Meat and Manna--Part 2
Jul 17, 2008
In Exodus 16:16 we read the divine instructions on gathering manna in the wilderness,
"This is what the Lord has commanded: Gather of it every man as much as he should eat; you shall take an omer apiece according to the number of persons each of you has in his tent."
There were, of course, some who gathered too much, and some who gathered too little. Some people have a hard time following instructions. They don't want to be bound by laws, rules, or regulations, but prefer to do things their own way. Anything else takes away their "liberty in Christ." Or so they feel.
The "omer" here is of interest to us. Why an omer? What is an omer?
There are three basic units of measure that ought to be understood: (1) an omer, (2) an ephah, (3) a homer.
An omer is 1/10 of an ephah (Ex. 16:36). So an ephah is 10 omers. A homer is 10 ephahs, or 100 omers.
One of the most important uses of the omer came between Passover and Pentecost. The "wave-sheaf offering" on the first Sunday after Passover is actually the beginning of the time of "counting the omer." During the seven weeks to Pentecost, the people were to take an omer of barley, divide it up, and count a few grains each day until Pentecost.
This was a prophetic act anticipating Pentecost. First, it takes 144 barley grains lined up end to end to make one cubit. That has to do with the elect overcomers. We may deal with prophetic linear measurements later, but today we are dealing with measurements of capacity. The significance of counting the omer from the wave sheaf to Pentecost is seen in the word "omer" itself.
Omer is spelled with three Hebrew letters: ayin, mem, and resh. The ayin literally means "an eye" and has to do with watching or seeing. The mem literally means "water." The resh literally means "head."
So when we break the word "omer" into its very literal Hebrew parts, we see it refers to "watching for water on the head." It anticipated the outpouring of the Spirit that was to come at Pentecost. But in a greater sense, it set the pattern for us to watch for the fulness of the Spirit that is to come at Tabernacles.
Tabernacles comes after the Jubilee (Day of Atonement). The Jubilee is essentially the preparation day for Tabernacles. Under Moses, it was the day the 12 spies gave their report, and the people were to decide/prepare to enter the Kingdom on the first day of Tabernacles (5 days later). If they had made the right choice, they would have blown the trumpet for the Jubilee, for that day was also the 50th Jubilee from Adam. Instead, they believed the evil report, and thus turned this day of rejoicing into a day of fasting and repentance for refusing to enter the Kingdom.
Essentially, the omer signifies the time between Passover and Pentecost. On a broader scale, it prophecies of the Passover Age (from Moses to Christ). At Pentecost, or at the start of the Pentecostal Age (Acts 2), the time of the omer is replaced by the time of the ephah.
The ephah is 1/10 of a homer, because an ephah represents the downpayment of the Spirit. Paul tells us three times that we under Pentecost had received an "earnest" (downpayment) of the Spirit. See 2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5; and Eph. 1:14. For this reason, an ephah is just 1/10 of a homer. The homer obviously represents the hundredfold measure of the Spirit that comes through the feast of Tabernacles.
Omer = Passover Age and its level of the Holy Spirit
Ephah = Pentecostal Age and its earnest of the Holy Spirit
Homer = Tabernacles Age and its fulness of the Holy Spirit
When we look at the word ephah itself, and break it down into its letter-parts, we see that it is spelled with 4 Hebrew letters: alef, yod, phey, and hey. The alef and yod spell a Hebrew word pronounced "EE!" It means "howler, alas!, woe!" Perhaps our English equivalent is more like EEK! The other two letters are phey, "mouth" and hey, "what comes from."
If we put these together, we see that an ephah expresses the most common attitude of Israel in the wilderness in their "Pentecostal" years after receiving the law at Sinai. It is the attitude of grumbling and murmuring. Every time they ran out of food or water, they howled and complained, saying "woe is me! We're going to die! Why did we ever leave Egypt?"
So an ephah is "what comes from a mouth howling WOE!"
However, there is a secondary meaning to this word EE! It means "a habitable (desirable) land." It must be something a sailor on watch shouted when he sighted land after being in the open sea for a time. Strong's Concordance #339 gives this definition, along with the other (#338).
By this secondary meaning, we see pictured our own journey in the wilderness. While most people murmur and complain, some are watching for the Promised Land, because they have not lost the vision of the feast of Tabernacles.
The feast of Tabernacles is prophetically pictured in the homer, which is 10 ephahs or 100 omers. If you take the word homer and break it down into its letter-parts, it is spelled chet, mem, and resh. The chet means "a fence" and speaks of an inner (hidden) area or room. This often speaks spiritually of the heart. The mem is "water," and the resh is "head, leader (head honcho), or a man in general."
Putting these concepts together, we see that a homer speaks of the Spirit ("water") upon the heart of the New Creation Man, which is called to reign with Christ in the Tabernacles Age by the power of the fulness of the Spirit. These are the ones who inherit life in the first resurrection, as I explained in my book, The Purpose of Resurrection.
They are commonly called Overcomers to distinguish them from the rest of the Church (congregation).
On the sixth day of the manna (Sabbath) cycle, the people were to gather twice as much manna as before in order to carry them through the seventh day. There was no manna on the seventh day. Some of the Israelites, no doubt, did not like following instructions (rules), so they did not gather enough manna on the sixth day. How would I know this? Because the Church has been doing the same thing quite regularly during its own Pentecostal Age. They go to the preacher on the seventh day to get fed a weekly dose of manna, but gather little or no manna on the six preceding days.
Even so, the double dose of manna is available in the sixth day (sixth millennium) to carry us into the Tabernacles Age. I believe that God has indeed sent us a double dose of manna now at the end of the Pentecostal Age. We are to gather it for ourselves now, rather than waiting for the coming of Christ in the seventh millennium to get fed.
And guess who reported to Moses the double dose of manna on the sixth day. Exodus 16:22 says,
"Now it came about on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. When all the LEADERS of the congregation came and told Moses . . ."
This was appropriate, because the rulers (overcomers) are the ones who will be gathered to Christ in the first resurrection "at the last trump" (singular). This is prophesied in the single trumpet blown in Num. 10:4 to gather just the leaders of the people. It took two trumpets to gather the whole congregation (Church). So the second coming of Christ will see a limited resurrection this first time.
Being a leader (overcomer) has to do with spiritual maturity, which in turn has to do with learning obedience in Pentecost until such time as we do His will by nature.
This is the final part of a series titled "Meat and Manna." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones