Tags: song of solomon

Jehoshabeath

Word study of Dove, Turtledove, Pigeon

Doves, turtledoves, and pigeons are mentioned quite often throughout the Bible. Are these turtledoves the same kind as the ones we see out the window here in Pennsylvania - the ones who coo so nicely? According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, there were three main types of turtledoves in ancient Israel:

-Palm Dove (also called Laughing Doves) - chestnut colored birds that liked to house in palm trees.
-Collared Dove - cream colored birds with a black marking at their necks. They dwell around the Dead Sea and the Jordan River.
-Rock Dove - larger, darker colored birds that made their homes in mountains, caves, and rocks.


The following Hebrew words are translated as "turtledove", "dove", or "pigeon":

גּוֹזָל
GOZAL: a nestling
(word comes from the sound of GAZAL - to rob)
used twice in the Bible

Genesis 15:9 - Abraham’s offering (young pigeon)
Deuteronomy 32:11 - Moses’ song compares God to an eagle which flutters over her young and carries them


תּוֹר
TOR: a turtledove
(onomatopoeia; also used for someone dear or timid)
used 14 times in the Bible

Genesis 15:9 - Abraham’s offering (turtledove)
Leviticus 1:14 - birds acceptable for burnt sacrifice (turtledoves)
Leviticus 5:7, 11 - birds acceptable for trespass offering (turtledoves)
Leviticus 12:6, 8 - sacrifice for purification after giving birth (turtledoves)
Leviticus 14:22, 30 - sacrifice for cleansing from leprosy (turtledoves)
Leviticus 15:14, 29 - sacrifice for cleansing from an unclean issue (turtledoves)
Numbers 6:10 - sacrifice for Nazarites if s/he is made unclean by death (turtledoves)

Psalm 74:19 - God’s people are compared to turtledoves
Song of Songs 2:12 - singing birds in springtime
Jeremiah 8:7 - birds know their appointed times, but the people are foolish



יוֹנָה
YONAH: a dove or pigeon
(a term of endearment; also the name of the prophet Jonah)
used 32 times in the Bible

Genesis 8:8-12 - the dove that Noah sent to search for dry land after the flood
Leviticus 1:14 - birds acceptable for burnt sacrifice (pigeons)
Leviticus 5:7, 11 - birds acceptable for trespass offering (pigeons)
Leviticus 12:6, 8 - sacrifice for purification after giving birth (pigeons)
Leviticus 14:22, 30 - sacrifice for cleansing from leprosy (pigeons)
Leviticus 15:14, 29 - sacrifice for cleansing from an unclean issue (pigeons)
Numbers 6:10 - sacrifice for Nazarites if s/he is made unclean by death (pigeons)

2 Kings 6:25 - Samaria is besieged and even bird dung is sold for money
Psalm 55:6 - David wishes that he had wings like a dove and could fly away to safety
Psalm 68:13 - God's blessings of victory are compared to wings coated in silver and gold
Song of Songs 1:15, 2:13, 4:1, 5:2, 5:12, 6:9 - The lovers compare each other to doves
Isaiah 38:14 - King Hezekiah mourned like a dove when he was deathly ill
Isaiah 59:11 - God’s people moan like doves and look for justice
Isaiah 60:8 - the Gentiles arise and come, like doves to their roosts
Jeremiah 48:28 - the people of Moab are encouraged to flee to the mountains like doves
Ezekiel 7:16 - the survivors are compared to mourning doves
Hosea 7:11 - Ephraim is compared to a silly dove
Hosea 11:11 - God’s people are compared to trembling doves as they are set free
Nahum 2:7 - Nineveh is compared to crying doves
A Balance

at rest and in motion

My natural posture is that of listening. I enjoy observing simply in order to observe. I find it difficult to formulate a response. In college, I loved attending lectures but dreaded class discussions. At work, I'm happy when I'm left to my spreadsheets, but uncomfortable in meetings. In matters of faith, I am altogether content observing a quiet shabbat with the Scriptures before me, but I feel like I'm suffocating in the halls after church. In Bible study, I will read and meditate on a passage for hours, but I'm troubled when I must move on to the stage of application.

My friends tell me that I appear to function quite normally in conversation and relationships. Perhaps I do. But why are my dreams filled with voiceless communication, with temples drained of strength, with total resignation, which rocking and white noise? In the midst of evening service, I sometimes feel like my insides are made of lead, heavy and full, overwhelmed. In the midst of loud, crowded work functions, I feel like my insides are sparking, warning signs that I'm on the verge of emotional tipping, overwhelmed. Speaking in groups, praying in groups, and keeping up with conversation requires conscious effort and concentration. I may be able to pray very fluently in my Bible study, but when I get home, I really don't feel like praying. It's not that I can't. It's just that once I'm free to rest, I don't feel like talking anymore. But don't I want to talk to my Father? Hmm, I'm still struggling with prayer, but it's becoming more of an ongoing "open channel" with Him and less of a composition/writing type activity, which is how it often feels when I'm praying in groups.

Talking about interesting things is a little different than normal conversation. That's more a relaying of facts - a copy/transcription activity that comes quite naturally. Also, keeping a journal like this is pleasant because it's a way for me to process through all the strong feelings and thoughts that I've carried throughout the day.

Talking to my family is a big comfort, too. They don't mind if I talk about random things or if I just want to sit with them quietly while cookies bake in the oven. They love me with much enthusiasm for who I am. What a blessing! I'm so thankful for them :) They show me that God doesn't love me reluctantly but that He loves me with much enthusiasm, too. When the Beloved in Song of Solomon said to his bride, "You who dwell in the gardens, the companions listen for your voice - let me hear it!" (SoS 8:13) I wonder if God delights so much to hear me? Well, Lord, you'll have to bear with me while I find my voice :) But I know that You hear even the silent prayers, bottling up my tears (Psalm 56:8), and sending Your Spirit to live in me and speak on my behalf (Romans 8:26-27). He is very kind :)