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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Quail occurs in;; . Quails form a subdivision of the Tetraonidæ, or grouse family, being distinguished from partridges by their smaller size, finer bill, shorter tail, and the want of a red naked eyebrow and of spurs on the legs. There are several species, whereof the common, now distinguished by the name of Coturnix dactylisonans, is abundant in all the temperate regions of Europe and Western Asia, migrating to and from Africa in the proper season.

Of a bird so well known no figure or further particular description appears to be necessary, beyond mentioning the enormous flights which, after crossing an immense surface of sea, are annually observed at the spring and fall to take a brief repose in the islands of Malta, Sicily, Sardinia, Crete, in the kingdom of Naples, and about Constantinople, where on those occasions there is a general shooting-match, which lasts two or three days. The providential nature of their arrival within and around the camp of the Israelites, in order that they might furnish meat to a murmuring people, appears from the fact of its taking place where it was not to be expected: the localities, we presume, being out of the direction of the ordinary passage; for, had this not been the case, the dwellers in that region, and the Israelites themselves, accustomed to tend their flocks at no great distance from the spot, would have regarded the phenomenon as a well-known periodical occurrence.





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Quail'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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