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From Revelation 2:17, I am trying to find the meaning of two things that Jesus promises to those who overcome, specifically to the church in Thyatira, and here is the verse:

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receives it (Rev 2:17).”

First, what doe’s Jesus mean when He tells them that they who overcome “…will I give to eat of the hidden manna…” What is the meaning of the hidden manna?

I have found a few answers that don’t really seem to explain, but maybe make sense to some of you. Here’s the result of my research so far and I would love to know if you agree with any of these or if you may have another explanation.

The first explanation is that it may be some of the manna that was placed in the Ark of the Covenant.

Secondly, another explanation answer is found in John 4:32, Jesus responds to His disciples when they ask Him if He had already had something to eat, He replies, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about…”

And last of all, that this manna is of His Word from the foundation of the world to be revealed in these last days.

Does anyone know of any other explanation or ado any of the explanations I have already found make sense?

Thanks for your help!

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The "Hidden Manna" is an allusion to the pot/jar of manna in the Ark of the Covenant (Ex 16:34, Heb 9:4). The meaning of this is explained by Jesus Himself in is discourse about "the bread of life" in John 6. Note the following extracts:

  • V32, 33 - Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
  • V35 - Jesus answered, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never hunger, and whoever believes in Me will never thirst.
  • V47, 48 - Truly, truly, I tell you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life.
  • V54 - Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

Thus, the hidden manna is a reference to Christ Jesus as the bread of (eternal) life who is the only source of eternal life as per:

1 John 5:11, 12 - And this is that testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Ellicott's comments on Rev 2:17 -

Is the allusion to the pot of manna which had been laid up in the ark? There is no doubt that the Jews long cherished the belief that the ark and sacred treasures of the Temple had not perished. There was a fondly-held tradition that they had been buried by Jeremiah in a safe and secret spot on “the mountain where Moses climbed and saw the heritage of God, until the time that God shall gather His people again together, and show them His mercy” (2 Maccabees 2:4; 2 Maccabees 2:7). This “hidden manna,” so longed for by an afflicted race, may have suggested the use of the word “hidden”; but the sacred writer would become anxious to bring out the spiritual truth that the fountains of Christian life are hidden (Colossians 3:3), the world knoweth us not.

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  • Interesting to note is that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Beit Lechem, the house/place of bread in Hebrew.
    – Dieter
    Commented Feb 5 at 23:22
  • @Dieter - good point.
    – Dottard
    Commented Feb 5 at 23:28
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I can offer possible explanations of the stone, which I have used in a book of my own.

The starting point is that each of these seven letters ends with a promise to those who overcome, which amounts to a promise of Life. "I will give to eat of the tree of life" ch2 v7, RSV. "Shall not be hurt by the second death" ch2 v11."I will give him the morning star" ch2 v28 "I will not blot out his name from the book of life" ch3 v5 "I will make him a pillar of the temple" ch3v12 "I will grant him to sit with me on my throne" ch3 v21

Eternal life entails forgiveness of sin, which is why the promises include "white garments" ch3v5. I would regard "white stone" as related to the same theme; forgiveness of sin, freedom from guilt. There may be a reference here to Zechariah's vision about the high priest Joshua; "Upon the stone which I have set before Joshua... I will engrave its inscription and I will remove the guilt of this land in a single day." Zechariah ch3 v9, RSV

As for the manna, I see a reference to John ch6 vv49-51. There Jesus recalls the manna which Moses gave to the Israelites in the wilderness, and points out that this was not "the true bread from heaven". "Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and died... I am the living bread which comes down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread he will live for ever".

In short, Jesus is promising this church himself, being the true manna/bread from heaven, and forgiveness of sin.

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In all seven letters, Jesus ended with a blessing to those who are victorious. But note, this victory did not mean a victory during your lifetime, it is the victory at the final judgement. So the reward is given only to those whose name are in the Book of Life.

After the final Judgement (Rev 20), the first earth passed away, and here come "a new heaven and a new earth", and the Holy City, the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God (Rev 21). There is the river of the water of life, down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month (Rev 22).

Meaning of the hidden Manna

It is the tree of life, symbolise our eternal life.

Meaning of the white stone

It signifies the victory at the final Judgement. As during Roman's period, receiving a white stone meant innocent.

Meaning of a new name on the white stone

It signifies God replace our earthly name with a glory name, such as Abram became Abraham, Sarai became Sarah, Jacob became Israel.

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There are many scriptures about Jesus always being obedient to the Father's directions.Perhaps an arrow to your quest.John 4:32; in 5:30,in 6:30,8:26,9:4,10:37-38,12:44,50;14:31,15:20,14:4. All the book of John.

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  • @ Amy Schueler-Beuder - Welcome to S.E. Bible study is exhilarating! However, in answering a question, it is best to deal specifically with the topic at hand. And a listing of verses would be better served if their contents were written out as well. That way, the reader would know at a glance what is being noted. Along with a few commentary noted. Keep studying the Bible; it's great for the soul!
    – ray grant
    Commented Feb 5 at 23:59
  • This does not provide an answer to the question. Once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post; instead, provide answers that don't require clarification from the asker. - From Review
    – agarza
    Commented Feb 6 at 4:36

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