During the forty years in the wilderness, the sustenance for the Jews came from the manna, which fell miraculously from heaven each day. On Friday a double portion of manna fell in honor of the Shabbos, on which none fell.
In the verse where Moshe instructs the Jews fo eat Friday's extra portion on the Shabbos (Exodus 16:25) the word Hayom, "Today", appears three times. This is how the sages derive three meals should be eaten on Shabbos (Tractate Shabbos 117b).
Two loaves at the Shabbos meal symbolize manna. The tablecloth on Shabbos represents the dew that covered the ground before the manna fell. The challah cover is the second dew that covered and protected the manna (Tur Orach Chaim 271:12).
The spirituality of the forty years in the wilderness was meant as a lesson for us: Deuteronomy 8:3 states, "And He fed you the manna that neither you nor your fathers had known - to teach you that man does not survive by bread alone, rather through the word of G-d does man live."

- From Artscroll - Shabbos, The Sabbath pp. 32-33

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