Manna question

Jan51

Well-Known Member
At ladies' Bible study the other day, one of the gals came up with a question.

When the Israelites ate manna for 40 years, there is one incident at the beginning where God gave them quail to eat--that is a one-time thing, right? There is no further mention of quail, only manna. So everyone is eating only manna. It stops when they enter the land, Joshua 5:12

BUT. The people offer sacrifices, animals from their flocks and herds. And part of that would go to Aaron and his sons. So the priests were eating meat all along?

So they have flocks and herds. You would think they would eat a few, now and then... Or maybe there was so much sacrificing going on that animal reproduction couldn't provide beyond that.
 

Batfan7

Well-Known Member
I guess I thought it was a one time thing, but that yes, they ate from flocks and herds too. While they "plundered" the Egyptians, I suspect there were poor among the people too, so some families had more animals and ate meat more frequently than those who had none. But what do I know?
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
Just some thoughts:

If a person eats 6-8 ounces of meat a day, they would require 12-15 pounds a month. Using a modern figure for dressed weight of roughly 740 pounds of usable meat from a steer (and modern cattle are much, healthier and heavier) that would conservatively translate to 1 beef animal feeding roughly 50 - 60 people a month. With as many as 2 million Israelites on the road out of Egypt, that means they would have had to slaughter roughly 30,000 cattle a month, if my math is correct. Since a sheep and goat only produces less than a tenth of the usable meat of a beef animal, if you are eating sheep or goats you would need over a quarter million a month!

Now add in the number of animals required for Levitical sacrifices, which numbered in the multiple thousands a year! You would be slaughtering tens of thousands of animals every month! And doing so for 40 years!

I don't know how "great" the flocks were that accompanied the Hebrews out of Egypt, but I doubt they were as big as to sustain as many as 2 million people until a fresh crop of lambs and calves could be born and reach maturity. And that's a year long process that would have had to have been repeated continually over a period of 40 years, on the move in a wilderness!

I also doubt whether the Israelites would have been able to plant and reap much in the way of grain crops either while in the wilderness, though they clearly did raise some because we read that they produced "cakes" (loaves) for the sacrifices.

They also needed cattle, sheep and goats for milk. So it seems to me that the manna was a very great and necessary gift.
 

Sojourner414

Well-Known Member
Just some thoughts:

If a person eats 6-8 ounces of meat a day, they would require 12-15 pounds a month. Using a modern figure for dressed weight of roughly 740 pounds of usable meat from a steer (and modern cattle are much, healthier and heavier) that would conservatively translate to 1 beef animal feeding roughly 50 - 60 people a month. With as many as 2 million Israelites on the road out of Egypt, that means they would have had to slaughter roughly 30,000 cattle a month, if my math is correct. Since a sheep and goat only produces less than a tenth of the usable meat of a beef animal, if you are eating sheep or goats you would need over a quarter million a month!

Now add in the number of animals required for Levitical sacrifices, which numbered in the multiple thousands a year! You would be slaughtering tens of thousands of animals every month! And doing so for 40 years!

I don't know how "great" the flocks were that accompanied the Hebrews out of Egypt, but I doubt they were as big as to sustain as many as 2 million people until a fresh crop of lambs and calves could be born and reach maturity. And that's a year long process that would have had to have been repeated continually over a period of 40 years, on the move in a wilderness!

I also doubt whether the Israelites would have been able to plant and reap much in the way of grain crops either while in the wilderness, though they clearly did raise some because we read that they produced "cakes" (loaves) for the sacrifices.

They also needed cattle, sheep and goats for milk. So it seems to me that the manna was a very great and necessary gift.
I heard that it also had a major role to play in the education of the angels in heaven...





...after all, they all attended WhattaMannaU.
 
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