Quail
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Scripture Alphabet Of Animals
Quail

The quail is about the size of a pigeon. It is called a bird of passage, because it does not always live in the same place, but spends the winter in one country, and in the spring flies away to another. In their journies, they fly together in very large flocks, as you have perhaps seen wild geese or pigeons do. A great many spend the summer north of the Black Sea, and when autumn comes they fly away to spend the winter in some warmer place, farther south. They usually start early some fine evening in August, when there is a north wind to help them on, and fly perhaps a hundred and fifty miles before morning. The people on the opposite shore of the Black Sea know about what time to look for them, and catch a great many of them for food.

God sometimes sent quails to the children of Israel when they were in the wilderness. Once they complained because they had no meat to eat, pretty soon after God had saved them from the hand of Pharaoh; and then he brought a great many quails into their camp, so that they had as many as they wanted for food. At another time, when they were on their journey, these ungrateful people complained again, and wished they were back in Egypt, where they could have "fish, and melons, and cucumbers," as they said. Then God saw fit to send them quails again, though he was very much displeased with their wickedness; so much so that he sent a dreadful sickness among them, of which many died. The Bible says, "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 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. And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails; he that gathered least, gathered ten homers; and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp."

The number of these quails was very wonderful. They covered the ground all around the camp, and as far every way as a person could go in a " day's journey," by which they meant twenty miles or more. And they not only covered all that ground, but were piled upon each other, to the height of more than a yard. The people gathered great quantities of them; probably they intended to dry a part, which is still a custom in those hot and sandy countries. "He that gathered least," we read, " gathered ten homers." A homer was about eight bushels, or as much as an ass could carry at a load; and ten homers, of course, was about eighty bushels. You see how eager the people were to get them, for they could not even sleep at night through fear that they should not have as many as they wanted; so they stood up to gather them "all that day, and all that night, and all the next day."

These things are several times spoken of in other parts of the Bible, especially in the Psalm 78. It is there said, "He rained flesh upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea. And he let it fall in the midst of the camp, round about their habitations. So they did eat, and were well filled, for he gave them their own desire; but while the meat was yet in their mouths, the wrath of God came upon them."

Perhaps it was not wrong for the children of Israel to ask for meat to eat, but God was displeased with them for their complaining spirit notwithstanding all his goodness; and although he gave them what they asked, it proved to be only a curse to them. This may teach us to be grateful for the thousand blessings that God has given us, and when we ask any thing from him, to be willing that he should deny us if he sees best.

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (v. i.) To die; to perish; hence, to wither; to fade.

2. (v. i.) To become quelled; to become cast down; to sink under trial or apprehension of danger; to lose the spirit and power of resistance; to lose heart; to give way; to shrink; to cower.

3. (v. t.) To cause to fail in spirit or power; to quell; to crush; to subdue.

4. (v. i.) To curdle; to coagulate, as milk.

5. (n.) Any gallinaceous bird belonging to Coturnix and several allied genera of the Old World, especially the common European quail (C. communis), the rain quail (C. Coromandelica) of India, the stubble quail (C. pectoralis), and the Australian swamp quail (Synoicus australis).

6. (n.) Any one of several American partridges belonging to Colinus, Callipepla, and allied genera, especially the bobwhite (called Virginia quail, and Maryland quail), and the California quail (Calipepla Californica).

7. (n.) Any one of numerous species of Turnix and allied genera, native of the Old World, as the Australian painted quail (Turnix varius). See Turnix.

8. (n.) A prostitute; -- so called because the quail was thought to be a very amorous bird.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
QUAIL

kwal (selaw; ortugometra; Latin Coturnix vulgaris): A game bird of the family Coturnix, closely related to "partridges" (which see). Quail and partridges are near relatives, the partridge a little larger and of brighter color. Quail are like the gray, brown and tan of earth. Their plumage is cut and penciled by markings, and their flesh juicy and delicate food. Their habits are very similar. They nest on the ground and brood on from 12 to 20 eggs. The quail are more friendly birds and live in the open, brooding along roads and around fields. They have a longer, fuller wing than the partridge and can make stronger flight. In Palestine they were migratory. They are first mentioned in Exodus 16:13: "And it came to pass at even, that the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the camp." This describes a large flock in migration, so that they passed as a cloud. Numbers 11:31-33: "And there went forth a wind from Yahweh, and brought quail 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. And the people rose up all that day, and all the night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp"; compare Psalm 78:26-30:

"He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens;

And by his power he guided the south wind.

