Numbers 11:31
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Now a wind went out from the LORD and drove quail in from the sea. It scattered them up to two cubits deep all around the camp, as far as a day's walk in any direction.

New Living Translation
Now the LORD sent a wind that brought quail from the sea and let them fall all around the camp. For miles in every direction there were quail flying about three feet above the ground.

English Standard Version
Then a wind from the LORD sprang up, and it brought quail from the sea and let them fall beside the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and a day’s journey on the other side, around the camp, and about two cubits above the ground.

New American Standard Bible
Now there went forth a wind from the LORD and it brought quail from the sea, and let them fall beside the camp, about a day's journey on this side and a day's journey on the other side, all around the camp and about two cubits deep on the surface of the ground.

King James Bible
And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
A wind sent by the LORD came up and blew quail in from the sea; it dropped them at the camp all around, three feet off the ground, about a day's journey in every direction.

International Standard Version
Just then, a wind burst forth from the LORD, who brought quails from the sea and spread them all around the camp, about a day's journey in each direction, completely encircling the camp about two cubits deep on top of the ground!

NET Bible
Now a wind went out from the LORD and brought quail from the sea, and let them fall near the camp, about a day's journey on this side, and about a day's journey on the other side, all around the camp, and about three feet high on the surface of the ground.

New Heart English Bible
A wind from the LORD went out and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, about a day's journey on this side, and a day's journey on the other side, around the camp, and about two cubits above the surface of the earth.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The LORD sent a wind from the sea that brought quails and dropped them all around the camp. There were quails on the ground about three feet deep as far as you could walk in a day in any direction.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought across quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, about a day's journey on this side, and a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and about two cubits above the face of the earth.

New American Standard 1977
Now there went forth a wind from the LORD, and it brought quail from the sea, and let them fall beside the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp, and about two cubits deep on the surface of the ground.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And there went forth a wind from the LORD and brought quail from the sea and left them upon the camp, a day's journey on this side and a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp and almost two cubits high upon the face of the earth.

King James 2000 Bible
And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quail from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, about a day's journey on this side, and about a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and about two cubits high above the face of the earth.

American King James Version
And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high on the face of the earth.

American Standard Version
And there went forth a wind from Jehovah, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, about a day's journey on this side, and a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and about two cubits above the face of the earth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And a wind going out from the Lord, taking quails up beyond the sea brought them, and cast them into the camp for the space of one day's journey, on every side of the camp round about, and they flew in the air two cubits high above the ground.

Darby Bible Translation
And there went forth a wind from Jehovah, and drove quails from the sea, and cast them about the camp, about a day's journey on this side, and about a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and about two cubits above the earth.

English Revised Version
And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, about a day's journey on this side, and a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and about two cubits above the face of the earth.

Webster's Bible Translation
And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, around the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.

World English Bible
A wind from Yahweh went out and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, about a day's journey on this side, and a day's journey on the other side, around the camp, and about two cubits above the surface of the earth.

Young's Literal Translation
And a spirit hath journeyed from Jehovah, and cutteth off quails from the sea, and leaveth by the camp, as a day's journey here, and as a day's journey there, round about the camp, and about two cubits, on the face of the land.
Study Bible
The Quail and the Plague
30Then Moses returned to the camp, both he and the elders of Israel. 31Now there went forth a wind from the LORD and it brought quail from the sea, and let them fall beside the camp, about a day's journey on this side and a day's journey on the other side, all around the camp and about two cubits deep on the surface of the ground. 32The people spent all day and all night and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers) and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp.…
Cross References
Exodus 16:13
So it came about at evening that the quails came up and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp.

Numbers 11:30
Then Moses returned to the camp, both he and the elders of Israel.

Psalm 78:26
He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens And by His power He directed the south wind.

Psalm 105:40
They asked, and He brought quail, And satisfied them with the bread of heaven.

