Friday, January 22, 2016

Exodus 16:21 by Shelley Houser

This is a guest post by my friend Shelley Houser of, in which she discusses how long it took to bake Manna breads and Shewbread. This is an abridged version, so go to her web site for more details or email her at


[Aleksandr Sigalov]: Exodus 16 states:
YLT Ex 16:13 And it cometh to pass in the evening, that the quail cometh up, and covereth the camp, and in the morning there hath been the lying of dew round about the camp, 
YLT Ex 16:14 and the lying of the dew goeth up, and lo, on the face of the wilderness a thin, bare thing, thin as hoar-frost on the earth.
YLT Ex 16:21 And they gather it morning by morning, each according to his eating; when the sun hath been warm, then it hath melted.
As you can see from the verses, Manna would appear early in the morning (right before sunrise - twilight) so wandering Hebrews did not have too much time to gather it. Expression "warm sun" is probably a few hours after sunrise. 

According to this web site, this year's(2016) summer solstice in Israel would have twilight @ 4:08am and sunrise @ 4:36am. Winter Solstice in Israel shows twilight @ 6:11 and sunrise @ 6:38am. This means that they had only an hour or so to gather Man.

Here is what Shelley writes about the recipes she presented in previous posts:
For the unleavened manna, it took about 3 minutes to grind the wheat (in my electric grinder), then about 5 minutes to mix up the dough. It took approximately 2 minutes to knead it into a ball, and another 1-2 minutes to roll it out and transfer to a baking sheet. If they baked the thin wafers in an already hot oven, that took the shortest amount of time: approximately 3-4 minutes. Total time: 15-20 minutes 
For the leavened manna, it took about 3 minutes to grind the wheat, then about 10 minutes to mix up the dough (the yeast has to wake up for a few minutes). Then, approximately 10 minutes to knead it (more kneading is required to hold the carbon dioxide, and raise the bread than is necessary for the unleavened dough). I let it rest 10 minutes as the first rising. Then, it took about 8 minutes to roll and fold the dough into the final shape for baking. It took approximately 1 hour for the dough to rise sufficiently. Then, for the rolls, it took about 12 minutes in the oven to bake. For a solid loaf, it took about 30-45 minutes. Total time: 113 minutes (or 1 hour and 53 minutes---just round up to 2 hours) for rolls, and 131 minutes (or 2 hours and 11 minutes) for a solid loaf. So, approximately 2 hour time for leavened manna.
For comparison, the showbread took about the same amount of time to mix up as the unleavened manna, but it took about 1.5 hours to bake in the oven, because it is so much more dense than the leavened bread.  Total time:  approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.
[Aleksandr Sigalov]: As you can see, to make leavened manna bread, it would take an hour of gathering Man and 2 hours to bake it. Three hours total. This means that at the earliest, they could have food at 7am in the summer and 9am in the winter. As you can see, they pretty much did not have breakfast, since they could not keep the food/Man from previous day (except Shabbats of'course).

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