The name given by the Israelites to the food miraculously supplied to them during their wanderings in the wilderness.1 Manna is described as a "small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground" and "like coriander seed," "of the color of bdellium," and in taste "like wafers made with honey." It was capable of being baked and boiled, ground in mills, or beaten in a mortar.2

If any was kept over till the following morning, it became corrupt with worms; but as on the Sabbath none fell, on the preceding day a double portion was given, and that could be kept over to supply the wants of the Sabbath without becoming corrupt. Directions concerning the gathering of it are fully given.3

It fell for the first time after the eighth encampment in the desert of Sin, and was daily furnished, except on the Sabbath, for all the years of the wanderings, till they encamped at Gilgal, after crossing the Jordan, when it suddenly ceased, and where they "did eat of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more."4 They now no longer needed the "bread of the wilderness."

Jesus refers to the manna when he calls himself the "true bread from heaven."5 He is also the "hidden manna."6

In tbe Biblical account the name is commonly taken as derived from man hu, seemingly to mean, "What is it?"



  1. Ex. 16:15-35.
  2. Ex. 16:23; Num. 11:7.
  3. Ex. 16:16-18, 33; Deut. 8:3, 16.
  4. Josh. 5:12.
  5. John 6:31-35; 48-51.
  6. Rev. 2:17; comp. John 6:49, 51.


  • Easton, M.G. (1897). Easton's Bible Dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers.

This article incorporates text from Easton’s Bible Dictionary (1897) by M.G. Easton, which is in the public domain.