For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2000 James Melough


Exodus 16:13

One month after leaving Egypt the children of Israel came into the wilderness of Sin (thorn, clay, mire), and began to murmur against God because they had no bread.  In response to their murmuring God said, ďAt even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God.  And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.  And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground,Ē Ex 16:12-14.  That ďsmall round thing,Ē of course, was the manna, which is easily recognized as a type of Christ, the true Bread which came down from heaven, Jn ch.6.

What is not as generally recognized is that the quail is an equally clear type of Him Who came down from heaven to give His life as atonement for sin.  Closer examination, however, reveals that He is just as clearly portrayed by the quail as by the manna.

That small game bird, a creature of the heavens, and of relatively little value, is a type of Him Who was also of heaven, and Who was esteemed by man as of little worth.

Its coming at night points to the Lordís coming during earthís spiritual night time; and its coming to satisfy the hunger of a vast multitude points to His coming to satisfy the spiritual hunger of the whole world.

But before that bird could become manís food its blood must be shed, its life must be given up; and in this is revealed the truth that Christ must die in manís guilty stead; His blood must be shed to make atonement for manís sin.  It wasnít until they had eaten the quails that the Israelites were given the manna; and the truth God would teach us in this is that until Christ is accepted as Savior He cannot be known as the Bread of life.  In simpler language, Until a man has been born again through faith in Christ he cannot understand the Bible.

The quail, given only once, represents Christ given to meet the need of the sinner.  The manna, given every day for Israelís forty years in the wilderness, represents Him meeting the daily need of the saint.  The sinnerís appropriation of Christ as Savior is a once, not-to-be-repeated experience which brings eternal life.  That new life, however, must be nourished by a daily intake of spiritual food, the written Word which is the presentation of Christ the living Word portrayed by the manna.

NOTE: Numbers 11 records another giving of quails, but on this second occasion they brought death, and the spiritual lesson is that Christ refused as Savior must be met eventually as the Judge Who will inflict the second death by consigning every unbeliever into the eternal torment of the lake of fire, see Re 2:11; 20:6,14; 21:8.



     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough