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4. Sin was a barren Desart, not capable of fupplynick, ing them with Provision, which as soon as they d felt the want of, they were ready to mutiny,
and most passionately wished themselves in i Egypt again (d): But God was here pleased De miraculously to relieve them by great Flights of as Quails, a sort of Birds very common upon the e Coasts of the Arabian or Red-Sea (e), and beSa fides sending these, He rained them Bread from 1 Heaven : Every Morning, when the Dew was bi off, there lay a small round Thing as small as the
boar Frost upon the Ground (f;) it was like Co12 riander Seed of a whice Colour, and the Taste tje of it was like Wafers made with Honey (8):
(d) xvi. 3. (e) Joseph. Antiq. 1. 3. c. 1. Athenæus Deipnof. I. 9. (f) Exodus xvi. 13, 14. (g) The Hebrew Writers have had various Conceits about the Taste of Manna, fome of them perhaps deduced from some Expressions in the Book of Wisdom. That Apocryphal Author says of the Manna, that it was able to content every Man's Delight, agreeing to every Tafte, and that serving to the Appetite of the Eater it tempered itself to every Man's liking. Wisdom xvi. 20, 21. Lyra, from the Rabbins, represents, that it had the Taste of any sort of Fish or Fowl according to the Wish of him that eat it; but then with St. Augustin he restrains the Privilege of finding in the Manna the Taste of what they most loved, to the Righteous only. The Authors of Talmud Joma and Lib. Zohar say, the Manna had all sorts of Tastes, except the Taftes of the plants and Sallads which grew in Ægypt; but there is no End of pursuing or refuting the Fancies of these Writers. Moses Says of the Manna bere in Exodus, that its Taite was like Wafers made with Honey. In Numbers xi. 8. he says, the Cakes made of it had the Taste of fresh Oil ; so that we may conje&ture, that it bad a sweetness when gathered, which evaporated in the grinding, beating and baking : It tasted like Honey when taken off the Ground, but the Cakes made of it, were as Cakes of Bread kneaded with Oil. The Israelites used it as a fort of Bread, they had the Quails inflead of Flesh, Exodus xyi. 12. Numb. xi. The Manna is represented to bave had no high Tafe, Numbers xi. 5. and we have not any Hint from Moses of its being so variously delightfome to the Palate, as the Author of the Book of Wisdom seems to suggeft. .
the Ifraelites when they saw it, knew not what it was, and therefore asked one another 19770 Man bua, for they are two Hebrew Words, and signify what is this? Man signifies what and Hua this, and not knowing what Name to give it, they called it Man, or Wbat, i. e. is it, ever after (b).
The Israelites were ordered, every Head of a Family, to gather as many Omers (i) of this Manna every Morning as He had Persons in his Family (k); but as they went out to gather without taking Measures with them, it so happened, that some gathered more than their Quantity, and some less; but they corrected this before they carried their Gatherings home; for they measured what they had gathered with an Omer, and he that had gathered more than his Quantity, gave to him that had gathered less, so that every one had his just Quantity made up, and no more: The Words of the 18th Verse, as our English Version renders them, seem to imply, that God was here pleased miraculously to adjust the several Quantities that were gathered. We translate the Place, The Children of Israel gathered some more, some less, and when they did mete it with an Omer, be that gathered much had nothing over, and be that
(h) Our English Word Manna, Exod. xvi. 15. seems to intimate, that the Israelites put the two Words Man hua together, as the name of this Food; but they used but one of them; for they called it Man and not Manhua. See Exod. xvi. 15, 31, 35. Numb. xi. 6, 7, 9. Deut. viii. 3, 16. Joshua v. 12. Nehem. ix. 20. Psalm. Ixxviii. 24, &c. (i) An Omer is the tenth Part of an Ephah, probably about three Pints and a half of our Measure, (k) Exod. xvi. 16.
