Birds of the Bible – Dove and Turtle-Dove

The Dove is probably recognized by most people, even though they may not know which specific kind they are viewing. White doves are released at weddings and other special occasions. The symbol for the dove is displayed many times. The coo of the mourning dove is heard and most recognize a Rock Pigeon (formerly a Rock Dove). We do not have Turtle-Doves here in America; they are in the Orient, Asia, Africa and Europe.
The dove family (Columbidae) ranges from about 6.5” to 12” and seem to be gentle. Doves tend to be monogamous and both male and female produce a “crop milk” to feed their young the first few days. Most birds regurgitate food for the young from the beginning. Doves do not make the most elabroate nests, often they are on the ground and flimsy. Many were domesticated and were used for sacrifices. They are considered “clean” birds in the Bible. There are at least twenty references to doves in the Word of God.

  • The first mention of the Dove is in Genesis 8:8-13 when Noah released her from the ark. She was released three times, but came back two times because she “found no rest for the sole of her foot.” They do not eat carrion as the raven does. Most are ground feeders and she had nowhere to feed that was dry. The second time she came back with an olive leaf, and then never returned the last time.
  • (Genesis 15:9, Leviticus 5:7 and 12:6-8, Luke 2:22-24) all refer the Dove and Turtle dove being used for sacrifices.
  • David was distressed and wrote “…Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. (Psalms 55:6 KJV)
  • Isaiah 38:14 says, “I did mourn as a dove…” We have a Mourning Dove.
    The Lord used the dove when he told His Apostles, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matt.10:16)
  • The dove became a symbol of The Holy Spirit at Jesus’ Baptism (Mat 3:16; Luk 3:22; John 1:32).

There is more to be said, but when you find the Dove in your Scripture reading, you will have a mental picture of them. The Hymn writers have used the dove in songs like:
Sunshine in My Soul – Eliza E. Hewitt, 1851-1920
There is springtime in my soul today,
For when the Lord is near,
The dove of peace sings in my heart,
The flow’rs of grace appear. Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove – Isaac Watts, 1674-1748
Come, Holy Spirit, heav’nly Dove,
With all Thy quick’ning pow’rs;
Kindle a flame of sacred love
In these cold hearts of ours.

Pictures are (In Order-Mourning, Eurasian Collared, Ground, and White-winged Doves) Reinier Munguia at Wildstock Photography)

See our Doves and Pigeon page

3 thoughts on “Birds of the Bible – Dove and Turtle-Dove

  1. HI MY NAME IS ANDREA. YOU MET MY MOTHER AT DENNY’S. I AM SO GLAD THAT I FOUND YOUR WEB SITE..SINCE MY CLASS IS STUDYING BIRDS I WANTED TO ASK IF YOU CAN COME TO MY CLASSROOM AND SHARE SOME STUFF ABOUT BIRDS AND BIRDS OF THE BIBLE. YOU CAN BRING PICTURES AND REPORTS THAT YOU FOUND ABOUT BIRDS. GOD MADE SO MANY BIRDS FOR US TO ADMIRE THAT IT WOULD BE AWESOME IF YOU CAN SHARE WHAT YOU KNOW. I ALSO WANT TO KNOW IF YOU DECIDE YOU WANT TO COME AND SHARE CAN YOU SHARE SOME STUFF ABOUT THE MOURNING DOVE BECAUSE THAT WAS ONE OF OUR BIRD OF THE WEEK. I AM SO LOOKING FORWARD TO MEETING YOU, BUT IF YOU DECIDE NOT TO THEN THAT’S OK. SEND ME A EMAIL IF YOU DECIDE TO COME.
    FROM
    ANDREA

    Like

    • Thanks, Andrea, for leaving a comment. I will get an email off to you and will contact you and your mother. I believe your third grade teacher will need to be contacted also.

      Like

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