ISRAEL'S FOOD IN THE WILDERNESS
Some have the idea that all Israel had to eat for their
wandering in the wilderness for 40 years under Moses, was "manna"
- bread type substance, and water (from rocks) - both a miracle
from God, but just the bare bread and water type jail sentence,
for being so faithless and rebellious.
That idea is just not true at all!
I've just re-watched "The Ten Commandments" with old one
from the 1950s with Charlton Heston as Moses. The scene where
Israel was leaving Egypt was RIGHT ON as far as the various
things they left with. Take note next time you watch that movie.
Besides all the gold, silver, jewels, cloth, and many other fancy
things, you will notice they left with HERDS and FLOCK, BIRDS,
much LIVESTOCK! And so it is written: "And Pharaoh rose up in the
night ... And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said,
"Rise up, and get you forth from among my people ... ALSO take
your FLOCKS and your HERDS..." (Exodus 11:30-32).
There it is, but many read right over it, because we have
become so used to hearing how God fed Israel with manna for 40
years. But the manna was the flour cereal for bread and cakes, the
"grain" part of their diet we could say (Exodus 16).
Yes God did provide them with water, sometimes like a
miracle, as many see in Exodus 17.
Israel was to build a "tabernacle" or "sanctuary" (Exodus
25:8). It was not just to have as an ornament, tagging along with
them, just kinda doing nothing except a dwelling place for God.
We read about the tabernacle from Exodus 25 through to 27. Then
the Priesthood is established as we begin to read chapter 28.
Look at verses 4-6. We see no shortage of robes, braided
coats, girdles, gold, blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen. Not only
did they have to have the materials for all this, but the craft-
persons to make it as God instructed.
Now under chapter 29 and the consecration of the priests,
read the first verses. Ah, a young BULLOCK, two RAMS, were to be
taken. UNLEAVENED BREAD, CAKES, with OIL, FROM WHEATEN FLOUR! So
they still had flour with them at this point in time. Notice
verse 38-41, two LAMBS were to be offered EVERY DAY!
Notice Exodus 35:20-29. Israel was not short of not only
jewelry (which yes they got from the Egyptians when leaving
Egypt), but they also had blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen,
goat's hair, red skins of rams, and badger skins. They had spice
and oil. Not destitute in material things for sure.
Now you can read Leviticus, the first five or so chapters.
All that was needed for the various sacrifices, yes in the
wilderness, offerings from the CATTLE, of the HERD, and of the
FLOCK! This was all done under Aaron, who is mentioned in verse 5
of chapter one.
The "consecration" of Aaron and his sons is in chapter 8,
and note verses, 9,18,21,28, just for a few.
Purification after childbirth is in chapter 12 of Leviticus.
If a LAMB was not able to be brought, then two young PIGEONS
could be brought. Israel had to have BIRDS among them during the
40 years in the wilderness.
You can read about the all the offerings for daily, Sabbath,
and Festival in Numbers 28 through 28. Note these verses in
chapter 28; verses 3-4, 11-15, 19, 27. In chapter 29; verses 2,
8, 13, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 36.
STOP AND THINK!
For all those herds, cattle, flocks, you need FOOD! Yes,
animals have to eat also to live. Did God work fantastic miracles
to feed all those animals the Israelites had? Of course He could
have done. But we are not told if He did! A more likely method
for providing all that the Israelites needed in a balanced diet
for themselves to stay healthy, and for all their flocks, is what
we find in one verse, hidden away (not really) ... well missed by
most people reading the books of Moses (if there are any
Christians reading the books of Moses any more) is found in
"You shall BUY meat (food) of them for money, that you may eat;
and you shall buy WATER of them for money, that you may drink."
Here Israel was to go through the land given to Esau, mount
Seir, as we see from the previous verses.
There it is! Israel was able to buy foods and water from
various people along their 40 year journey in the wilderness.
So what about Israel complaining about not have meat to eat,
and we have the famous "quail" story of Exodus 16. Pretty simple
to answer. They obvious wanted flesh meat at every meal, once a
week just was not pleasing to them, they wanted it all the time,
they lusted after it, they were way overboard in what they wanted
to consume as far as flesh meat was concerned.
Other things? Yes, they did want some of the pleasant foods
of Egypt, we see that in Numbers 11:5, "We remember the fish ...
the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and the garlic." Then we
have the verse that has led many to believe they only had "manna"
to eat for 40 years, "But now our soul is dried away: there is
nothing at all, besides this manna, before our eyes" (verse 6).
We need to remember when studying the Bible what saying or
words are coming from whom. If Satan would say, "There is no sin,
I'm not responsible for sin." Would that make it so? No, not at
all. So the record of the people of Israel saying there was
nothing but manna to eat, did not make it so!
Yes, Israel may not have enjoyed the "foods and fruits from
afar" as they had done in Egypt, but they had more than just
manna and water.
We have seen Israel did have other foods to eat and did have
meat flesh from their herds and flocks and cattle.
The truth of the matter is that Israel did COME INTO CONTACT
WITH other peoples during their 40 years wandering, and they had
opportunity to buy from them different foods and grain, for
themselves and their cattle. They were not a bunch of dusty
desert wanderers living only on bread and water.
Keith Hunt (Written on the first holy day of the Feast of
Unleavened Bread, April 2009)