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cause the Egyptian priests chose for the emblem of a well regulated family, two partridges, the one male, the other female, sitting or brooding together. And by the text in Jeremiah, it seems that in Judea the male partridge sat as well as the female. But while the incubation of other birds, which are by no means so attentive, is generally crowned with success, the hopes of the partridge are frequently disappointed by circumstances already noticed, which she

can neither foresee nor prevent.

CHAP. XII.

THE SAME SUBJEOT CONTINUED.

1

The Quail. This bird is somewhat less than a pigeon, and larger than a sparrow.

Its Hebrew name is (150) shelav, which Bochart traces to (ohu) shalah, which signifies to live peaceably, or to abound, because in warm countries no bird is more abundant. From its remarkable obesity, it has obtained from the Arabs the name of sumana, which is not less characteristic than the other. But it is more probable, that the Hebrew name alludes to the foolish and ruinous security in which the quail is known to indulge. When she lights upon a field abounding in grain, she resigns herself to the power of appetite without fear or suspicion. Devoted entirely to the happiness of the moment, she betrays herself with her incessant singing, and is easily enticed into the snare of the fowler. Josephus renders the term by the Greek word oρτυξ, and the Septuagint by ορτυγομητρα, which, in the opinion of some writers, denote birds of a different species. This is the sentiment of Augustine, although he admits that the difference between these birds and the quail is very inconsiderable. They appear from the description of different authors, to be

VOL. 11.

12

only varieties of the same species, of which the ortygometra is represented as in every respect entitled to the preference. She is the mother of the family, of a a larger size, and, according to Pliny, the hereditary leader in their migrating journeys. These terms are, therefore, often used promiscuously to denote the quail.

In opposition to this opinion, an author of great celebrity contends, that the sacred historian alludes to the locust. For if the Hebrew word is derived from a verb which signifies to abound, it applies to the locust with still more propriety than the quail: he adds, that all the oriental versions, and the Arabic authors, have retained the Hebrew word without understanding it, and that Josephus is the first who gave it the common signification, without producing any reason for his interpretation.

His arguments, it is readily granted, possess no inconsiderable force; and, in the opinion of Saurin, they invalidate, or at least involve the common interpretation in doubt and suspicion. But it may be replied in general, to the reasonings of Ludolf, that the term 1500, no where else in the sacred volume, signifies the locust; and therefore ought not, without more powerful reasons than he has been able to produce, to be so rendered in this passage. Nor will the root from which it proceeds, admit of Ludolf's conjecture; for no creature is more restless than the locust. Besides, the animal which in one passage is called (150) shelav, is (ov) ouph in another; but it deserves to be remarked, that the latter term properly belongs to the fowls of heaven, not to winged insects; and if at any time it seems to be used in relation to these, it is only as a generic term, and in a very loose and indefinite sense. But when Moses says, Noah builded an altar unto the Lord, and took of every clean beast, and of every clean (qv) fowl, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar, birds only can be understood; for winged insects were never offered in sacrifice upon the altar of Jehovah. Hence when asu is used distinctly, and not in the universality of the genus, it ought to be understood of a bird, and not of

an insect. In this sense it was understood by all the ancients, although they differed about the species of bird which the sacred writer intended. On the hypothesis of Ludolf, it may be considered as an inexplicable circumstance that Moses, in a country swarming with locusts, did not seem to think of them, when he asked with surprise: “ 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. Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea he gathered together for them to suffice them ?"*

Moses knew that the innumerable swarms of locusts which devour the land of Egypt and the surrounding countries, were the sport of every wind, and that a steady gale could waft as many into the desert, as would suffice all the thousands of Israel. Why then did he not mention the locusts, and present his supplication for a favourable breeze? This circumstance cannot be accounted for, but on the supposition that locusts were not the object of their desire, nor in the contemplation of Jehovah. The rebellious Israelites demanded flesh to eat in the clearest terms, and in their name, Moses asked flesh from the Lord. It is true, the word flesh is not always used in a restricted sense; for on that occasion, Moses asked, “Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to sufice them? Or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them to suffice them ?" But in this place, it is not used in its most general sense, for the muscular parts of any animal, because the people under this name demanded the same kinds of flesh to which they had been accustomed in Egypt. Who shall give us flesh to eat ? We remember the fish which we did eat in Egypt freely. The animals on whose flesh they feasted in Egypt, are enumerated by Moses, in his reply to the intimation of Jehovah, except one species, which David, in spirit, long afterwards mentioned in one of the songs of Zion. 66 He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls,” (723 9V) ouph canaph, fowls of the wing, by * Numb. xi. 20, 21.

† Nimh. xi, 4, 5.

ner.

way of excellence, to distinguish them from (gryn prow) sherets haoph, winged insects.* It does not appear, that insects are ever in Scripture called ouph canaph; this phrase being appropriated to the fowls of heaven. Quph is a generic term, which embraces every winged animal; but when the Hebrews mean to distinguish winged insects, they connect with it the term sherets; and canaph, when they wish to designate feathered fowls. Canaph properly signifies a wing, which may be contracted or expanded, for the purpose of covering and protecting the body of the animal; which does not seem to accord with the wings of insect tribes. Nor were the quails in danger of breeding worms, and becoming unfit for use, by exposure to the scorching beams of the sun on the sandy desert; for this effect was prevented, by the rapidity of the exsiccation; and the safety of this method of curing them, is confirmed by the practice of the modern Egyptians, who dry their meat, and preserve it for use in the same man

.Whatever, then, may be the proper meaning of (190.) shelav, it is far more probable, that it denotes a feathered fowl, than a locust.

It is evident from the history of Moses, that the demands of Israel were twice supplied with quails by the miraculous interposition of divine Providence. The first instance is recorded in the book of Exodus, and is described in these words : “I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel : speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and

ye

shall know that I am the Lord your God. And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp.”+ From these words it appears, that the quails were sent to supply the wants of the people, at the same time the manna began to be showered down from heaven, around their encampment in the desert of Sin; and it is clear, from the beginning of the chapter, that this event took place soon after their departure from Egypt, upon the fifteenth day of the second month, before they came to mount Sinai. This mira* Lev. xi. 13, 20. Deut. xiv. 19, &c.

f Exod. xvi. 12, 13.

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cle was repeated at Kibroth-hattaavah, a place three days journey beyond the desert of Sinai; but they struck their tents before Sinai, in the second year after their departure from Egypt, on the twentieth day of the second month; so that a whole year intervened between the first and second supply. In the first instance, the quails were scattered about the camp only for one day; but in the second, they came up from the sea for a whole month. They only covered the camp at their first appearance; but when they came the second time, they lay round about it to the distance of a day's journey No signs of divine wrath attended the first miracle; but the second was no sooner wrought, than the vengeance of their offended God overtook these incorrigible sinners : “ 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. Hence, it is evident, that the sacred historian records two different events; of which, the one was more stupendous than the other, and seemed to Moses so extraordinary, that on receiving the divine promise, he could not refrain from objecting : 6 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. 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 ?" Moses had seen the power of Jehovah successfully exerted in feeding his people with flesh for one day; but he could scarcely imagine, from whence supplies of the same kind could be drawn for a whole month. That eminent servant of Jehovah, astonished at the greatness of the promised favour, seemed to forget for a moment, that with God all things are possible.

These quails were brought by an immediate display of almighty power into the desert, and scattered around the camp of Israel. « And there went forth a a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's jour

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