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Exodus 16:31-36

31. And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander-seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

31. Appellavit autem domus Israel nomen illius man: et erat quasi semen coriandri album, et gustus ejus quasi placenta mellita.

32. And Moses said, This is the thing which the Lord commandeth, Fill an omer of it, to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt.

32. Et dixit Moses, Hoc est verbum quod mandavit Jehova, Imple homer ex eo quod servetur in aetates vestras, ut videant panem quo cibavi vos in deserto, quando eduxi vos e terra AEgypti.

33. And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the Lord, to be kept for your generations.

33. Et ait Moses ad Aharon, Tolle urnam unam, et pone in ea homer integrum man, et repone illud coram Jehova in custodiam in aetates vestras.

34. As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.

34. Sicut praeceperat Jehova Mosi, reposuit illud Aharon coram testimenio in custodiam.

35. And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited: they did eat manna until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.

35. Et comederunt filii Israel man quadraginta annis, donec venissent in terram habitandam: man ipsum comederunt, donec venissent ad terminum terrae Chanaan.

36. Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.

36. Porro homer est decima pars epha.

31. And the house of Israel called. It is not without reason that Moses repeats what he had said before, that the name of Manna was given to the new kind of food which God had supplied, in order that they might be brought under condemnation for their stubborn impiety, who shall dare to raise a question on so manifest a point, since the conspicuous nature of the thing had extorted this name from people otherwise malicious and ungrateful. Its form is mentioned to prove the certainty of the miracle, viz., that its grains were round and like coriander-seed, because nothing like it had been seen before. Its taste reproves the people’s ingratitude in rejecting a food which was not only appropriate and wholesome, but also very sweet in savor.

32. And Moses said. Moses does not proceed with the history in order, but by interposing these circumstances by anticipation, he the more confirms the fact that this food was then created for the people by God’s special bounty, because He desired an omer of it to be preserved as a memorial, which, undergoing no putrefaction, handed down to posterity the gloriousness of the miracle. And first, he propounds generally God’s command, and then, in the next verse, describes the manner in which it was done, viz., that Aaron put it in a bottle or pot, and laid it up by the Ark of the Covenant. Whence, too, it appears how high importance God would have attached to this His bounty, since he wished its memorial to exist in the sanctuary together with the tables of His covenant. The two expressions, conveying the same meaning, “before the Lord,” and “before the Testimony,” are used in commendation of the worship of the Law, that the people might know God’s power to be near them in the sanctuary, not as if he were shut up in that place, or wished their minds to be fixed upon the visible sign, but, desiring to provide against their weakness, He in a manner descends to them, when he testified to the presence of His power by external images. He descends to them, therefore, not185185     “Non pas pour plonger leurs pensees en terre, qui eust ete une lourde superstition:” not to plunge their thoughts in earth, which would have been a gross superstition. — Fr. to occupy their minds with a gross superstition, but to raise them up by degrees to spiritual worship.


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