In the ANSWERS study paper of 1991, concerning Exodus 16 and
God giving the Israelites quail to eat, they have this to say:
"In verses 11 and 12 we see God giving further explanation
of when the quail will be given:
'....And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, I have heard the
murmuring of the children of Israel: speak unto them saying, At
even (beyn ha-arbayim) you shall eat flesh, and in the morning
you shall be filled with bread....' (vs. 11-12).
If the phrase 'beyn ha-arbayim' is taken to mean 'twilight
(i.e. the period between sunset and dark",' the Israelites would
have had a very short time at the exact moment the sun set to
gather, prepare, cook and eat the quail, about 30 minutes at the
most. It should be obvious that to gather, prepare and eat the
quail would take more time than this. If, however, 'beyn
ha-arbayim' literally means the 6 hour period 'between the two
evenings,' then there would be approximately 6 hours to prepare a
meal of quail which could have been eaten any time prior to
My answer to Answers Publication. The Israelites were told
this by God through Moses BEFORE the quails came that evening.
They had time either right at sunset, to light fires. You had
some catching the quail, and quickly killing them and
de-feathering them, and on the fires for roasting they would go.
Quail are not a large bird. Notice God gave no instructions as to
how the quail were to be eaten, there was no, "and you shall
eat them this way....."
I have observed in restaurants that many people eat their
steaks very very "rare," so much so that it is all still red on
the inside. It is very raw! Yet, people who eat it this
way, like it to be so.
Do you think that ALL those "lusting after flesh" to eat,
Israelites, just took their sweet time and patiently sat by until
the quail were cooked "well done" style? I guess not! Many would
have ripped of the feathers in seconds and maybe put them over
the fire for a few minutes, before passionately devouring them.
Yes, many would have eaten their pound of flesh as we say, within
half an hour of it arriving in the camp of Israel.
There is yet another answer to this argument put forth by
Answers Publication. The phrase "at even you shall eat flesh"
could well be a figure of speech, a general statement of speech.
The Bible is full of such figures of general statements. I have a
full study on that important tool to correct Bible understanding,
you will find it entitled "A Key to Bible understanding - General
The phrase "and in the morning you shall be filled with
bread" (Ex.16: 12), is a figure of general statement speech. The
substance to make bread with was going to be there for them in
the MORNING, but that phrase did not command them or tell them
they could only eat the manna in the morning. It came in the
morning and was there until the sun "waxed hot." They did not all
have to gather it at the split second of "morning." As you read
the context it is clear that the manna came in the morning, but
lasted in good wholesomeness until the next morning. They could
have it to eat for an approximate 24 hours. Yes, they could eat
the manna from the morning, when it arrived, if they desired,
but they could eat it later in that day also. It was only by the
next morning that it was breeding worms and stinking - rotting
So also, the quails were to arrive at even, "between the two
evening" - at dusk, twilight, sunset, after the Sabbath (the
context, see verse 22, shows that this was happening on the first
day of the week, for six days later they had to gather twice as
much manna as no manna was given by God on the Sabbath day) and
work could be done such as fire building and cooking, and they
could eat them from that time on. Some surely did and were
indeed eaten them within half an hour to an hour, between sunset
and darkness of night. Others maybe took longer to eat them, and
continued well into the night, but at eventide they came and at
eventide they began to roast them on fires and eat them. As we
have noted there were probably some among those flesh lusting
Israelites, that did not wait for roasting or boiling them, but
de-feathered and ate them raw.
All in this section of Scripture concerning the eating of
the quails can be understood without contradiction to the truth
about the Hebrew "between the two evening" as dusk, twilight,
sunset. As well as noting that if manna was not given on the
Sabbath day, God would surely not have sent quail in the
afternoon of the Sabbath day, and have tens of thousands of
Israelites going crazy over being able to eat flesh. There would
have been more pandemonium over the quails for sure, than going
out and peacefully and quietly gathering some manna.
Now, if you have not yet done so, please study my study on
the Hebrew phrase "between the two evenings" (beyn ha-arbayim).
Written 1991 and re-written 2003