is Manna? Is it a naturally abundant food provided by God or, as some believe?
The Gathering of the Manna, c. 1460-1470. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Some believe that the Zohar—a collection of spiritual commentaries and interpretations of the Torah and is central to the mystical Kabbalah belief written in the 13th century may offer more details about this mysterious food source.
In the Zohar, we find descriptions of what is referred to as the Ancient of Days providing Manna.
According to the Book of Daniel Ancient of Days is a name for God. In Eastern Orthodox Christian hymns and icons, the Ancient of Days is sometimes identified with God the Father or occasionally The Holy Spirit.
From an ancient astronaut point of view, the Zohar describes a machine, rather than a God.
As noted by ancient astronaut theorists, the Zohar describes different-sized brains, different-sized faces that were connected with different tubes and different light sources.
And despite the fact that theologians have suggested that this is a description of God, ancient astronaut theorists argue that from a modern perspective, what is described in the Zohar isn’t necessarily a god figure, but rather a type of machine: A machine that somehow produced ‘manna’ a mysterious food source that has still not been identified, despite the fact that numerous historical accounts suggest it was real.
The Manna machine theory offers two explanations as to where the Israelites may have gotten it from.
One suggests they stole it from the Egyptians before their exodus, while the other, more controversial one suspect’s extraterrestrials gave it to them as a humanitarian gesture, to prevent their starvation in the desert.
Either way, the answer, like the Ark of the Covenant, seems lost to history.
In 1978 George Sassoon and Rodney Dale wrote a book which was based upon a translation of the section of the Zohar a called “The Ancient of Days”. In the book, the authors conclude that Manna was produced by a machine that had created algae as food for human beings in biblical times. The so-called Manna machine was eventually reproduced by George who was an engineer, who is said to have followed the directions given in The Ancient of Days. After creating the machine, he claimed it created a food source of algae.
Furthermore, This explains how the Israelis survived their forty year journey in the Sinai Desert. It is said by Sassoon and Dale that a nuclear reactor used to power the manna machine was stored within the Ark of the Covenant.