He rained flesh also upon them as the dust,

And winged birds as the sand of the seas:

And he let it fall in the midst of their camp,

Round about their habitations.

So they did eat, and were well filled;

And he gave them their own desire."

Again the birds are mentioned in migration. Those that fell around the camp and the bread that was sent from heaven are described in Psalm 105:39-42. Commentators have had trouble with the above references. They cause the natural historian none-they are so in keeping with the location and the laws of Nature. First the Hebrew selaw means "to be fat." That would be precisely the condition of the quail after a winter of feeding in the South. The time was early spring, our April, and the quail were flocking from Africa and spreading in clouds-even to Europe. They were birds of earth, heavy feeders and of plump, full body. Migration was such an effort that when forced to cross a large body of water they always waited until the wind blew in the direction of their course, lest they tire and fall. Their average was about 16 birds to each nest. If half a brood escaped, they yet multiplied in such numbers as easily to form clouds in migration. Pliny writes of their coming into Italy in such numbers, and so exhausted with their long flight, that if they sighted a sailing vessel they settled upon it by hundreds and in such numbers as to sink it. Taking into consideration the diminutive vessels of that age and the myriads of birds, this does not appear incredible. Now compare these facts with the text. Israelites were encamped on the Sinai Peninsula. The birds were in migration. The quail followed the Red Sea until they reached the point of the peninsula where they selected the narrowest place, and when the wind was with them they crossed the water. Not far from the shore arose the smoke from the campfires of the Israelites. This bewildered them, and, weary from their journey, they began to settle in confused thousands over and around the camp. Then the Israelites arose and, with the ever-ready "throw sticks," killed a certain number for every soul of the camp and spread the bodies on the sand to dry, just as Herodotus (ii. 77) records that the Egyptians always had done (see Rawlinson, Herodotus, II, for an illustration of catching and drying quail). Nature and natural history can account for this incident, with no need to call in the miraculous.

Gene Stratton-Porter

Strong's Hebrew
7958. selav -- quail
... 7957, 7958. selav. 7959 . quail. Transliteration: selav Phonetic Spelling:
(sel-awv') Short Definition: quail. Word Origin probably ...
/hebrew/7958.htm - 6k
Library

1877-1879. "They Helped Every one his Neighbour" --Miss Child, a ...
... Strong hearts quail at the sight of these hopeless looking men. ... by unbalancing a
little breath of His own created air, then the stoutest-hearted sinners quail". ...
/...//christianbookshelf.org/lowe/gods answers/chapter vii 1877-1879 they helped.htm

It was the Day Before the Nones of November in Rome. ...
... making. Once"he was then emperor of Rome but not of his own spirit"he had
punished a slave by crucifixion for killing a pet quail. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/bacheller/vergilius/chapter 18 it was the.htm

Letter Q
... Part 2 L - Z Letter Q. * Quail, James "Received 1809, Died 1816 * Quantock, William
"Received 1836, Located 1839 * Quigley, John "Received 1835 * Quigley ...
/.../christianbookshelf.org/bangs/an alphabetical list of m e preachers/letter q.htm

Another Portrait Gallery
... The test is a severe one and may well make a strong spirit quail, especially when,
as so often happens, several members of one family will die in rapid ...
/.../chapter xxi another portrait gallery.htm

I an African Free-Town Subject to Rome
... especially forest. It is a hunter's country. Game is plentiful there"boar,
hare, redwing, quail, partridge. In Augustin's time ...
/.../bertrand/saint augustin/i an african free-town subject.htm

The First Games
... with trills and fluttering of wings. Quail, thrushes, nightingales are
imprisoned in them. The nightingale, the singing-bird beyond ...
//christianbookshelf.org/bertrand/saint augustin/iv the first games.htm

Chapter seventeen
... Undismayed whate'er betide. Undismayed when others sighing,. Quail before the evil
day,. On God's grace I am relying; Nothing can me then dismay. ...
/.../aaberg/hymns and hymnwriters of denmark/chapter seventeen.htm

