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Quail

QUAIL (שְׂלָו, H8513, quail all Eng. VSS). Although the origin of the name is uncertain (possibly the bird’s liquid note, repeated several times, is reflected in the ‘L’ of the name), there is full agreement about this tr., and no other bird fits the Biblical narrative (Exod 16:13; Num 11:31, 32; Ps 105:40). This requires (a) a clean bird and (b) one that passed in great numbers. This miraculous supply to the traveling Israelites is mentioned on two specific occasions; first in the [[Wilderness of Sin]], in the SW of the Sinai Peninsula, some six weeks after leaving Egypt; second at Kibroth-hattaavah, not far away, a year later. This is another example of natural resources being used by God, the miraculous element being in the precise timing of the supply. Although such concentrated flocks may have been exceptional, the quail must have passed across the Sinai area twice a year, and it is reasonable to assume that they were taken and eaten more or less regularly.