Biblical References

There are numerous references to doves in The Bible, both literal and symbolic, here are just a few:

Doves were first mentioned in The Bible at the time of the great flood--"Then he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; but the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put forth his hand and took her and brought her into the ark with him. He waited another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; and the dove came back to him in the evening, and lo, in her mouth a freshly plucked Olive Leaf ; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. Then he waited another seven days, and sent forth the dove; and she did not return to him any more." (Genesis 8:8-12 RSV)

The Lord used doves in an analogy, "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves." (Matthew 10:16 RSV)

In some translations of The Bible, the word dove is sometimes used interchangeably with the word pigeon:

In one of the most famous incidents of Bible History, Jesus Christ drove out those who were selling doves and exchanging money within the Temple area-- "And when He entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, "Who is this?" And the crowds said, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee." And Jesus entered the Temple of God and drove out all who sold and bought in the Temple, and He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer'; but you make it a den of robbers." (Matthew 21:10-13 RSV)

Columbbids occupy a prominent and generally revered position in most cultures and religions. Doves have been historically important in both Protestant and Catholic religions.

Doves are harmless, peaceful birds which came to be used as a symbol of The Holy Spirit: "And when Jesus was baptized , He went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on Him." (Matthew 3:16 RSV)

The Turtle Dove is not the only species of dove mentioned within The Bible.

Source: The Daily Bible Study, Wayne Blank.


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