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MannaThe basis of the Manna story should be known to almost everyone in the western world. The flight of the people of Israel out of Egypt and into the desert. The bible tells us, that the people of Israel hen wandered around in the desert for forty years, through the Sinai desert, one of the most arid regions of the earth. There is no natural water and nothing to eat, and after 15 days the Israelites had run out of food. They already saw their end in starvation, but then…

“13: In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning dew lay round about the camp.
14: And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as hoarfrost on the ground.
15: When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.
16: This is what the LORD has commanded: `Gather of it, every man of you, as much as he can eat; you shall take an omer apiece, according to the number of the persons whom each of you has in his tent.'”
17: And the people of Israel did so; they gathered, some more, some less.
18: But when they measured it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; each gathered according to what he could eat.
19: And Moses said to them, “Let no man leave any of it till the morning.”
20: But they did not listen to Moses; some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and became foul; and Moses was angry with them.
21: Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.
22: On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers apiece; and when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses,
23: he said to them, “This is what the LORD has commanded: `Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy sabbath to the LORD; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay by to be kept till the morning.'”
24: So they laid it by till the morning, as Moses bade them; and it did not become foul, and there were no worms in it.
25: Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field.

31: Now the house of Israel called its name manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

35: And the people of Israel ate the manna forty years, till they came to a habitable land; they ate the manna, till they came to the border of the land of Canaan.”
2. Mose 16

The mysterious substance “Manna” is still a riddle today. For hundreds of years experts have argued about its nature, but no satisfying explanation could be found. Modern interpretations say that Manna was a secretion of a scale insect living on the few acacias found on the Sinai. Some of the properties of this secretion would fit the description of the bible:

  • The secretion contains sugar and is white
  • It forms small grains and covers trees and bushes like white frost
  • Because of the sugar content it melts in the hot sun
  • It tastes a bit like honey

Contrasting points:

  • No one would call grains of sugary secretion “bread”
  • The Israelite were not a few nomads, they were “600.000 men at foot without the children”(2. Mose 12 v. 37). To get them fed from scale insect secretion the whole Sinai desert had to be covered by them. And where do these insects got their food from?

The Manna Machine

The English Authors Sassoon and Dale published a thesis in which they claim that manna was industrial produced food, produced by the tribe of Israel itself without knowing it. A secret machine, the so-called manna machine, also known as “Holy Grail,” produced algae which were then in several steps converted and baked to waffles.

The description in the “New Scientist”

Schema Manna-Maschine “At the top is a dew-still: a refrigerated, corrugated surface over which air is drawn, from which water condenses. This is fed to a container in the center of which is a powerful light-source for irradiating a culture, possibly of Chlorella-type algae. There are dozens of strains of Chlorella, and the balance of protein, carbohydrate, and fat in a chosen strain can be varied by choosing the appropriate conditions of growth for the culture.
This algal culture circulates through pipes which permit an exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide with the atmosphere, and also dissipate heat. The Chlorella sludge is drawn off into another vessel where it is treated so that the starch is partially hydrolyzed to maltose, which is then burnt slightly to give the honey-and-wafers flavor….The dried material is then fed to two vessels. One is emptied daily to provide the day’s supply, and the other fills slowly during the week so that two days’ supply is available on the eve of the Sabbath….” George Sassoon and Rodney Dale, New Scientist, 1. April 1976

Manna Exodus

Exodus tells how manna rained down from heaven with the dew for 40 years, to feed the house of Israel in the desert.

According the Tanakh (The Torah), manna ”was like coriander seed, white and it tasted like wafers in honey . . . a fine and flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground”.

The Israelites gathered it every morning, but if they tried to stockpile supplies it quickly rotted or became maggoty. Only the food collected on a Friday morning could be stored, so that no one had to break the Sabbath by hunting for food.

Rabbis have always regarded manna as a miraculous food. Two English engineers, George Sassoon & Rodney Dale, concluded a nuclear energy source would be required, a miniature power station. With enough heat, the algae would breed endlessly and generate enough sludge to be dried and distributed to all the tribe.

Because the mechanism was delicate, it was transported inside the Ark of the Covenant – hence the story that the Ark was actually God’s dwelling place. To the Israelites, a nuclear engine which produced free food must have been the image of God himself. But how did Moses acquire an atomic plant? And what became of it?

The answer, believe German brothers Johannes and Peter Fiebag lies in the medieval epic Parsifal. There are many versions, they explain in their book Die Ewigkeits-Maschine. Das Manna-Wunder, which has been published in English (translated by George Sassoon) as THE HOLY GRAIL – WHAT IS IT?

Parsifal has been retold many times, most famously by the French poets Chrétien de Troyes and Robert de Boron, and by the German story-tellerWolfram von Eschenbach.

MunsalvaescheThe hero is a knight who wanders across Europe, meets King Arthur, is led to the castle of Munsalvaesche by the ‘hand of God’, and heals a king there.
His journey is a quest for the Holy Grail, which Christian legend claims was a silver bowl which caught the blood of Jesus as he hung on the cross.
The Fiebags have a very different interpretation. They believe the Grail was the Othiq Yomin, the Ancient of Days.

Othiq YominWhile the textual description of the machine is extremely detailed, it is not immediately apparent that it is a technical service manual because the parts of the Othiq Yomin (originally translated as Ancient of Days, when the Transportable One of the Tanks would be more accurate) are designated with the terminology in use about 1000 B.C. For example, in the Zohar we read passages such as the following:

There are three upper heads; two, and one which contains them

And this is how von Eschenbach describes the Grail: ”A hundred squires were summoned, who respectfully took bread on white linen from the Grail . . . It came forth from the Grail, whenever one of them put out his hand to it . . . for the Grail was the fruit of the blessed ones, such a fullness of earthly sweetness, that it was like almost everything that might come from the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Can there have been two devices which, in different eras, magically produced sweet bread from the air? For our ancestors to have invented this machine once is beyond our comprehension – for it to have been built twice defies belief.
The brothers contend, of course, that our ancestors did not build it. It was given to them, just as the Israelites knew the Ancient of Days had been given to them by God. Von Eschenbach confirms it: ”Once upon a time it (the Grail) brought a troop, which flew back to the high stars, because their innocence drew them homewards.”






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Bible and Technology

[1] Johannes und Peter Fiebag; Die Ewigkeitsmaschine, Langen Müller 1998, p. 119
[2] ibid. p. 119
[3] May 2000: here (linked on the homepage of Peter Peter Fiebag -> PaleoSETI -> “Holy Grail – Chalice or Manna-Machine?”. A similar formulation can be found in the Ewigkeitsmaschine on p. 169