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In light of the question Is manna physical? what about our current understanding of angels would allow us to perceive that they indeed eat physical food? Is our perception of spirits flawed? Or maybe that all angels are spirits at all times is a flawed assumption?

“Man ate of the bread of the angels; he sent them food in abundance.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭78:25‬ ‭

(Text - ESV taking after the LXX text which in my studies the LXX is a superior document though a translation to the partially corrupted Hebrew MT)

Do ‘angels’ (heavenly hosts) eat food just as Jesus after the resurrection ate food and was able to also pass through walls in his new glorified body? Luke 24:36-43. The Bible speaks of eating in heaven. If the manna was physical and there is food in heaven and there is eating in heaven, do angels eat physical food?

The authority of Jesus’ endorsement of the text

Jesus Himself says the bread is from heaven and He is quoting a Scripture specifically psa77:24LXX. So the origin of the bread is from above the firmament in heaven, on the other side of the windows of heaven from where they were released onto the earth.

“Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”” ‭‭John‬ ‭6:31‬

Compare

“and he rained down on them manna to eat and ** (he) gave them the grain of heaven (to eat)**.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭78:24‬

Or in the Greek

οι πατερες ημων το μαννα εφαγον εν τη ερημω καθως εστιν γεγραμμενον αρτον εκ του ουρανου εδωκεν αυτοις φαγειν John 6:31

καὶ ἔβρεξεν αὐτοῖς μαννα φαγεῖν καὶ ἄρτον οὐρανοῦ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς Psalms 77:24

Why were so many tons of bread/food in heaven? Why is it the food of heaven or the grains of heaven as per the Hebrew if no one in heaven consumes it? Why is God growing grains in heaven by the tons. Seeing Jesus is quoting the Septuagint and not the Hebrew (He says food not grain of heaven), it would follow that He didn’t have an issue with the Septuagint translation which in the next verse speaks of this food as that of angels

“Man ate of the bread of the angels; he sent them food in abundance.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭78:25‬

And the Greek LXX

ἄρτον ἀγγέλων ἔφαγεν ἄνθρωπος ἐπισιτισμὸν ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοῖς εἰς πλησμονήν Psalm 77:25

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    Please reference the translation of Psalm 78:25 that you quote. – Abu Munir Ibn Ibrahim Jul 30 at 19:37
  • @AbuMunirIbnIbrahim I use ESV as a general rule for English translation on this stack. Especially as it favors the older and more accurate LXX and the DSS over the younger corrupted MT – Nihil Sine Deo Jul 30 at 19:54
  • But in this case the LXX "heavenly bread" is actually closer to the MT than the ESV "bread of angels". The LXX doesn't use a term for "angels" here. The DSS for this Psalm doesn't include this verse but what it does include doesn't indicate any difference from the MT. What scholarly evidence is there of MT "corruption"? – Abu Munir Ibn Ibrahim Jul 31 at 3:40
  • @AbuMunirIbnIbrahim True no DSS fragment and yes the MT for the most part aligns with the LXX (and DSS) except at key points. Take for examples the genealogy of Gen11 Shem’s line. ONLY the MT has the ages it claims, the rest of the ancient texts, LXX, Flavius Josephus, and Samaritan Pentateuch have one hundred and ...135 when the first child was born, one hundred and ... so the MT dropped 800 years in that chapter. Again we don’t have that chapter in the DSS to compare. I still have to get my hands on this book but “rebooting the Bible” by S Douglas Woodward, covers many such corruptions. – Nihil Sine Deo Jul 31 at 3:59
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    “Once in the heaven”, prove it came from the earth and lifted up, one verse @Lucian, (never mind that these manna drops have not been seen prior or there after floating in the sky, or even on earth for that matter. Did the manna “plant” go extinct?) – Nihil Sine Deo Jul 31 at 15:39
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The question asks “Do angels eat physical food?” If this is to be understood as “Do angels eat physical food habitually?”—the Bible does not explicitly answer the question.

If this is to be understood as “Have angels ever eaten physical food?”—the Bible does answer. “Two angels came to Sodom at evening,” the narrative begins. Then, Lot eventually persuades the angels to spend the night in his home where he “made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.”2 Yes, angels have eaten physical food before.

The following question naturally ensues: do angels need to eat food like humans? Not likely, but again, the Bible doesn’t explicitly answer that. However, since angels are spirits, and do not inherently possess physical bodies, it can be deduced that they do not require physical food for sustinence. Why, then, did they eat with Lot? It’s ultimately a matter of speculation.

