Was manna the food of angels?

Manna was first mentioned in the Bible, in Exodus 16, when the children of Israel murmured because of lack of food


Exodus 16:2-3 (NKJV)

2 Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3 And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”


God’s response was to provide the manna:


4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. 5 And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.”


“Heaven” here refers to the literal sky or atmosphere in context. That is, the bread will fall from the air to the earth. And this happened as God had said. The manna fell:


14 And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.


“Manna” literally means “what is it?” (The question they asked in vs. 15). So, they named it after their expression. Some Bible scholars have argued this manna to be very sweet dew-like juice, which in Arabia and other oriental countries exudes from the leaves. It hardens into little white pellucid grains, and is collected before sunrise by the inhabitants of those countries and used as an article of food very sweet like honey.


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


This seems very likely from the description in vs. 31


So, it was NORMAL EARTHLY FOOD. What was supernatural about it (in this instance) was that it fell from the sky to where they were. But it was from trees!


As for angels, they are spirits. See how they are described:


Hebrews 1:7 (NKJV)

7 And of the angels He says:

“Who makes His angels spirits

And His ministers a flame of fire.”


Spirits, flame of fire. They are supernatural entities:


Judges 13:16 (NKJV)

16 And the Angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “Though you detain Me, I will not eat your food. But if you offer a burnt offering, you must offer it to the Lord.” (For Manoah did not know He was the Angel of the Lord.)


They do not eat! They did occasionally take on the form of men, not to eat, but to relay a divine message (as in Genesis 18, see also Hebrews 13:2). And this was mostly just an illusion to conceal their true identity to the human eye, nothing more. They are spirit beings, not humans.


The issue now is with Psalm 78:24:


Psalm 78:24 (NKJV)

24 Had rained down manna on them to eat, and given them of the bread of heaven.

25 Men ate angels’ food; He sent them food to the full.


Particularly verse 25 “Men ate angels’ food.” On first glance, this seems to imply that the manna is what angels eat. But going to the original Hebrew language helps clear out all misconceptions. The Hebrew has “lechem abirim” (the bread of angels). “Lechem” means “food.” “Abirim” simply means “mighty, valiant.” It was used for nobles, royalty. The same word “abirim” was used earlier in Psalm 68:31


Psalm 68:31 (NKJV)

31 ENVOYS will come out of Egypt;

Ethiopia will quickly stretch out her hands to God.


“Envoys” here refers to nobles, princes. So, we can read Psalm 78:25 this way:


Men ate food fit for a king (nobles, princes). Simply put: He sent them food to the full! Describing the quality of the food God provided for them. It was so good that it was fit for kings. This was obviously supernatural.


In the New Testament, Jesus sheds better light on this manna


John 6:47-51 (NKJV)

47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”


The manna in the wilderness could NEVER give eternal life. It prefigured the Christ. He is that TRUE BREAD (“food”), the living bread, that gives us life. So, the “manna” spoke of Jesus (as a type and a shadow), the Bread from Heaven who men would eat (believe in) and never die again!


© Josh Banks Ministries. 2021.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *