Man did eat angels‘ food - Food that came from heaven; food so directly and manifestly from heaven that it might be supposed to be the same kind that was eaten there, and that had now been sent down by a special miracle for man; food so delicate and so free from the ordinary coarse properties of food, that it might be supposed to be such as angels feed on. The word rendered “angels” - אביר 'abbı̂yr - means properly “strong, mighty,” and may be applied to people in general, Judges 5:22; Lamentations 1:15; Jeremiah 46:15; to animals, Psalm 22:13 (“bulls of Bashan”); to princes, Psalm 68:31; or to nobles, Job 24:22. It might be rendered here food of nobles, or princes; that is, food of richer quality, or of a more delicate nature, than common food; such as nobles or princes have on their tables. The immediate connection, however, would rather seem to demand the rendering in our version, as the food is said to have come down from heaven. It is rendered food of angels in the Septuagint, in the Latin Vulgate, in the ancient versions generally, and also by Luther. DeWette renders it, “Each one ate the food of princes;” that is, they all lived like princes.
He sent them meat to the full - Food to satisfy; or, as much as they wanted.
Man did eat angels' food - איש אכל אבירים לחם lechem abbirim achal ish, "Man did eat the bread of the mighty ones;" or, each person ate, etc. They ate such bread as could only be expected at the tables of the rich and great, the best, the most delicate food. How little did this gross people know of the sublime excellence of that which they called light bread, and which they said their soul loathed; Numbers 21:5;! It was a type of Jesus Christ for so says St. Paul: "They all ate the same spiritual meat, and drank the same spiritual drink," etc., 1 Corinthians 10:3, 1 Corinthians 10:4. And our Lord calls himself "the bread that came down from heaven, that giveth life unto the world," John 6:31-35; : but a Jew sees nothing but with the eyes of flesh. It is true their doctors or rabbins are full of allegories, mysteries, and conceits; but they are, in general, such as would disgrace the Cabinet des Fees, and would not be tolerated in the nursery. O, how thick a veil hangs over their gross and hardened hearts.
He who taught Adam and Eve in Eden how to tend the garden, desires to instruct men today. There is wisdom for him who drives the plow and sows the seed. Before those who trust and obey Him, God will open ways of advance. Let them move forward courageously, trusting in Him to supply their needs according to the riches of His goodness. MH 200.1
He who fed the multitude with five loaves and two small fishes is able today to give us the fruit of our labor. He who said to the fishers of Galilee, “Let down your nets for a draft,” and who, as they obeyed, filled their nets till they broke, desires His people to see in this an evidence of what He will do for them today. The God who in the wilderness gave the children of Israel manna from heaven still lives and reigns. He will guide His people and give skill and understanding in the work they are called to do. He will give wisdom to those who strive to do their duty conscientiously and intelligently. He who owns the world is rich in resources, and will bless everyone who is seeking to bless others. MH 200.2
We need to look heavenward in faith. We are not to be discouraged because of apparent failure, nor should we be disheartened by delay. We should work cheerfully, hopefully, gratefully, believing that the earth holds in her bosom rich treasures for the faithful worker to garner, stores richer than gold or silver. The mountains and hills are changing; the earth is waxing old like a garment; but the blessing of God, which spreads for His people a table in the wilderness, will never cease. MH 200.3Read in context »
The curse did not come all at once. It was first felt at Adam's fall, and increased at the murder of Abel, and greatly increased at the flood. Since the flood, as the human family have forgotten God, and have followed in a course of disobedience, and have transgressed his commandments, the curse has rested heavier and heavier upon men and upon the beasts. The trees and all vegetation also have felt the effects of the curse. All through the inspired history are exalted blessings promised upon the people of God on conditions of obedience, and curses threatened for disobedience. 4aSG 122.1
“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth. The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. The Lord shall establish thee a holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways. And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee. And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers to give thee. The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give thee rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand. And thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.” 4aSG 122.2Read in context »
The murmurings of the children of Israel were unreasonable, and the unreasonable always go to extremes. They uttered falsehoods in saying that they had no bread nor water. They had both given them by a miracle of God's mercy. To punish them for their ingratitude, and complaining against God, the Lord permitted fiery serpents to bite them. They were called fiery, because their bite produced painful inflammation, and speedy death. The Israelites, up to this time, had been preserved from these serpents in the wilderness, by a continual miracle; for the wilderness through which they traveled was infested with poisonous serpents. 4aSG 41.1
