And while the flesh [was] yet between their teeth
When they had just got it into their mouths, and were about to bite it: ere it was chewed;
or "cut off"; or cut into pieces by the "incisores", or fore teeth, and then ground by the "molares", or grinders, and so became fit to be swallowed. Both quails and locusts were eaten as food; the former is a fat and delicious fowl, and the latter, some sorts of them, at least, were allowed clean food for the Jews, and were fed on by many people: the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people;
for their lusting after flesh, and despising the manna: and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague;
the pestilence, as Aben Ezra; or with fire, as Bochart F5, who gives the following reasons why the people were so severely punished now, and not before, when they murmured on a like account; because their sin's were greater, and more aggravated, they falling again into the same sin which had been forgiven them; and besides, they were before pressed with famine, now they had a plenty of manna every day; and also were better instructed, having received the law, which was not yet given when they were just come out of Egypt. Sulpitius F6 the historian says, 23,000 perished at this time.
F5 Ut supra, (Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 1. c. 15.) col. 109.