What does the Bible say about doves?
Doves are a family of birds related to, and to some degree, including the pigeon. They are small, and delicate, but resilient, and can survive and thrive in a variety of environments including cities and inhospitable places.
In the New Testament, a dove is used as a symbol of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32). It is also an emblem of purity, innocence and harmlessness (Matthew 10:16). This tallies with the fact that doves are commonly white in color, and white in the Scripture represents purity or righteousness (Revelation 19:8)
The first mention of a dove in the Bible is when Noah sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the earth after the Flood (Genesis 8:8-12). Doves are said to be habitually migratory (Jeremiah 8:7). Some doves make their nests at the mouth of caves (Jeremiah 48:28).
When looking around at the beauty and diversity of creation, it is awe-inspiring to see the numerous birds of the air and beasts of the land. God uses these creatures as part of His divine plan to aid man in cultivating and maintaining the natural order. He also uses them to demonstrate His love, His power, and His very presence.
In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit chose to manifest itself in the form of a dove. At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus went out to see his cousin, the prophet John the Baptist, in order to be baptized. Jesus is in His physical body, the Father speaks audibly for all present to hear, and the Spirit manifested like a dove.
The dove is a way that God shows His guiding hand and His lasting peace.
Here are more Bible verses about doves every Christian Should Know:
Leviticus 1:14-17 ESV
“If his offering to the Lord is a burnt offering of birds, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves or pigeons. And the priest shall bring it to the altar and wring off its head and burn it on the altar. Its blood shall be drained out on the side of the altar. He shall remove its crop with its contents and cast it beside the altar on the east side, in the place for ashes. He shall tear it open by its wings, but shall not sever it completely. And the priest shall burn it on the altar, on the wood that is on the fire. It is a burnt offering, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord.
Genesis 8:1-22 ESV
But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided. The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, and the waters receded from the earth continually. At the end of 150 days the waters had abated, and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. And the waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen.
Genesis 8:8-12 ESV
Then he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground. But the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her and brought her into the ark with him. He waited another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark. And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. Then he waited another seven days and sent forth the dove, and she did not return to him anymore.
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