Regarding Psa. 78:25, it should be noted that the Hebrew text does not state “the bread of the angels.” The Hebrew text has לֶחֶם אַבִּירִים (lechem abbirim), which is more or less “bread (food) of mighty ones.” English translations which have “bread of angels” (or something similar) are likely following the LXX which has ἄρτον ἀγγέλων (“bread of angels”). Admittedly, the manna is also referred to as לֶחֶם שָׁמַיִם (lechem shamayim)—“bread of heaven,”3 but it is a leap to interpret that as “the bread of heavenly creatures.” Rather, it is referring to the origin of the bread (food) as coming down out of (from) heaven.4

Footnotes

        1 Gen. 19:1
        2 Gen. 19:2
        3 Psa. 105:40; LXX ἄρτον οὐρανοῦ (“bread of heaven”)
        4 cf. Exo. 16:4: לֶחֶם מִן־הַשָּׁמָיִם (lechem min-ha-shamayim), “bread from heaven”


Do ‘angels’ (heavenly hosts) eat food just as Jesus after the resurrection ate food and was able to also pass through walls in his new glorified body? Luke 24:36-43

Angels are inherently spirits, meaning they do not inherently possess flesh and bones. But, this does not preclude them from temporarily assuming (taking) the human form, as they did in Gen. 19:1–2, in order to interact with our physical world, which would include eating.

So, Jesus proves to his apostles that he is not a spirit by showing them his wounds and by eating. Admittedly, this wouldn’t be entirely convincing, since they could have argued that he may have been an angel who, like those in Gen. 19, had temporarily assumed human form and could thus possess flesh and bones and also eat physical food. My guess, though, they were happy to see him again and weren’t compelled to scrutinize the evidence.

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  • Appreciate the response. You make the point in your response that angels are spirits. Jesus says Luke 24:37-39 a spirit has no flesh and bones and proceeds to ask for food to demonstrate he wasn’t pneuma/spirit. How you reconcile the assumption that these two angels were spirits though they ate, when Jesus used eating and physical touch to prove otherwise is perplexing to me. It appears angels (some) might be spirits but at a minimum they are supernatural, natural with superior abilities over the natural. Again thank you for the response and the supporting passage. – Nihil Sine Deo Jul 30 at 18:46
  • With regards to your edit - firstly I can’t understand logically why God would have heavenly bread in heaven tons and tons of bread if no one is consuming it. If the consumers are meant to be humans then it really doesn’t make sense. As for the LXX comment if it was good enough for the authors of the NT then its good enough for me. I don’t for one moment believe that the corrupted and recent MT is what the LXX was translated from or an old version of the MT – Nihil Sine Deo Jul 31 at 1:19
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It isn't at all clear that there are any angels involved in Psalm 78:25. The MT (Leningrad Codex) is:

לֶ֣חֶם אַ֭בִּירִים אָ֣כַל אִ֑ישׁ צֵידָ֬ה שָׁלַ֖ח לָהֶ֣ם לָשֹֽׂבַע

The translation that you quote uses "angels" for אבירים which means "great ones", as in Genesis 49:24:

וַתֵּ֤שֶׁב בְּאֵיתָן֙ קַשְׁתּ֔וֹ וַיָּפֹ֖זּוּ זְרֹעֵ֣י יָדָ֑יו מִידֵי֙ אֲבִ֣יר יַעֲקֹ֔ב מִשָּׁ֥ם רֹעֶ֖ה אֶ֥בֶן יִשְׂרָאֵֽל

where "the great one of Jacob" is a reference to God.

Judges 5:22:

אָ֥ז הָלְמ֖וּ עִקְּבֵי־ס֑וּס מִֽדַּהֲר֖וֹת דַּהֲר֥וֹת אַבִּירָֽיו

where "his mighty ones" is an unclear referent but likely to refer to Sisera's knights or mighty warriors

I Samuel 21:8:

וְשָׁ֡ם אִישׁ֩ מֵעַבְדֵ֨י שָׁא֜וּל בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא נֶעְצָר֙ לִפְנֵ֣י יְהוָ֔ה וּשְׁמ֖וֹ דֹּאֵ֣ג הָאֲדֹמִ֑י אַבִּ֥יר הָרֹעִ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר לְשָׁאֽוּל

where the meaning is "chief herdsman"

Isaiah 46:12:

שִׁמְע֥וּ אֵלַ֖י אַבִּ֣ירֵי לֵ֑ב הָרְחוֹקִ֖ים מִצְּדָקָֽה

where the meaning is "strong hearted", or maybe "self-confident" in modern vernacular

Psalms 22:12:

סְ֭בָבוּנִי פָּרִ֣ים רַבִּ֑ים אַבִּירֵ֖י בָשָׁ֣ן כִּתְּרֽוּנִי

where the meaning is "huge bulls".

Psalms 78:25 might therefore be better rendered:

The food of nobles they ate, to each one He sent to their satisfaction

But even if you interpret אבירים in this verse as referring to angels, here we would be talking about humans eating the food of angels and not angels eating human food.

OTOH we see that in the story of Abraham the three men (אנשים) who are presented as angels in Genesis 18 apparently do eat the food that Abraham offers.

