Manna and 290 dump trucks?

Posted by on Apr 10, 2018

290 dump trucks of manna

What does manna have to do with a dump truck?


Just keep that questions in the back of your mind, as we think about Israel’s exodus from Egypt to Canaan.

The account can be found in the book of Exodus.  God had intended Israel to travel from Egypt to the land of Cannan.  Sadly, Scripture records that they rebelled and grumbled against the Lord.  God punished Israel’s lack of faith, by not allowing them to enter Canaan. Instead, they would wait 40 years in the Wilderness.  During that time, God supernaturally provided for his people with Manna (Bread from Heaven) and quail.

Think about how much food you have consumed in your lifetime… truckloads.  No doubt, you have jumped in your car more times than you can count, and driven to the store to buy groceries.  Now, imagine the volume of food it would take to sustain over one million Israelites for 40 years in the Wilderness 1.

In Exodus 16:14, Moses says that the Lord provided Manna each morning.  He describes It being white in color and fine like frost.  Little wafers laced with a sweet honey tastiness2. Each person was to collect as much as he could eat, around 2 liters per person.  It was collected every morning, except on the Sabbath. They also collected double the amount the day before the Sabbath.


Time to crunch the numbers…

So, for fun, let’s say the average household had only two people in it.  That works out to over 4 liters of manna daily, just over 1 gallon.  Now, let’s scale it up to Israelite proportions… We are estimating a low number of one million people. That’s 1,056,688 gallons of manna each day, over 140,891 cubic feet of “Bread from Heaven.”

What does 140,891 cubit feet of manna look like you ask?  It would fill 9.8 American football fields with a 3” layer of flakey, white, honey tastiness.  Even more shocking is that you would need to line up 290 construction dump trucks to move it!  Remember, that’s only estimating 1,000,000 people.  It’s probable that there would have been more than just two people per household.  If that were the case, we would DOUBLE all our numbers.

So, here’s some “food” for thought?  Manna sounds like a product that could be marketed by Little Debbie.  God is miraculously providing this sweet provision for his people’s physical needs in the wilderness.  Even more amazing, he is providing it in staggering numbers!  Yet, the are regularly given to grumbling and complaining against God3.  They lacked a grateful and thankful heart towards a gracious God.

How are you cultivating a heart of thankfulness and gratitude towards God for the food he daily provides for you?  A person that is regularly cultivating a heart of thankfulness in a small thing like food, will increasingly be more and more thankful for their salvation, through Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:16

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”


Images by: Banner:  fabcom, Top Image:  Andy torchuck


  1. Exodus 12:37. 600,000 men are recorded as leaving Egypt. My estimate of 1,000,000 Israelites is VERY LOW, based on 66% of the men having wives. That would means an additional 400,000 women, totaling 1,000,000 people. If we estimated for wives, children and the elderly the number would be closer to the 2,000,000 mark.
  2. Exodus 16:31
  3. Numbers 11:6, 21:5