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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Kibroth Hattaavah

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("graves of lust".) Numbers 11:34; Numbers 33:17. At Erweis el Ebeirig near wady el Hudherah (Hazeroth) Israelite remains apparently are found, marking the site of Kibroth Hattaavah. (See WILDERNESS OF WANDERINGS.) Clark makes El Ain to be Kibroth Hattaavah. Laborde makes El Ain to be Hazeroth. The S.E. "wind from the Lord" from the neighbouring Elanitic gulf of the Red" Sea" bore quails so as to "throw them upon" (Hebrew Numbers 11:31) the encampment and its neighbourhood, "about two cubits above the face of the ground," i.e. not that they were piled up to that height, but the quails wearied with their flight flew so low as to be easily knocked down or caught by the people. The quail flies with the wind and low. The prodigious quantity and the supply of them at that time, in connection with Jehovah's moral dealings with Israel, constitute the miracle, which is in consonance with God's natural law though then intensified.

The hot Khamsin or S.E. wind is what quails avail themselves of in their annual flight northwards; the S.W. wind was the extraordinary agent brought in "by the power of God" (Psalms 78:26). As Jehovah told them (ver. 20), they ate "a whole month until it came out at their nostrils, and was loathsome" to them. The impossibility, to ordinary view, of such a meat supply for 600,000 men for a month long even to satiety ("He rained flesh upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea": Psalms 78:27), staggered Moses' faith: "shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them?" (the proximity to the Red "Sea" suggested the "fish," ver. 31; compare John 6:7-9). We too often "limit the Holy One of Israel" (Psalms 78:41-20-31).

But "while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was consumed" (Speaker's Commentary for "chewed"), "the wrath of Jehovah smote the people with a very great plague." Feeding on quails for a whole month would of itself be injurious. God punished the gluttonous people through their gluttony which they had indulged in to surfeit; He aggravated the natural consequences into a supernatural visitation. God punishes murmurers by "giving them their request, but sending leanness into their soul" (Psalms 106:15). The first supply of quails was on the 15th day of the second month after the Exodus (Exodus 16; Psalms 105:40), just before the manna. The second was at Kibroth Hattaavah in the second year after the camp had removed from its 12 months' stay at Sinai. The Hebrew for "quail" is selaw , and the locality has several places named from it, wady es Selif the E. road, wady Soleif the road to the W. E. Wilton (Imperial Dictionary) fixes on an old cemetery in the wady Berah as Kibroth Hattaavah.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Kibroth Hattaavah'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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