I have often heard the phrase “manna from heaven” uttered by my friend Mary when she is consuming a food that she finds to be particularly delicious. I vaguely remembered that it is a biblical reference, something to do with the exodus from Egypt. I did not however, fully understand the meaning of manna until last Thursday’s class when the idea of the “Manna Machine” was put forth in the history channel video.
In the Bible the book of Exodus says that during the Israelite’s forty-year trek through the dessert God supplied them with a food source known as manna. Everyday that is except Saturday. Saturday is the Sabbath or holy day of rest. The bible never exactly says what this substance is but does describe it as “white, seed or flake like with the taste of honey.” There are several different descriptions depending on what branch of religion you subscribe too. Present day believers suggest that manna may have been the sap of a tree or lichen (fungus like substance) found in the deserts of the Middle East.
Those who believe that Earth was visited by aliens in the past suggest that manna might actually have been a substance made of algae provided to the Israelites by these omnipotent aliens. The proponents of this theory used (misused?) Hebrew texts to plan, construct and actually produce a manna machine. They even suggest that the nuclear power device used to run the manna machine was carried around in the Ark of the Covenant. Could that be what melted the Nazis in first Indiana Jones movie? They even go on to say that the Saturday Sabbath is actually the day the machine had to be cleaned.
While I’m not a proponent of the theory that Ancient Aliens kick started human kind’s culture and technology…if you think about it…is it really that much more far fetched than surviving for forty years in the desert with only food that falls from heaven? Even though the Biblical descriptions don’t quite fit the substance the Manna Machine produces the machine does work. And the “manna” is nutritious enough to sustain life. All the biblical scholars can come up with are guesses that don’t quite fit the bill.
Of course both theories are built on the fact that you place credibility in the biblical story of Exodus or for that matter on the Bible itself. That is another debate for another time.
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