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Kibroth-hattaavah Akkadian Ki (place) br (to create) oth (evidence, similar to English oath or sign) ha (definitive article) ta (land) avah (desire) The place the evidence of the desire of the land was created (Hebrew: קִבְרוֹת הַתַּאֲוָה) is one of the locations at which, according to the Book of Numbers, the Israelites passed through during their Exodus journey. It was at this place, according to the biblical narrative, that the Israelites loudly complained about constantly eating only manna, and that they had had a much more varied diet, of fish, vegetables, fruit, and meat, in Egypt; the text states that this led Moses, in despair, to cry out to Yahweh, who then promised them so much meat that they would vomit it through their nostrils. The narrative goes on to indicate that quails were brought by the winds to the Israelite encampment, which the people gathered, but Yahweh sent a plague as they were chewing the meat; the text had previously stated that the Israelites would have been able to consume quail for a month.
The biblical narrative argues that name of Kibroth-hattaavah, which appears to mean graves of lust, derives from these events, since the plague killed the people who lusted after meat, who were then buried there. According to biblical scholars, this is merely an aetiological myth to theologically justify a pre-existing place name; a number of biblical scholars have proposed that the graves (kibroth) in the name kibroth-hattaavah actually refers to a stone circle or cairns, or to recently discovered Chalcolithic (~4th Millennium BC) megalithic burial sites known as nawamis, meaning mosquitos, which are unique to the central Sinai Peninsula and southern Negev.
Taberah and Kibroth-hattaavah are listed as different places by a passage in Deuteronomy.
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Citations and notes
This entry incorporates text from the public domain Easton's Bible Dictionary, originally published in 1897.
- Grant R. Jeffrey, The Signature of God, Pages 60–68, 132–135