Joshua 5:12: The Manna Ceases, Part 2

Verse 12:[1] And (Ex. 16:35) the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.

[And it failed[2]] The Vulgate follows the Septuagint, as it is wont to do. It is rather to be translated, it ceased (Masius, Vatablus), that is, it ceased to fall like rain (Masius).

[After they ate, מִֽמָּחֳרָ֗ת בְּאָכְלָם֙] Verbatim: from tomorrow, in the eating of them (Vatablus); on the next day, after which they ate (Jonathan); on the following day while they were eating (Vatablus, Pagnine), or, after they had begun to eat (Munster, similarly Tigurinus); after this day, when they had eated (Syriac); on that day, because they had eaten (Arabic); on this day, after they consumed (Septuagint). Question: On what day? Response 1: Some understand it of the same day as the preceding verse, whether it was the fifteenth, or the sixteenth. Concerning this I have no doubt (Masius, thus Tostatus in Serarius). But the Jews maintain that it was the day following the day mentioned above: For the Manna did not cease on the day that the sheaf was offered: For the people had need of it at that time also, since they had not yet harvested any crops. But in an exceedingly fruitful region the old grain was not able to be wanting, and perhaps they carried some with them from the plains of Moab (Masius). Response 2: Others say that the Manna ceased on the seventeenth day (Serarius, Bonfrerius, Vatablus and the Rabbis in Serarius). 1. For the Manna did not cease before they began to eat of the produce of the land: This was not before the ears were offered to God: These were not offered before the customary hour of the daily sacrifice, that is, a little before the peak of the day: But the Manna was falling at night, and was gathered in the morning:[3] Therefore, the Manna had still come down on the sixteenth day. 2. It does not say, as previously, the day following the Passover; but, the day following, namely, following that day of which it is said, the day following upon their eating[4] (Serarius). God withdraws the Manna, 1. Because now there was an abundance of other food (Serarius, Bonfrerius, Menochius, Masius): lest the heavenly gift should be held in contempt by ungrateful men, because even in their very necessity they did not esteem it with a sufficiently grateful soul (Masius). Extraordinary things cease, when there is a place for the ordinary things, say the Jurisconsults (Grotius). 2. So that all might understand that Manna did not fall by the natural climate of the air, like hail, etc., but from the mere generosity of God (Masius).

God now withheld the manna, 1. To show that it was not an ordinary production of nature, as by the long and constant enjoyment of it they might be prone to think; but an extraordinary and special gift of God to supply their necessity. 2. Because God would not be prodigal of his favours, nor expose them to contempt by giving them superfluously, or by working miracles where ordinary means were sufficient. On the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn, that is, on the seventeenth day.

[Of Canaan] Here it is named, because in verses 10 and 11 he speaks of the fruits carried from Gilead. Thus many interpreters (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: וַיִּשְׁבֹּ֙ת הַמָּ֜ן מִֽמָּחֳרָ֗ת בְּאָכְלָם֙ מֵעֲב֣וּר הָאָ֔רֶץ וְלֹא־הָ֥יָה ע֛וֹד לִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מָ֑ן וַיֹּאכְל֗וּ מִתְּבוּאַת֙ אֶ֣רֶץ כְּנַ֔עַן בַּשָּׁנָ֖ה הַהִֽיא׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיִּשְׁבֹּת. שָׁבַת signifies to cease.

[3] See Exodus 16.

[4] Joshua 5:12a:  “And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eatenמִֽמָּחֳרָ֗ת) בְּאָכְלָם֙) of the old corn of the land…”

Joshua 5:11: The Manna Ceases, Part 1

Verse 11:[1] And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day.

[They ate of the fruit of the land, מֵעֲב֥וּר הָאָ֛רֶץ] [They render it variously.] Of the grain of the past year, etc. (Munster, Vatablus, Drusius, Tigurinus, Dutch, Kimchi in Masius, Bonfrerius). עָבוּר properly signifies this, as תְּבוּאָה the produce of the coming year[2] (Drusius), while עָבַר signifies to pass over, or to pass by (Kimchi in Serarius). They were eating old crops, either, which the traders had sold to them (Drusius); or, which they had found in conquered regions (Bonfrerius). For it was not lawful for them to eat new fruits until they had offered the first-fruits to the Lord (Munster, Vatablus, Drusius). Now, others translate it, of the grain, produce, crops, or fruit, of the land. Thus the Septuagint, Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic, Pagnine. Thus Jonathan and the Targum on Isaiah 36 and 2 Kings 18[3] (where עבור is put in the place of דָּגָן/grain), and Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews 5:1, and other Rabbis, who heap this up against Radak [that is, Rabbi David Kimchi] (Serarius). I do not know whether the argument [of Kimchi] from etymology is firm enough (Drusius). Moreover, עָבַר sometimes signifies to impregnate, or to make pregnant: now, Cicero said that the land is impregnated with seed: and thence grain is able to be called עָבוּר (Serarius). Which signifies whatever crops, as much of the present year as of the past year (Lapide). From the verb it signifies the passage of the land, that is, present fruits for the circumstances (Malvenda).

