Dove (Yonah, περιστερά)

 •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 7
The well-known bird of the pigeon tribe, of which there are many species. These words are translated both “dove” and “pigeon.” For the turtle-dove the words tor, τρυγώνv, are used, names supposed to be derived from the note of the bird. Pigeons are very common in Palestine, and if any persons were too poor to buy a pair for an offering the young could easily be caught in the holes of the rocks: thus God graciously ordered it that the poorest could obtain what was needed.
There are four species of doves that inhabit Palestine: of these the most abundant is the Rock Pigeon, or Blue Rock Dove, the Columba livia. They shun the habitation of man, and live in holes in the rocks. There are three species of turtle doves known in Palestine, which are both wild and domesticated. Some may often be seen in Jerusalem. The most abundant of these is perhaps the Turtur auritus.
The dove is commonly taken as the emblem of peace: the Holy Spirit descended on the Lord “like a dove,” answering to “on earth peace, good will toward men.” It is also an emblem of harmlessness: “wise as serpents, harmless as doves” (Matt. 10:1616Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16)). In the Song of Solomon the bridegroom three times calls the bride “my dove,” and says she has “doves’ eyes”; she also says the latter of him (Song of Sol. 1:1515Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes. (Song of Solomon 1:15); Song of Sol. 2:1414O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely. (Song of Solomon 2:14); Song of Sol. 4:11Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead. (Song of Solomon 4:1); Song of Sol. 5:2,122I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. (Song of Solomon 5:2)
12His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set. (Song of Solomon 5:12)
; Song of Sol. 6:99My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her. (Song of Solomon 6:9)). Loving gentleness characterizes the dove.