Items tagged with: OldTestament
On the search for heavenly bread raining from the sky
Many have mined biblical verses for clues about the Old Testament substance. Adding to the puzzle are the other descriptions of the food in the Bible: on hot days, manna melted in the sun. If not gathered quickly enough, it rotted and bred worms. In Exodus, it’s referred to as “like coriander seed, white,” with a taste “like wafers made with honey.” Numbers, on the other hand, likens the flavor to “fresh oil” and describes how the Israelites “ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it.”
To look for historical as well as scientific foundation in such fantastic encounters must be an arduous endeavour.
ccording to the Jewish mystical treatise known as the Zohar, the consumption of manna imparted sacred knowledge of the divine. Another Jewish text, The Book of Wisdom, even claims that the flavor of manna magically changed according to the tastes of the person who ate it.
The lichen theory, the Moldenkes argue, would explain both how the Israelites prepared their manna and why they might have spoken of it as having fallen from heaven. A multi-decade diet exclusively of algae or lichen would certainly explain why the Israelites complain bitterly that the lack of normal food had left them feeling like their very souls had dried away. Cambridge historian R.A. Donkin also notes that L. esculenta was used in the Arab world as a medicine, an additive to honey wine, and a fermentation agent.
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