(man' naw) Grainlike substance, considered to be food from heaven, which sustained the Israelites in the wilderness and foreshadowed Christ, the true Bread from heaven.
Old Testament. The small round grains or flakes, which appeared around the Israelites' camp each morning with the dew, were ground and baked into cakes or boiled (Exodus 16:13-36). Their name may have come from the question the Israelites asked when they first saw them: “What is it (man hu)?” Today a type of manna has been identified with the secretions left on tamarisk bushes by insects feeding on the sap. The Bible emphasizes that God caused manna to appear at the right time and place to meet His people's needs.
New Testament Jesus assured the Jews that He, and not the wilderness food, was the true Bread from heaven which conferred eternal life on those who partook of it (John 6:30-58).
Barbara J. Bruce