“Moshe and the leaders of Israel went back into the camp; and Adonai sent out a wind which brought quails from across the sea and let them fall near the camp, about a day’s trip away on each side of the camp and all around it, covering the ground to a depth of three feet.”-Numbers 11:30-31
So the great miracle of Adonai is performed.
From verse 31 in Numbers Chapter 11 we’re told a wind began to blow and then flocks of quail flying in from the direction of the Red Sea began to drop all over the camp of Israel.
Notice the Scripture says the birds dropped “about a day’s trip on each side of the camp“.
Remember distance was measured in time in those days and we still express ourselves that way today by saying for example “the store is about a 10-minute drive from here“.
The idea being expressed is that the marching column of about 3 million people was a distance equivalent to a 2-day journey by foot.
This would be a distance roughly short of a marathon race, about 20 miles or so.
What God had accomplished was to cause an abundance of quail to drop along the length and breadth of 20-mile long marching column comprised of about 3 million Israelites.
And when I say an abundance, I mean an abundance.
The Scripture tells us the quail was piled up 3 feet high.
As with many of the miracles recorded for us in Scripture, what God often does is take an event in nature and simply amplify its effects.
Recall this is exactly what God did with the 10 plagues He performed in Egypt.
Many of the plagues were things that normally occur in nature but the Lord amplified them.
Here’s an interesting excerpt from the writings of Josephus speaking on the migration of quail in the Middle Eastern area:
“In March and April they cross the Mediterranean coming from the south in large bands, and returning southwards from Europe in even more enormous flights towards the end of September. On both migrations they are netted for the market; the flesh of the birds caught in the spring is commonly dry and indifferent, but that of those taken in the autumn is excellent. Though they rise rapidly on the wing, they seldom fly far except on their migrations, and then they are often overtaxed and simply drop, exhausted, into the sea or even onto passing ships.“
One common point of confusion concerns the statement that the Israelites took the quails and “spread them out for themselves all around the camp”.
This doesn’t mean that the Israelites took all the quail that were dropping from the sky like stones and just laid them out all over the place so a census or something could be conducted.
No, what that verse is referring to is the Egyptian way of drying and curing meat.
In other words, the Israelites took the quail, split them open, drained the blood and then left them out to dry.
Afterwards and this might gross you out a bit but the Israelites just ate the meat raw.
Let’s not forget the Israelites were still very much Egyptian in thought, culture and deed.
In Egypt this was also how fish and beef were treated.
Okay, so the takeaway I’m getting from this awesome event may come across as cliche and corny but I can’t help it.
Even though the Lord sent the quail to the Israelites to teach them a lesson in response to their grumbling, to me this event demonstrates the awesome and limitless power of the Lord in the midst of seemingly hopeless circumstances period.
I mean if that doesn’t inspire the heck out of you, I don’t know what will.
I’m reminded of Moses saying to God in desperation:
“Here I am with six hundred thousand men on foot, and yet you say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!’ If whole flocks and herds were slaughtered for them, would it be enough? If all the fish in the sea were collected for them, would even that be enough?”
And I loooooooooooooooooooooove God’s response:
“Has Adonai’s arm grown short?
Now you will see whether
what I said will happen or not!”
Are you struggling with what seem to be insurmountable debts?
Are you or is maybe somebody you know struggling with a terminal illness?
Of course, I don’t know exactly what your particular challenges or difficult circumstances are.
I’ve got my own seemingly insurmountable circumstances that outside of the power of God I really don’t know how I’m going to deal with them.
All I can say is this.
“Has Adonai’s arm grown short?”
There is NOTHING and I mean NOTHING that יְהֹוָה cannot handle.