|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:47-51 The advantage of the manna was small, it only referred to this life; but the living Bread is so excellent, that the man who feedeth on it shall never die. This bread is Christ's human nature, which he took to present to the Father, as a sacrifice for the sins of the world; to purchase all things pertaining to life and godliness, for sinners of every nation, who repent and believe in him.
Verses 49, 50. - Your fathers did eat the manna in the wilderness, and they died. The Lord went back to the very words of the Jews in ver. 31. The Heaven-given manna by which Jehovah sustained the temporal life of the fathers in the wilderness did not convey the antidote to death. "The carcases [of these fathers] fell in the wilderness." He does not say, "perished out of God's sight forever," or were condemned, but that there was nothing in the eating of manna which arrested, or averted, or triumphed, over death; yet he added: This (Bread of life) is the Bread which cometh down from heaven, in order that any one (τὶς) may eat thereof, and may not die. The eating of the Bread of life (the life-giving Bread), which I myself am, the thorough assimilation, the entire acceptance of me as God's Gift of life to the world, confers the very principle of life; and, though a partaker may seem to perish, he does not die (cf. John 8:51-11:26, notes) - he will not "taste of death," "he will never die." The life will be stronger than death; it will survive apparent extinction. Meyer says that here Christ reserves to ver. 51 the positive offer "of his own concrete Personality, and is exhibiting the true Bread, according to its real nature." Still he has said, "I am the life-giving Bread," and is undoubtedly preparing for the following announcement, which adds a new and startling thought, calculated to sustain the former one.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness,.... All the while they were in the wilderness, for the space of forty years, till they came to the borders of the land of Canaan; this was their only food on which they lived, during their travels through the wilderness. It is observable, that Christ says, not "our fathers", but "your fathers"; for though Christ, as concerning the flesh, came of these fathers, yet in every sense they were rather theirs than his; because regard may be had to such of them more especially who ate the manna as common food, and not as spiritual meat, as typical of the Messiah, as others did; and whom these, their offspring, did very much resemble. Though perhaps the reason of the use of this phrase may be, because the Jews themselves had used it in John 6:31, and Christ takes it up from them.
And are dead. This food, though it supported them in life for a while, could not preserve them from a corporeal death, and still less from an eternal one: for some of them not only died the first, but the second death.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
49. Your fathers—of whom ye spake (Joh 6:31); not "ours," by which He would hint that He had a higher descent, of which they dreamt not [Bengel].
did eat manna … and are dead—recurring to their own point about the manna, as one of the noblest of the ordained preparatory illustrations of His own office: "Your fathers, ye say, ate manna in the wilderness; and ye say well, for so they did, but they are dead—even they whose carcasses fell in the wilderness did eat of that bread; the Bread whereof I speak cometh down from heaven, which the manna never did, that men, eating of it, may live for ever."
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