gathered little had no lack; which Words may be thought to hint, that God was pleased miraculously so to order it, that when they came to measure, the Store of him that had gathered too much was diminished to the exact Number of Omers which he was to have, and the defective Quantity of him, that had not gathered his due Quantity, was miraculously increased to the just Measure of what He was to have gathered; so that he that had gathered much had nothing over, and be that had gathered little bad no lack, the divine Providence causing the Quantity which every one had gathered, to answer exactly to the appointed Measure. Jofephus, I think, took this to be the Fact (kk); But 1. to what Purpose could it be for God to command the People to gather an Omer for each Person, if He designed miraculously so to order it, that let them gather what they would, they should find their Gatherings amount to an exact Omer, neither more nor less ? 2. The Words of Moses, if rightly translated, express the Fact to have been very different from this Representation of it. The Word, which we translate had nothing over, should be rendered (1) He made to have nothing over, and in like manner the Word translated bad no Lack, should be rendered He caused to have no Lack, and Mofes was the Person who thus ordered it, and the 17, 18
(kk) Joseph. Antiq. lib. 3. c. 1, $ 6. (9) This is the true Sense of the Hebrew Verbs in the Conjugation they are here used in. 979 in the Conjugation Kal signifies to abound or to have over, but 91797 in Hiphil is to cause to abound: Thus 2017 in Kal lignifies, to fall short or to want, but n'ont in Hiphil is to diminish, or to cause to want. See Isaiah xxxii. 6.
to want to want, be abound : Tout to have over. 976 and 19 Verses should be word for word thus translated.
Ver, 17. And the Children of Israel did so, and gathered some more, fome less.
Ver. 18. And they measured with an Omer, and Mofes (m) caused him that had more, not to abound, and him that had lefs, not to fall mort, [for they gathered, each one according to (n) bis eating
Ver. 19. And said, Let no man leave of it till the morning.'
So that the Fact here was, that Moses directed them to give to one another, they that had more than their measure, to make up what was wanting to them that had less, that all might have their full Quantity, and no more. 3. St. Paul very plainly intimates this to have been the Fact, by alluding to what the Israelites here did with their Manna, in order to induce the Corinthians to contribute a Relief to the poorer Christians, such as the Corinthians could at that Time well spare out of their Abundance. I mean not (says he), that other Men be eased and you burthened, but by an Equality, that now at ibis. Time your Abundance may be a Supply for their Want, that their Abundance also may be a Supply for your
Hebrew Tento a CommentsThey
(m) In the Hebrew Text, Moses the Nominative Cafe to three Verbs, is put after the Last, a Construction very common in the an. cient Languages. (n) The Words, They gathered each one according to his eating, are a Remark by way of Parenthesis, to give a Reason for what Moses direkted. He caused them that had over much, to give to them that had less than they were to have, because they gathered, as we say, from Hand to Mouth, and it would have been of no Service to have laid up what they had to Spare.
Want, that there may be an Equality, as it is A written, He that had gathered much, had nothing
over, and He that had gathered little, had no my Lack (6).
* Another order given the Israelites about the Er Manna was, that they were every Day to eat of what they had gathered, and to leave none all
Night for the next Day's Provision (p). Some es of the People were not strictly careful in this
Point, but left some of their Manna until the en el Morning, and it bred Worms and stank (9). mut Every sixth Day, they were to gather twice as al much as on any other Days, because the se744 venth Day was the Sabbath, and on that Day
they were to gather no Manna, nor do any
fort of Work (r), and accordingly on the se= venth Day there fell no Manna ; for there
went out some of the People to gather but CH" they found none (s); and what remained of
the double Quantity which the People gachertari ed on the sixth Day, and reserved for the re
venth, did not stink, neither was there any
Worm therein, tho’ if any part of any other * Day's Gathering was not eaten on the Day it
was gathered in, it would not keep nor be fic to be eaten on the Day following (t): Thus miraculously did God feed the People in the Wilderness for about forty Years; for they had this supply of Manna, until they came unto the Borders of the Land of Canaan (u).
-1.6) 2 Corinth. viii. 13, 14, 15. (p) Exodus xvi. 19. I (9) Ver. 20. (r) Ver. 23. (s) Ver. 27, 24. (u) Exodus xvi. 35. Joshua v. 12.