The Israelites were twice relieved in their privation by a miraculous supply of quails, (1) in the wilderness of Sin ( Exodus 16:13 ), and (2) again at Kibroth-hattaavah (q.v.), Numbers 11:31 . God "rained flesh upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea" ( Psalms 78:27 ). The words in Numbers 11:31 , according to the Authorized Version, appear to denote that the quails lay one above another to the thickness of two cubits above the ground. The Revised Version, however, reads, "about two cubits above the face of the earth", i.e., the quails flew at this height, and were easily killed or caught by the hand. Being thus secured in vast numbers by the people, they "spread them all abroad" ( 11:32 ) in order to salt and dry them.
These birds (the Coturnix vulgaris of naturalists) are found in countless numbers on the shores of the Mediterranean, and their annual migration is an event causing great excitement.