Psalm 106:15
So He gave them their request, But sent a wasting disease among them.
Treasury of Scripture

And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high on the face of the earth.

a wind

Exodus 10:13,19 And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the …

Exodus 15:10 You did blow with your wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead …

Psalm 135:7 He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he makes …

and brought

Exodus 16:13 And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered …

Psalm 78:26-29 He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he …

Psalm 105:40 The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with …

quails. That the word selav means the quail, we have already had occasion to observe; to which we subjoin the authority of Mr. Maundrell, who visited Naplosa, (the ancient Sichem,) where the Samaritans live. Mr. Maundrell asked their chief priest what sort of animal he took the selav to be. He answered, they were a sort of fowls; and by the description Mr. Maundrell perceived he meant the same kind with our quails. a day's journey. Heb. the way of a day, and as it were two cubits. That is, 'and they flew in the air, at the height of two cubits above the ground.'

(31) And there went forth a wind.--In Psalm 78:26 we read thus: "He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind." A south-east wind would bring the quails from the neighbourhood of the Red Sea, where they abound.

And let them fall.--Better, and scattered them (or, spread them out). Comp. 1Samuel 30:16 : "They were spread abroad upon all the earth," or, over all the ground.

Round about.--See Note on Numbers 11:24.

As it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.--Or, about two cubits over (or, above) the ground. Had the quails lain upon the earth in a heap for any considerable time, life could only have been preserved by miraculous interference with the ordinary laws of nature, and the Israelites were not allowed to eat of that which had died of itself. Quails commonly fly low, and when wearied with a long flight might fly only about breast-high. On the other hand, the more obvious interpretation of the words is that the quails were spread over the ground, and covered it in some places to the height of two cubits. They were probably taken and killed immediately on their descent, as the following verse seems to indicate, and then spread out and dried and hardened in the sun. Some think that the word which is here rendered quails denotes cranes.

Verse 31. - A wind from the Lord. A wind Divinely sent for this purpose. In Psalm 78:26 it is said to have been a wind from the east and south, i.e., a wind blowing up the Red Sea and across the Gulf of Akabah. And brought quails from the sea. On the "quails" (Hebrew, salvim - probably the common quail) see Exodus 16:13. The Septuagint has in both places ἡ ὀρτυγομήτρα, "the quail-mother," the sense of which is uncertain. These birds, which migrate in spring in vast numbers, came from the sea, but it does not follow that the camp was near the sea. They may have been following up the Gulf of Akabah, and been swept far inland by the violence of the gale. Let them fall by the camp. Rather, "threw them down on the camp." יִּטַשׁ עַל הַמַּחֲגֶה. Septuagint, ἐπέβαλεν ἐπὶ τὴν παρεμβολήν. Either the sudden cessation of the gale, or a violent eddying of the wind, threw the exhausted birds in myriads upon the camp (cf. Psalm 78:21, 28). Two cubits high upon the face of the earth. The word "high" is not in the original, but it probably gives the true meaning. The Septuagint, ὡσεὶ δίπηχυ ἀπο τῆς γῆς, is somewhat uncertain. The Targums assert that the quails "flew upon the face of the ground, at a height of two cubits;" and this is followed by the Vulgate ("volabant in acre duobus cubitis altiludine super terram") and by many commentators. This idea, however, although suggested by the actual habits of the bird, and adopted in order to avoid the obvious difficulty of the statement, is inconsistent with the expressions used here and in Psalm 78. If the birds were "thrown" upon the camp, or "rained" upon it like sand, they could not have been flying steadily forward a few feet above the ground. It is certainly impossible to take the statement literally, for such a mass of birds would have been perfectly unmanageable; but if we suppose that they were drifted by the wind into heaps, which in places reached the height of two cubits, that will satisfy the exigencies of the text: anything like a uniform depth would be the last thing to be expected under the circumstances. And there went forth a wind from the Lord,.... Both an east wind and a south wind, according to Psalm 78:26; either first one wind, and then another; one to bring the quails, or whatever are meant, to a certain point, and then the other to bring them to the camp of Israel; or a southeast wind, as the Jewish writers interpret it: however, it was not a common wind, but what was immediately raised by the Lord for the following purpose:

and brought quails from the sea; the Red sea, from the coasts of it, not out of it. Josephus (t) says, there were great numbers of this sort of fowl about the gulf of Arabia; and Diodorus Siculus (u) says, near Rhinocalura, a place not far from those parts, quails in flocks were brought from the sea, which the people caught and lived upon. After Job Ludolphus, who has wrote a learned dissertation on locusts, many are of opinion with him, that locusts are intended here, and think that what is hereafter related best agrees with them; it is pretty difficult to determine which is most correct; there are learned advocates, and much to be said, for both (w):

