The bird “Quail” is explicitly mentioned in the Bible. When God promised the Israelites, provisions in the wilderness to satisfy and sustain them, in addition to man’-na (bread), he sent them “quails” as meat (Exodus 16:13). The Israelites gathered this daily as anything leftover toward the next day was spoilt, signifying in a sense, God’s daily provisions.
Interestingly, the same account of God provisions are recorded in the Book of Numbers as well, in Numbers 11:31-35, but with a little more information. This time, the Bible records that as the people were eating the quails (while it was still on their teeth), God smote the people with a plague and those who lusted (who were greedy and not satisfied for the food, gathering it for themselves, constantly grumbling against God and his servant, Moses) died and were buried. (Numbers 11:33,34).
Hmm, what can we really learn from these two accounts, in which the Quail is mentioned?
- God provides our daily needs. His name is Jehovah Ji-reh (God, our provider)
- We must not grumble against God and his people and must learn to be content and satisfied with what God has given us, thanking Him for His provisions, giving Him the glory
- We must not be greedy, storing up for ourselves but trust that God will meet our needs according to His riches in glory. Giving is the antidote to Greed.
Exodus 16:3,4,13 (KJV)
3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
16 This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.
Numbers 11: 31-34 (KJV)
31 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.
32 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.
33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.
34 And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted.