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Graves of Craving

Kibroth-hattaavah (as it sounds in Hebrew) means "graves of craving." It was the name given to the place (Kibroth-hattaavah was actually just one of the numerous places where nearly all of the adults of the Exodus rebelled against The Lord, with disastrous consequences for themselves - see the Fact Finder question below) where the Israelites rose up against Moses' God-commanded leadership (see also The Education Of Moses). It was a bizarre demonstration of carnal human nature; the people witnessed the great miracles of the Exodus and their journey to their free land, and yet not long thereafter longed to return to their slavery.

"he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted"

They had just rebelled at Taberah (Numbers 11:1-3), to which The Lord responded with fire upon them, but they again complained, this time because they were growing tired of eating the manna that The Lord was miraculously providing for them.

The Exodus

"And the mixed 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? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic: But now our soul is dried away [see Where Is Your Soul?]: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes. And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium. 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. And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it." (Numbers 11:4-9 KJV)

The Lord responded to their demands with a "taste" of His wrath.

"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 [see YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, 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. Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; 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?"

"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. 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 [see Biblical Weights and Measures]: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp. 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. And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted." (Numbers 11:18-20, 11:31-34 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why did the Israelites' journey from Egypt to the land of Israel take forty years?
See A Journey Without A Destination


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