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  • By your argument, ignoring the LXX translation of the text which is a closer interpretation than today’s interpretation, these great ones ate this manna, which means either manna fell on other parts of the earth accessible only to great ones and/or great ones had access to it in the heavens from where this bread comes from. The LXX makes more sense in my view. Thank you for your response. – Nihil Sine Deo Jul 30 at 19:08
  • @NihillSineDeo The two angels who were with The angel of the Lord (The preincarnate Jesus Christ) at Genesis 18:1-8 did. – Mr. Bond Jul 30 at 19:18
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    @NihilSineDeo My answer is from the masoretic text itself, not from any translation, with a comparison of the usage of the same word, אבירים in various other instances in the text. The LXX is apparently translating figuratively in this instance and taking some liberties to add stylisitic dramatization. There are no text-critical issues that would indicate that the LXX might be translating from a different base other than the MT. The Aramaic targum uses the term "heavenly food" - no angels. – Abu Munir Ibn Ibrahim Jul 30 at 19:33
  • Yes I realize that, the much more recent and corrupted text the anti-Jesus text. Documents and historians from antiquity state the LXX was translated from copies of earlier Hebrew manuscripts, meaning not the MT. – Nihil Sine Deo Jul 30 at 19:46
  • @Mr.Bond the text reads that ALL three received worship, you are assuming two were not Jesus, all three appear to have been Jesus. All three knew the heart of Sarah – Nihil Sine Deo Jul 30 at 19:47
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I specifically addressed your question and gave you Genesis 18:1-8 clearly showing that angels do indeed eat physical food.

You then tell me that "all three appear to have been Jesus." How can all three be Jesus since the text itself identifies three distinct persons, the angel of the Lord and two actual angels.

Genesis 1:1, Now the Lord appeared to him/Abraham. At verse 2 Abraham prostrated himself in a reverential/respectful manner before them. At verse 9 it says, "Then they said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?"

At verse 13 the speaker is specifically the Lord. "And the Lord said to Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, "Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?" Verse 14, "Is anything too difficult for the Lord?

So according to the context we have the angel of the Lord who is identified as the Lord and two angels that have confronted Abraham and Sarah. The rest of the chapter deals with Abraham asking the Lord to spare Sodom and Gomorrah from destruction.

Now, notice Genesis 18:33, "And as soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham the Lord departed; and Abraham returned to his place. What about the two angels?

Genesis 19:1, "Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down (not worshiped them) with his face to the ground."

If you go back and read Genesis 17:1:2, "Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am God Almighty, Walk before Me, and be blameless. verse 2, And I will establish My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly."

The reason I bring this up is to show two things. One, the angel of the Lord is the same being who physically appeared to Abraham here at Genesis 17:1,2 as at Genesis 18:1. Two, notice Genesis 17:22, "And when He/the Lord finished talking with him, GOD went up from Abraham." Just like at Genesis 18:33.

So how can the three persons who appeared to Abraham be three Jesus'?

No Nihil Sine Deo, that's not correct either when you say, "the three persons were Jesus taking the form of three persons." Let me put it to you another way. The angel of the Lord who is clearly identified and the Lord God is not an actual angel. The word for angel in the Hebrew is "malak." That word simply means messenger and not necessarly an actual angel like Michael or Gabriel, it depends on the context of how the word is used.

At Malachi 3:1 John the Baptist is called the "malak/angel/messenger" of the Lord and John is a human messenger who cleared the way of the Lord. The human prophet Malachi, well his name is from the Hebrew word "malak" and Malachi is also a human messenger/prophet of God.

In reference to Exodus 3 and the burning bush incident please notice what it says. Verse 2, "And the angel of the Lord appeared to him/Moses in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed."

The angel of the Lord did not take the form of a bush but "APPEARED" in the midst of the bush. It's just like at Daniel 3:24-27 where Jesus appeared with the three men and they were walking about in the midst of the fire.(Daniel 3:25). Bottom line, Jesus Christ as the angel of the Lord is not an actual angel but the other two are actual angels.

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  • I didn’t say it was three Jesuses but that the three persons were Jesus taking the form of three persons, just like He took the form of a burn bush or two different pillars, cloud and fire. After all, the text says they ALL received the worship. You’re reading it in the English evidently. In v16 down you will see that the Lord said He v21 will go to Sodom to see for himself. Yet all three men went toward Sodom and Abraham stayed with them until the Lord parted ways after the intercession of Abraham for ten righteous. Chap19 speaks of two sent angels. The assumption being they were with Abraham – Nihil Sine Deo Jul 30 at 22:28
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Can we Taste ( טעמ ) words? Do "Ta'amim" ( טעמים‎ ) cantillations help us "chew the cud"❓📖 In the Tanakh, "Ta'am" ( טעמ ) seems to mean both #Taste and #Understand. * In [2 Samuel 19:36] we find "Taste" ( טְעַ֚ם ) used as a metaphor to #Discern if something is good or bad. * In [Psalm 34:9] we also find #Taste ( טַֽעֲמ֣ ) used when we "Comprehend" that scripture is good. - Hebrew Angels of God (מַלְאֲכֵ֣י אֱלֹהִ֔ים) comprehend and taste (טעמ) the Word of YHVH.

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Spiritual bread

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the bread and were "fed up".

“What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from satan, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from satan and defile a person.”

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