530. Pigeon Houses

Isaiah 60:8  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Isaiah 60:88Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? (Isaiah 60:8). Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows.
Doves have always been favorite birds in the East. In Egypt, Syria, and Persia there are cotes built for their special accommodation. In the text the prophet represents the success of Christianity by the countless Gentiles who will seek admission into the Church. So numerous will these Gentiles be that they will appear like a cloud, just as the doves appear when they fly to the entrances to their habitations. The figure is very animated and beautiful.
Some of the dove houses are quite peculiar in their construction. Shaw represents them as a prominent feature in Egyptian villages. They are round, tall, and narrow, six or eight being grouped together. See Travels, plate facing p. 291.
Morier gives an interesting account of the pigeon houses of Persia, which are erected at intervals in the open country for the purpose of collecting the dung for manure. “They are large round towers, rather broader at the bottom than the top, and crowned by conical spiracles through which the pigeons descend. Their interior resembles a honeycomb pierced with a thousand holes, each of which forms a snug retreat for a nest. More care appears to have been bestowed upon the outside than upon that of the generality of the dwelling-houses, for they are painted and ornamented. The extraordinary flights of pigeons which I have seen alight upon one of these buildings afford perhaps a good illustration for the passage in Isaiah 60:88Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? (Isaiah 60:8) Their great numbers and the compactness of their mass literally look like a cloud at a distance, and obscure the sun in their passage” (Second Journey, etc., p. 140).