In their wild state doves generally build their nests in the clefts of rocks, but when domesticated "dove-cots" are prepared for them (Cant. 2:14; Jer. 48:28; Isa. 60:8). The dove was placed on the standards of the Assyrians and Babylonians in honour, it is supposed, of Semiramis (Jer. 25:38; Vulg., "fierceness of the dove;" comp. Jer. 46:16; 50:16). Doves and turtle-doves were the only birds that could be offered in sacrifice, as they were clean according to the Mosaic law (Ge. 15:9; Lev. 5:7; 12:6; Luke 2:24). The dove was the harbinger of peace to Noah (Gen. 8:8, 10). It is often mentioned as the emblem of purity (Ps. 68:13). It is a symbol of the Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:2; Matt. 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32); also of tender and devoted affection (Cant. 1:15; 2:14). David in his distress wished that he had the wings of a dove, that he might fly away and be at rest (Ps. 55:6-8). There is a species of dove found at Damascus "whose feathers, all except the wings, are literally as yellow as gold" (68:13).
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