and let them fall by the camp: the camp of Israel, and round about it on all sides, as follows; which agrees well enough with locusts, which are usually brought by a wind, as the locusts of Egypt were by an east wind, which fall, rest, and settle on the earth, and sometimes in heaps, one upon another; and these, whatever they were, fell as thick as rain, and were as dust, and as the sand of the sea. The Jewish writers, who understand them of quails, interpret this not of their falling to the ground, but of their flying low, two cubits from the earth, about the breast of a man, so that they had no trouble in taking them; so the Targum of Jonathan, Jarchi, Ben Gersom, and Abendana; but this seems to be without any foundation:

as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp; on the north side, and on the south side, as the Targum of Jonathan explains it; but it doubtless means on all sides, since they fell round about the camp; and from thence they lay thick upon the ground, a day's journey every way; which some compute at sixteen, others at twenty miles on which space there must be a prodigious number of quails or locusts; and it is certain the latter do come in great numbers, so as to darken the air, and to cover a country, as they did Egypt; and the quails also, in some countries, have been taken in great numbers; in Italy, on the coast of Antium, within a month, in the space of five miles, 100,000 quails were taken every day (x):

and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth; as they fell they lay one upon another, the height of two cubits; which it is thought better agrees with locusts than with quails, since the quails, by lying one upon another such a depth, must be suffocated; whereas the locusts, through the length of their feet, and the thinness of their wings, would not.

(t) Antiqu. l. 3. c. 1. sect. 5. (u) Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 55. (w) Vid. Calmet's Dictionary in the word "Quails", & Scheuchzer. Physica Sacr. in loc. Bishop of Clogher's Chronology, p. 375, 376. Shaw's Travels, p. 189. (x) Blond. ltal. Illustrat. p. 314. apud Huet. Alnetan. Quaest. l. 2. c. 12. sect. 17. 31-35. There went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, etc.—These migratory birds (see on [76]Ex 16:13) were on their journey from Egypt, when "the wind from the Lord," an east wind (Ps 78:26) forcing them to change their course, wafted them over the Red Sea to the camp of Israel.

let them fall a day's journey—If the journey of an individual is meant, this space might be thirty miles; if the inspired historian referred to the whole host, ten miles would be as far as they could march in one day in the sandy desert under a vertical sun. Assuming it to be twenty miles this immense cloud of quails (Ps 78:27) covered a space of forty miles in diameter. Others reduce it to sixteen. But it is doubtful whether the measurement be from the center or the extremities of the camp. It is evident, however, that the language describes the countless number of these quails.

as it were two cubits high—Some have supposed that they fell on the ground above each other to that height—a supposition which would leave a vast quantity useless as food to the Israelites, who were forbidden to eat any animal that died of itself or from which the blood was not poured out. Others think that, being exhausted with a long flight, they could not fly more than three feet above the earth, and so were easily felled or caught. A more recent explanation applies the phrase, "two cubits high," not to the accumulation of the mass, but to the size of the individual birds. Flocks of large red-legged cranes, three feet high, measuring seven feet from tip to tip, have been frequently seen on the western shores of the Gulf of Akaba, or eastern arm of the Red Sea [Stanley; Shubert].11:31-35 God performed his promise to the people, in giving them flesh. How much more diligent men are in collecting the meat that perishes, than in labouring for meat which endures to everlasting life! We are quick-sighted in the affairs of time; but stupidity blinds us as to the concerns of eternity. To pursue worldly advantages, we need no arguments; but when we are to secure the true riches, then we are all forgetfulness. Those who are under the power of a carnal mind, will have their lusts fulfilled, though it be to the certain damage and ruin of their precious souls. They paid dearly for their feasts. God often grants the desires of sinners in wrath, while he denies the desires of his own people in love. What we unduly desire, if we obtain it, we have reason to fear, will be some way or other a grief and cross to us. And what multitudes there are in all places, who shorten their lives by excess of one kind or other! Let us seek for those pleasures which satisfy, but never surfeit; and which will endure for evermore.
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Alphabetical: a about above all and any around as beside brought camp cubits day's deep direction down drove fall far feet forth from ground in It journey let LORD Now of on other out quail sea side surface the them there this three to two walk went wind

OT Law: Numbers 11:31 There went forth a wind from Yahweh (Nu Num.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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