Daily Arts Web Nucleus


Discover the Arts! Each day a different image from the Literary, Performing, or Visual Arts representing a portion of Scripture
plus an explanation with links and a discussion forum

2014 February 16

Bobwhite Quail (Painted Photograph) - (2011)
Lich (?) Williams ("cre8foru") - (Contemporary Artist - 2014)
Realism Style
Private Collection?
Image Source: Georgia Outdoor News

     Explanation: The image above depicts a type of quail (Colinus virginianus) similar, quite possibly, in appearance to those that the LORD sent into the camp of the Israelites, which may have been of the Coturnix vulgaris, or common quail, variety.
     Numbers 11 contains several events, of which the central event is God's provision of quail for Israel to eat for a whole month. When the chapter opens, the people are in the Wilderness of Paran, having left Mount Sinai after the LORD had finished instructing them in his law and had established their worship institutions, including the Tabernacle and the priesthood. There, in the Wilderness of Paran, they once again manifest the rebellious spirit that was with them from the time they left the land of Egypt. As the narrative unfolds in successive chapters, this spirit will cost the generation of those who were 20 and above the right to enter the promised land (Numbers 14:26-38), and they will die in the wilderness.
     The first incident in the chapter was a complaint by the people -- of what nature, we are not told. But the LORD heard it and sent a fire among them which consumed those who were in the outermost parts of the camp. The LORD relented when the people cried to Moses; and the name of the place was called Taberah, which means "burning" (1-3). The next incident, which is the sending of the quails, covers the rest of the chapter, with an interruption in the midst of the account where the LORD sends aid to Moses to help him judge and rule the nation. The quail incident began when the mixed multitude (i.e., Egyptians and others who had escaped with Israel) began lusting for the kind of food they had in Egypt - fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic. They claimed that their soul had "dried away" because they had nothing to eat but manna (4-6). The narrative breaks off briefly, at this point, to describe the manna and how the people gathered it and prepared it in various ways, and how it fell during the night into the camp (7-9). The discontent spread from the mixed multitude throughout the camp. And the people stood in the doors of their tents and wept. This angered the LORD and Moses. And Moses offered his own complaint to the LORD about how heavy his burden was because of the people; and he requested to die rather than continue to be so wretched (10-15). In response, the LORD had Moses assemble seventy elders at the door of the Tabernacle where he would put the spirit that was upon Moses upon the seventy. Also, he told Moses to tell the people that they would have flesh to eat for a month. This startled Moses to the point of incredulity; but the LORD assured him it would happen (16-23). Moses then told these words to the people and gathered the seventy elders. And the LORD came down in a cloud and spoke to Moses and poured out his Spirit on the seventy; and they prophesied without ceasing (24-25). This happened also to Eldad and Medad who had stayed in the camp; and when Joshua heard it he asked Moses to forbid it; but Moses said that he wished that all of the LORD's people would prophesy (26-30). Then a wind went forth from the LORD and brought quail into the camp (compare a similar incident in Wilderness of Sin (Exodus 16:13); and the people gathered them for two days. But before they could chew their first mouthful the LORD sent a very great plague upon them. And they called the name of the place Kibrothhattaavah ("the graves of lust"). And from there they went to Hazeroth (31-35).

Numbers 11

     1 And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp. 2 And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the LORD, the fire was quenched. 3 And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the LORD burnt among them.
     4 And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? 5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: 6 But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.
     7 And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium. 8 And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil. 9 And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.
     10 Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased. 11 And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? 12 Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers? 13 Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat. 14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. 15 And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.
     16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. 17 And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone. 18 And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. 19 Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; 20 But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the LORD which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt? 21 And Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month. 22 Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them? 23 And the LORD said unto Moses, Is the LORD'S hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.
     24 And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle. 25 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.
     26 But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. 27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. 29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD'S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them! 30 And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.
     31 And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth. 32 And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp. 33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague. 34 And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted. 35 And the people journeyed from Kibrothhattaavah unto Hazeroth; and abode at Hazeroth.

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