Verse 32. Stood up - Or rather rose up, which word is often used for beginning to do any business. All that night - Some at one time, and some at the other, and some, through greediness or diffidence, at both times. Ten homers - That is, ten ass loads: which if it seem incredible, you must consider,
1. That the gatherers here were not all the people, which could not be without great inconveniences, but some on the behalf of all, while the rest were exercised about other necessary things. So the meaning is not, that every Israelite had so much for his share, but that every collector gathered so much for the family, or others by whom he was intrusted.
2. That the people did not gather for their present use only, but for a good while to come, and being greedy and distrustful of God's goodness, it is not strange if they gathered much more than they needed.
3. That the word, rendered homers, may signify heaps, as it doth, Exod. viii, 14 Judg. xv, 16 Hab. iii, 15, and ten, is often put for many, and so the sense is, that every one gathered several heaps. If yet the number seems incredible, it must be farther known,
4. That Heathen and other authors affirm, in those eastern and southern countries quails are innumerable, so that in one part of Italy, within the compass of five miles, there were taken about an hundred thousand of them every day for a month together. And Atheneus relates, that in Egypt, a country prodigiously populous, they were in such plenty, that all those vast numbers of people could not consume them, but were forced to salt and keep them for future use. They spread them - That so they might dry, salt and preserve them for future use, according to what they had seen in Egypt.
Verse 33. Chewed - Hebrew. cut off, namely from their mouths. A very great plague - Probably the pestilence. But the sense is, before they had done eating their quails, which lasted for a month. Why did God so sorely punish the peoples murmuring for flesh here, when he spared them after the same sin, Exod. xvi, 12. Because this was a far greater sin, and aggravated with worse circumstances; proceeding not from necessity, as that did, when as yet they had no food, but from mere wantonness, when they had Manna constantly given them; committed after large experience of God's care and kindness, after God had pardoned their former sins, and after God had in a solemn and terrible manner made known his laws to them.
Verse 34. Kibroth-hattaavah - Hebrew. the graves of lust, that is, of the men that lusted, as it here follows. And it notes that the plague did not seize upon all that eat of the quails, for then all had been destroyed, but only upon those who were inordinate both in the desire and use of them.