Manuscript Illumination with The Fall of Manna and Melchizedech's Sacrifice

Circa 1360
Illumination from the Speculum Humanae Salvationis
Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek, Darmstadt (MS. 2505, fol. 29r)

The words at the top of the page are manna dat iudeis moises, "Moses gives manna to the Jews." The words at the bottom are melchisedech obtulit abrahae panem et vinum, "Melchizedech presented the bread and wine to Abraham." Typologically these two events (Exodus 16 and Genesis 14:18-20) prefigure the sacrifice of the Mass and the sacrifice on the Cross that it memorializes.

In the upper half, Moses holds his right hand in the same blessing configuration that pictures of Christ often use. The words circling his head are iste est panis quem dominus dedit vobis, "this is the bread that the Lord gave you" (Exodus 16:16, c.f. John 6:32). The word that appears over the left and right baskets appears to be some form of "manna." All the figures except Moses are wearing the pointy-top caps that Jews wore during the Middle Ages.

In the lower half the sacrifice of Melchizedech is made to look as much as possible like a medieval Mass. King Melchizedech wears a chasuble and holds a chalice and a Eucharistic host. Before the host Abraham models the attitude expected of the laity: He genuflects and removes his (very medieval) helmet.

Read more about images of the Fall of Manna and Melchizedech.

Source: this page at Wikimedia Commons.