"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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God Provides Manna
Exodus 16:1-18 Commentary
by Juliana Claassens
The story of the manna from heaven in Exodus 16 indeed can be described as the quintessential image of the God who provides.
A recurring theme throughout the biblical traditions, this compelling metaphor for God extends into the New Testament when God’s gracious provision of food is embodied in Jesus’ act of feeding the hungry crowd who had come to listen to Jesus.1
In Exodus 16, one encounters the Israelites who in narrative time had just been liberated from the forced labor they had experienced under the Egyptian Empire that caused great physical and emotional harm to the former slaves. But instead of celebrating their newly found freedom, the Israelites are faced with the reality of having no food. And being refugees in the wilderness, they are without the means to cultivate the food necessary to survive.
In response to their complaints, God let manna rain down from heaven. The people’s reaction to this flaky white substance that covered the ground like dew is: “man-hu?” meaning “what is it?” -- the Hebrew reference informing the name of this bread that God gives ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL285: God Provides Manna
October 08, 2017
This is the podcast for Exodus 16:1-18, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Oct. 8, 2017, featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Craig Koester. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.