The old corn; the corn of the last year, which the inhabitants of those parts had left in their barns, being doubtless fled for fear of the Israelites into their strong cities, or other remoter and safer parts.

[On the second day] Hebrew: from tomorrow, or on the following day, of the Passover[4] (Montanus, Junius and Tremellius). Question: What then was this? Response 1: The fifteenth day (Tostatus and Montanus and the Rabbis in Serarius, Kimchi in Masius). But, since it was a sin to eat the new ears before the day of the consecrated sheaf, Leviticus 23:14, those that hold this opinion are obliged either to take the Sabbath of the preceding law of that night on which the lamb was eaten, and which was preceding the light of the fifteenth day, and to ascribe it to the preceding day; or to take עָבוּר for the grain of the preceding year only; and so, although the sheaf has not yet been offered on this fifteenth day, it was lawful to eat of the old fruit with the parched (Masius). Response 2: to others this is the sixteenth day (Lapide, Bonfrerius, Munster, Vatablus, Lyra and Calvin and the Rabbis in Serarius): for it is the night of the following day (Vatablus). They offer as proof: 1. The fifteenth day was the very day of the feast of Passover, as it is evident from Leviticus 23:6. For, although the evening of the fourteenth day according to the civil computation of days belongs to the fourteenth day, yet according to the sacred reckoning of feast days (which were celebrated from evening to evening) this evening had regard unto the fifteenth day. 2. Before the first-fruits were to be offered on the sixteenth day, according to Leviticus 23:14, it is not likely that they ate of these new fruits: for otherwise what would have been the reason why they had not eaten previously? 3. Because in Leviticus 23:11, 15, where the offering of the sheaf is treated, he calls the sixteenth day, as in this place, the day following the Sabbath (Bonfrerius). It is taken as the sixteenth day by the Babylonian Talmud, Ralbag,[5] and the Septuagint, as it appears, which translates the following parched corn as τὰ νέα, the new fruits (Masius). Which opinion might be closer to the truth, I confess that it is uncertain to me (Masius).

On the morrow after the passover, that is, on the sixteenth day; for the passover was killed between the two evenings of the fourteenth day, and was eaten in that evening or night, which, according to the Jewish computation, whereby they begin their days at the evening, was a part of the fifteenth day, all which was the feast of the passover; and so the morrow of the sixteenth day was the morrow after the passover, when they were obliged to offer unto God the first sheaf, and then were allowed to eat of the rest.

[And parched grain (thus Pagnine, Jonathan), וְקָלוּי] And roasted (Montanus, Junius and Tremellius) with fire (Junius and Tremellius); and roasted ears (Syriac, Arabic, Munster, Vatablus); and the new (Septuagint); and new roasted ears (Tigurinus); toasted, scorched, or roasted grain (Masius). But these are not wont to be prepared except the produce of this year (Rabbi Salomon in Masius). But I do not think that this is able to be demonstrated out of Sacred Scripture (Masius).

Parched corn; of that year’s corn, which was most proper and customary for that use.

[Of the same year] Hebrew: on that very day.[6] He signifies that his people were most hungrily disposed, and satisfied their desire just as soon as it was lawful. For it was taboo to enjoy the fruit of the land before they had observed the Paschal rites: But, if it treats of this year’s fruits, the law prohibited the eating of those before the offering of the sheaf (Masius).

In the selfsame day; having an eager desire to enjoy the fruits of the land.

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֙אכְל֜וּ מֵעֲב֥וּר הָאָ֛רֶץ מִמָּֽחֳרַ֥ת הַפֶּ֖סַח מַצּ֣וֹת וְקָל֑וּי בְּעֶ֖צֶם הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּֽה׃

[2] תְּבוּאָה is here being derived from the verbal root בּוֹא, to come.

[3] 2 Kings 18:32a:  “Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn (דָּגָן; עבור, in the Chaldean) and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive and of honey…”  Isaiah 36:17 is the same.

[4] Hebrew: מִמָּֽחֳרַ֥ת הַפֶּ֖סַח.

[5] That is, Rabbi Levi ben Gershon.

[6] Hebrew: בְּעֶ֖צֶם הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּֽה׃.