“Moshe said to Aharon, “Take a jar, put in it two quarts of manna, and set it aside before Adonai to be kept through all your generations.”Just as Adonai ordered Moses, Aharon set it aside before the testimony to be kept. The people of Israel ate manna for forty years, until they came to an inhabited land. They ate manna until they arrived at the borders of the land of Canaan.”-Exodus 16:33-35
There is an important point that serious students of Torah need to know.
Moses did NOT personally write all five books of the Torah.
Verses 34 says that a jar of Manna is to be placed before the “testimony”.
“Testimony” is just another word for the “Law” or the “Torah”.
So the question that arises is how in the heck can these verses be speaking of stone tablets and an ark that HASN’T EVEN BEEN CREATED YET?
Or how about verse 35, that retrospectively looks back and says that the Israelites ate manna all 40 years in the Wilderness until they came to settle in the Land of Canaan?
The truth, and the Rabbis have always recognized this, is that many parts of the Torah were written long after Moses was dead and gone.
It’s important to realize that the Torah is not in perfect chronological order.
Moses wasn’t composing a diary or daily journal.
It’s not like before crashing for the night, he would pull out his pen and scroll and write down what transpired that day.
“Hmm, today the people grumbled and moaned about not having the luxuries they had while back in Egypt”.
“Today God drowned the Egyptian army in the Red Sea”.
Most of the events and instructions we come across in the Torah were compiled and written AFTER THE FACT, so that it would be easy to understand by future generations.
And speaking of future generations, we are told in verse 32 that God commanded a jar of manna be set aside as visible proof of the miracle of God’s provision for all descendants of Israel.
When the Ark of the Covenant finally resurfaces, you can bet the jar of Manna will be there as well, perfectly preserved.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness;
as it is written,
‘HE GAVE THEM BREAD OUT OF HEAVEN TO EAT.'”
“Behind the second parokhet was a tent called the Holiest Place,
which had the golden altar for burning incense
and the Ark of the Covenant,
entirely covered with gold.
In the Ark were the gold jar containing the manna,
Aharon’s rod that sprouted
and the stone Tablets of the Covenant.”
NEXT TIME WE BEGIN EXODUS CHAPTER SEVENTEEN