Moses told the people, that God had hitherto preserved them, that they had not been harmed by the serpents, which was a token of his care for them. He told them it was because of their needless murmurings, complaining of the hardships in their journey, that God had permitted them to be bitten of serpents. This was to show them that God had preserved them from many and great evils, which if he had permitted to come upon them, they would have suffered that which they could call hardships. But God had prepared the way before them. There was no sickness among them. Their feet had not swollen in all their journeys, neither had their clothes waxed old. God had given them angels’ food, and purest water out of the flinty rock. And with all these tokens of his love, if they complained, he would send his judgments upon them for their ingratitude, and make them to realize his past merciful care for them, of which they had been unmindful. 4aSG 41.2Read in context »
God manifested his great care and love for his people in sending them bread from Heaven. “Man did eat angels’ food.” That is, food provided for them by the angels. In the three-fold miracle of the manna, a double quantity on the sixth day, and none upon the seventh, and its keeping fresh through the Sabbath, while upon other days it would become unfit for use, was designed to impress them with the sacredness of the Sabbath. After they were abundantly supplied with food, they were ashamed of their unbelief and murmurings, and promised to trust the Lord for the future. But they soon forgot their promise, and failed at the first trial of their faith. They journeyed from the wilderness of Sin and pitched in Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink. “Wherefore, the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? Wherefore do ye tempt the Lord? And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, What shall I do unto this people? They be almost ready to stone me. And the Lord said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel, and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb, and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?” 3SG 255.1
God directed the children of Israel to encamp in that place, where there was no water, to prove them, to see if they would look to him in their distress, or murmur, as they had previously done. In view of what God had done for them in their wonderful deliverance, they should have believed in him in their distress. They should have known that he would not permit them to perish with thirst, whom he had promised to take unto himself as his people. But instead of entreating the Lord in humility to provide for their necessity, they murmured against Moses, and demanded of him, water. God had been continually manifesting his power in a wonderful manner before them to make them understand that all the benefits which they should receive, came from him; that he could give them, or remove them, according to his own will. At times they had a full sense of this, and humbled themselves greatly before the Lord. But when thirsty, or when hungry, they charged it all upon Moses, as though they had left Egypt to please him. Moses was grieved with their cruel murmurings. He inquired of the Lord what he should do, for the people were ready to stone him. The Lord bade him go smite the rock with the rod of God. The cloud of his glory rested directly before the rock. “He clave the rock in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths. He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.” Moses smote the rock, but it was Christ who stood by him, and caused the water to flow from the flinty rock. The people tempted the Lord in their thirst, and said, If God has brought us out here, why does he not give us water as well as bread. That if showed criminal unbelief, and made Moses afraid that God would punish them for their wicked murmurings. The Lord tested the faith of his people, but they did not endure the trial. They murmured for food, and for water, and complained of Moses. Because of their unbelief, God suffered their enemies to make war with them, that he might manifest to his people from whence cometh their strength. 3SG 256.1
“Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur, went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur staid up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.” 3SG 257.1Read in context »
“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.” For forty years they were daily reminded by this miraculous provision, of God's unfailing care and tender love. In the words of the psalmist, God gave them “of the corn of heaven. Man did eat angels’ food” (Psalm 78:24, 25)—that is, food provided for them by the angels. Sustained by “the corn of heaven,” they were daily taught that, having God's promise, they were as secure from want as if surrounded by fields of waving grain on the fertile plains of Canaan. PP 297.1
The manna, falling from heaven for the sustenance of Israel, was a type of Him who came from God to give life to the world. Said Jesus, “I am that Bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven.... If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:48-51. And among the promises of blessing to God's people in the future life it is written, “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna.” Revelation 2:17. PP 297.2
After leaving the wilderness of Sin, the Israelites encamped in Rephidim. Here there was no water, and again they distrusted the providence of God. In their blindness and presumption the people came to Moses with the demand, “Give us water that we may drink.” But his patience failed not. “Why chide ye with me?” he said; “wherefore do ye tempt the Lord?” They cried in anger, “Wherefore is this, that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?” When they had been so abundantly supplied with food, they remembered with shame their unbelief and murmurings, and promised to trust the Lord in the future; but they soon forgot their promise, and failed at the first trial of their faith. The pillar of cloud that was leading them seemed to veil a fearful mystery. And Moses—who was he? they questioned, and what could be his object in bringing them from Egypt? Suspicion and distrust filled their hearts, and they boldly accused him of designing to kill them and their children by privations and hardships that he might enrich himself with their possessions. In the tumult of rage and indignation they were about to stone him. PP 297.3Read in context »