The manna in the wilderness (Jn 6:31-6:31)

“Our ancestors

Ate the manna

In the wilderness.

As it is written.

‘He gave them

Bread

From heaven

To eat.’”

οἱ πατέρες ἡμῶν τὸ μάννα ἔφαγον ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ, καθώς ἐστιν γεγραμμένον Ἄρτον ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς φαγεῖν.

John uniquely indicated that these people from the crowd said that their ancestors or fathers (οἱ πατέρες ἡμῶν) ate the manna (τὸ μάννα ἔφαγον) in the wilderness (ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ).  They cited a passage from Exodus, chapter 16:4, where it was written (καθώς ἐστιν γεγραμμένον) that God gave them (ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς) bread from heaven (Ἄρτον ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ) to eat (φαγεῖν).  They emphasized that at the time of Moses, God provided food from heaven, the daily manna.  Yahweh told Moses that he was going to rain bread from heaven each day.  This was a test to see if they could follow instructions, because Moses warned them that their complaining against him was in fact actual complaints against Yahweh.  They went out to gather the bread, as much as they needed.  Whether they gathered a lot or a little, there was no shortage or overage. They were not to leave any of it until morning.  But they did not listen to Moses.  Moses was angry with them.  Every morning they gathered as much as they needed, but when the sun grew hot, it melted.  Thus, this was truly their daily bread.  The exodus story of Moses played a predominate role in first century Jewish life.  Are you familiar with the story of Moses in the wilderness with the Israelites?

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