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What the Bible says about Turtledove
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Leviticus 1:14

The turtledove and pigeon represent mourning innocence, powerlessness, meekness, and humility. No labor is symbolized here, nor is uncomplaining submission, but rather harmlessness, a proclivity to make peace, and even sadness. In Matthew 10:16, as Christ prepares to send the apostles out to represent Him, He instructs them: "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves." Later, the apostle Paul instructs the much-beloved Philippian congregation to "Do all things without murmuring and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless..." (Philippians 2:14-16).

Isaiah draws on a turtledove's characteristic to describe Israel's social situation:

We all growl like bears, and moan sadly like doves; we look for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before You, and our sins testify against us; and as for our iniquities, we know them: In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. (Isaiah 59:11-15)

Overall, the turtledove's imagery is of humility mixed with sadness caused by the overwhelming accumulation of the effects of sin and repentant sorrow because we have been so much trouble to God. This quality is rewarding, as Psalm 147:3 comforts, "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 34:17-19 adds, "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all."

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Two): The Burnt Offering

Leviticus 1:14-17

Notice also the especially wide cost difference between a turtledove and the other animals. This suggests some have more required of them than others, which is confirmed in Luke 12:48: "For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."

This distinction is drawn even finer when we understand that with the bullock, sheep, and goat, the offerer slays the animal. However, the priest kills the dove. In fact, the priest does everything regarding the dove except bring it for sacrificing. John 10:11, 15, 17-18 explains this more fully, showing that the priest voluntarily sacrifices Himself. We can understand in the offering of the turtledove that its death is seen as the work of the High Priest and Mediator, thus it emphasizes Christ's intercessory work for those who are weak. The weak require more help and not as much is required of them. God does not expect more of us than we can deliver.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Two): The Burnt Offering


Find more Bible verses about Turtledove:
Turtledove {Nave's}
 




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