The Genius and Character of the Antichrist
... bidding. The Devil knows full well how to dazzle men by the attraction
of power, and how to make them quail before its terrors. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/pink/the antichrist/the genius and character of.htm

Weep Not.
... Weep not"Jesus cares for thee,. Then what of good can fail? Why shouldst thou thus
gloomily. At thought of trouble quail? He will bear. All thy care; ...
//christianbookshelf.org/borthwick/hymns from the land of luther/weep not.htm

Song of Consolation for Married Christians.
... A time will come, it cannot fail, When we 'neath trials sore shall quail, And tears
be freely flowing; To him who bears it patiently, By God's grace shall his ...
/.../gerhardt/paul gerhardts spiritual songs/song of consolation for married.htm

Thesaurus
Quail (5 Occurrences)
... 5. (n.) Any gallinaceous bird belonging to Coturnix and several allied genera of
the Old World, especially the common European quail (C. communis), the rain ...
/q/quail.htm - 13k

Quails (4 Occurrences)

/q/quails.htm - 8k

Wanderings (7 Occurrences)
... the twigs of the tamarisk (to which it has been compared by some), which melts in
the sun, and is regarded as a delicacy by the Arabs, yet the quail (Exodus 16 ...
/w/wanderings.htm - 40k

Quaffers (1 Occurrence)

/q/quaffers.htm - 6k

Zoology
... Owl, Horned Owl, Eagle, Vulture, Gier-Eagle, Osprey, Kite, Glede, Hawk, Falcon COLUMBAE:
Dove, Turtle-Dove GALLINAE: Cock, Partridge, Quail, Peacock GRALLATORES ...
/z/zoology.htm - 18k

Omen (6 Occurrences)
... enterprise. Multi-Version Concordance Omen (6 Occurrences). Philippians
1:28 Never for a moment quail before your antagonists. Your ...
/o/omen.htm - 8k

Impending (2 Occurrences)
... threatening. Multi-Version Concordance Impending (2 Occurrences). Philippians
1:28 Never for a moment quail before your antagonists. Your ...
/i/impending.htm - 7k

Fearlessness (1 Occurrence)
... Multi-Version Concordance Fearlessness (1 Occurrence). Philippians 1:28 Never
for a moment quail before your antagonists. Your fearlessness ...
/f/fearlessness.htm - 6k

Fowler (3 Occurrences)
... hurled with a rotary motion at the legs of the birds and was very effective when
thrown into flocks of ground birds, such as partridge or quail, especially if ...
/f/fowler.htm - 11k

Partridge (2 Occurrences)
... The partridge is noted as a game bird. 2. (n.) Any one of several species
of quail-like birds belonging to Colinus, and allied genera. ...
/p/partridge.htm - 13k

Concordance
Quail (5 Occurrences)

Philippians 1:28
Never for a moment quail before your antagonists. Your fearlessness will be to them a sure token of impending destruction, but to you it will be a sure token of your salvation--a token coming from God.
(WEY)

Exodus 16:13
It happened at evening that quail came up and covered the camp; and in the morning the dew lay around the camp.
(WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Numbers 11:31
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.
(Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Numbers 11:32
The people rose up all that day, and all the night, and all the next day, and gathered the quails. He who gathered least gathered ten homers; and they spread them all abroad for themselves around the camp.
(Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Psalms 105:40
They asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of the sky.
(Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Subtopics

Quail

Quail: The Miracle of, at Kibroth-Hattaavah

Quail: The Miracle of, in the Wilderness of Sin

Related Terms

Quails (4 Occurrences)

Wanderings (7 Occurrences)

Quaffers (1 Occurrence)

Zoology

Omen (6 Occurrences)

Impending (2 Occurrences)

Fearlessness (1 Occurrence)

Fowler (3 Occurrences)

Partridge (2 Occurrences)

Covereth (61 Occurrences)

Antagonists (1 Occurrence)

Camp (222 Occurrences)

Dew (35 Occurrences)

Moment (71 Occurrences)

Evening (163 Occurrences)

Covered (325 Occurrences)

Sure (142 Occurrences)

Morning (264 Occurrences)

Lying (203 Occurrences)

Food (2953 Occurrences)

Israel (27466 Occurrences)

Wisdom (320 Occurrences)

Solomon (277 Occurrences)

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