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Numbers 11:32

Numbers 11:32

And the people stood up all that day
The day on which they fell in the morning:

and all [that] night;
the night following:

and all the next day;
after that, even the space of thirty six hours:

and they gathered the quails;
not took them flying, as the Jewish writers suggest, before observed, but from the earth where they fell, in order to lay them up as a provision for time to come; or otherwise, had they taken them only for present use, they would not have been so long in gathering them; but they seemed greedy of them, and therefore took up all they could, or knew what to do with:

he that gathered least gathered ten homers;
or so many ass loads, as some interpret it; the words for an ass and an homer being near the same: an homer in measure is the same with the "cor", and held ten ephahs; and, according to Bishop Cumberland F25, contained seventy five wine gallons, seven pints, and somewhat more, which must hold a vast quantity of quails; though not the measure, but the number of fowls, is commonly given. Some render the word "heaps", as in ( Exodus 8:14 ) ; and is supposed better to agree with locusts; but then it will be difficult to assign a reason why the number of them should be given, since heaps might be greater or lesser:

and they spread [them] all abroad for themselves round about the
camp;
according to some, they were taken alive, and put into cages, which were hung round the camp, so that all places were full of them, in which they were kept, and used as they wanted them; but they seem rather, be they what they will, to be dead, and to be spread about to be dried in the sun, being salted; and so the Vulgate Latin version renders the word, "and they dried them" F26; and agrees both with quails, which, according to some writers F1, used to be salted for food for time to come; and with locusts, on which the inhabitants of some parts of Ethiopia always lived, as Pliny F2 says, being hardened in smoke, and with salt, and was their food for the year round. And this custom was used in Arabia; for Leo Africanus F3 relates, that the people of Arabia Deserta, and of Lybia, reckon the coming of the locusts an happy omen; for either boiled, or dried with the sun, they beat them into meal (or powder) and eat them: and of the Nasamones, a people in Africa, it is said F4, that they hunt locusts, and dry them in the sun, and grind them, and then, sprinkling milk upon them, sup them up.


FOOTNOTES:

F25 Of Scripture Weights p. 86.
F26 So the word is used in Misn. Sabbat, c. 22. sect. 4. for spreading things in the sun to dry them.
F1 Athenaeus, Hipparchus, & Hesychius apud Bochart, Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 1. c. 15. col. 107.
F2 Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 30.
F3 Descriptio Africae, l. 9. p. 769.
F4 Herodot. Melpomene, sive, l. 4. c. 172.
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