Though you lie down among the sheepfolds, You will be like the wings of a dove covered with silver, And her feathers with yellow gold.” (Psalms 68:13 NKJV)
That is an interesting verse which describes a Dove with feathers that are the color of yellowish-gold. Are there Doves like that today that we can find a photo of? Let’s see. The first photo found was the one at the top of a Golden Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus luteovirens). I see yellowish-gold, but no silver. Let me keep checking.
How about this one? What do you think? The head looks silver and I see yellowish-gold. Let’s take a few more looks at this Wompoo Fruit Dove.
We actually saw this bird at the National Aviary in Pittsburg, PA. Here is a photo that Dan took.
What do others in their commentaries say about this verse?
Poole - As the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold; beautiful and glorious, like the feathers of a dove, which according to the variety of its postures, and of the light shining upon it, look like silver or gold.
McGee - In this psalm it seems to have the same meaning—Israel was undecided and inactive. “Yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove”—the dove was a sacrificial bird and is a type of Christ. What a picture this gives us. Though they be negligent, though they are not moved by enthusiasm, yet the sacrifice of Christ will cover them. This psalm could actually be called the psalm of the Ascension since we have a verse that is quoted in Eph_4:8: “… When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.”
MHCC - Psalms 68:7-14 - Fresh mercies should put us in mind of former mercies. If God bring his people into a wilderness, he will be sure to go before them in it, and to bring them out of it. … Israel in Egypt among the kilns appeared wretched, but possessed of Canaan, during the reigns of David and Solomon, appeared glorious. Thus the slaves of Satan, when converted to Christ, when justified and sanctified by him, look honourable. When they reach heaven, all remains of their sinful state disappear, they shall be as the wings of the dove, covered with silver, and her feathers as gold. Full salvation will render those white as snow, who were vile and loathsome through the guilt and defilement of sin.
Treasury of David - Psa_68:13 “Though ye have lien among the pots.” Does he mean that the women at home, who had been meanly clad as they performed their household work, would be so gorgeously arrayed in the spoil, that they would be like doves, of silver wing and golden plumage?
Or, would he say that Israel, which had been begrimed in the brick-kilns of Egypt, should come forth lustrous and happy in triumph and liberty?
Or, did the song signify that the ark should be brought from its poor abode with Obed-edom into a fairer dwelling-place?
It is a hard passage, a nut for the learned to crack. … but the sense seems to be, that from the lowest condition the Lord would lift Up his people into joy, liberty, wealth, and beauty. Their enemies may have called them squatters among the pots – in allusion to their Egyptian slavery; they may have jested at them as scullions of Pharaoh’s kitchen; but the Lord would avenge them and give them beauty ‘for blackness, glory for grime. “Yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.” The dove’s wing flashes light like silver, and anon gleams with the radiance of “the pale, pure gold.” The lovely, changeable colours of the dove might well image the mild, lustrous beauty of the nation, when arrayed in white holiday-attire, bedecked with their gems, jewels, and ornaments of gold. God’s saints have been in worse places than among the pots, but now they soar aloft into the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
TSK Treasury of Scripture Knowledge - Psalms 68:13 Though: That is, probably, “Though ye have laboured and lain down between the brick-kilns in Egypt – a poor, enslaved, and oppressed people, yet ye shall gradually rise to dignity, prosperity, and splendour; as a dove, which has been defiled with dirt, disordered, and dejected, by washing herself in a running stream, and trimming her plumage, gradually recovers the serenity of her disposition, the purity of colour, and the richness and varied elegance of her appearance.”
Wesley - Ye – Ye Israelites. Ye are – Tho’ you have formerly been exposed to great reproach and misery, yet God hath changed your condition. Gold – Beautiful and glorious, like the feathers of a dove, which according to the variety of its postures, and of the light shining upon it, look like silver and gold.
These writers are all are telling of someone who was dull from sin or slavery. The Lord reaches down and brings them out of that condition, cleans them up, and they shine like a dove with silver and gold.
Before we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, we are in sin, our hearts are dark. If we accept His free gift of salvation, confessing that we are sinners and believing that only He can save us, He will save us and clean us up. We will shine like the Dove. You will shine like “the wings of a dove covered with silver, And her feathers with yellow gold.”
As I have been writing this, another dove has come to mind. The Nicobar Pigeon is a bird that when it is in the shadows or shade, looks rather dull. When it gets out in the sunshine, it shines. Its feathers are iridescent.
Now let’s bring a Nicobar out into the light:
- Birds of the Bible – Doves and Pigeons
- Birds of the Bible
- Gospel Message
- Columbidae – Pigeons, Doves Family