Quail in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE

kwal (selaw; ortugometra; Latin Coturnix vulgaris): A game bird of the family Coturnix, closely related to "partridges" (which see). Quail and partridges are near relatives, the partridge a little larger and of brighter color. Quail are like the gray, brown and tan of earth. Their plumage is cut and penciled by markings, and their flesh juicy and delicate food. Their habits are very similar. They nest on the ground and brood on from 12 to 20 eggs. The quail are more friendly birds and live in the open, brooding along roads and around fields. They have a longer, fuller wing than the partridge and can make stronger flight. In Israel they were migratory. They are first mentioned in Ex 16:13: "And it came to pass at even, that the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the camp." This describes a large flock in migration, so that they passed as a cloud. Nu 11:31-33: "And there went forth a wind from Yahweh, and brought quail from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, about a day's journey on this side, and a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and about two cubits above the face of the earth. And the people rose up all that day, and all the night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp"; compare Ps 78:26-30:...

Read More