Its peculiar peaceful and gentle habit its often referred to in
Scripture. A pair was offered in sacrifice by Mary at her
purification (Luke 2:24). The pigeon and the turtle-dove were
the only birds permitted to be offered in sacrifice (Lev. 1:14;
5:7; 14:22; 15:14, 29, etc.). The Latin name of this bird,
_turtur_, is derived from its note, and is a repetition of the
Hebrew name _tor_. Three species are found in Israel, (1) the
turtle-dove (Turtur auritus), (2) the collared turtle (T.
risorius), and (3) the palm turtle (T. Senegalensis). But it is
to the first of these species which the various passages of
Scripture refer. It is a migratory bird (Jer. 8:7; Cant. 2:11,
12). "Search the glades and valleys, even by sultry Jordan, at
the end of March, and not a turtle-dove is to be seen. Return in
the second week of April, and clouds of doves are feeding on the
clovers of the plain. They overspread the whole face of the
land." "Immediately on its arrival it pours forth from every
garden, grove, and wooded hill its melancholy yet soothing ditty
unceasingly from early dawn till sunset. It is from its
plaintive and continuous note, doubtless, that David, pouring
forth his heart's sorrow to God, compares himself to a
turtle-dove" (Ps. 74:19).
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).
dove of the dumbness of the distance; i.e., "the silent dove in
distant places", title of Ps. 56. This was probably the name of
some well known tune or melody to which the psalm was to be
dove, the eldest of Job's three daughters born after his time of
trial (Job 42:14).
Pigeons are mentioned as among the offerings which, by divine
appointment, Abram presented unto the Lord (Gen. 15:9). They
were afterwards enumerated among the sin-offerings (Lev. 1:14;
12:6), and the law provided that those who could not offer a
lamb might offer two young pigeons (5:7; comp. Luke 2:24). (See
a dove, the son of Amittai of Gath-hepher. He was a prophet of
Israel, and predicted the restoration of the ancient boundaries
(2 Kings 14:25-27) of the kingdom. He exercised his ministry
very early in the reign of Jeroboam II., and thus was
contemporary with Hosea and Amos; or possibly he preceded them,
and consequently may have been the very oldest of all the
prophets whose writings we possess. His personal history is
mainly to be gathered from the book which bears his name. It is
chiefly interesting from the two-fold character in which he
appears, (1) as a missionary to heathen Nineveh, and (2) as a
type of the "Son of man."
the name given to Noah's flood, the history of which is recorded
in Gen. 7 and 8.
It began in the year 2516 B.C., and continued twelve lunar
months and ten days, or exactly one solar year.
The cause of this judgment was the corruption and violence
that filled the earth in the ninth generation from Adam. God in
righteous indignation determined to purge the earth of the
ungodly race. Amid a world of crime and guilt there was one
household that continued faithful and true to God, the household
of Noah. "Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations."
At the command of God, Noah made an ark 300 cubits long, 50
broad, and 30 high. He slowly proceeded with this work during a
period of one hundred and twenty years (Gen. 6:3). At length the
purpose of God began to be carried into effect. The following
table exhibits the order of events as they occurred:
In the six hundredth year of his life Noah is commanded by God
to enter the ark, taking with him his wife, and his three sons
with their wives (Gen. 7:1-10).
The rain begins on the seventeenth day of the second month
The rain ceases, the waters prevail, fifteen cubits upward
The ark grounds on one of the mountains of Ararat on the
seventeenth day of the seventh month, or one hundred and fifty
days after the Deluge began (Gen. 8:1-4).
Tops of the mountains visible on the first day of the tenth
month (Gen. 8:5).
Raven and dove sent out forty days after this (Gen. 8:6-9).
Dove again sent out seven days afterwards; and in the evening
she returns with an olive leaf in her mouth (Gen. 8:10, 11).
Dove sent out the third time after an interval of other seven
days, and returns no more (Gen. 8:12).
The ground becomes dry on the first day of the first month of
the new year (Gen. 8:13).
Noah leaves the ark on the twenty-seventh day of the second
month (Gen. 8:14-19).
The historical truth of the narrative of the Flood is
established by the references made to it by our Lord (Matt.
24:37; comp. Luke 17:26). Peter speaks of it also (1 Pet. 3:20;
2 Pet. 2:5). In Isa. 54:9 the Flood is referred to as "the
waters of Noah." The Biblical narrative clearly shows that so
far as the human race was concerned the Deluge was universal;
that it swept away all men living except Noah and his family,
who were preserved in the ark; and that the present human race
is descended from those who were thus preserved.
Traditions of the Deluge are found among all the great
divisions of the human family; and these traditions, taken as a
whole, wonderfully agree with the Biblical narrative, and agree
with it in such a way as to lead to the conclusion that the
Biblical is the authentic narrative, of which all these
traditions are more or less corrupted versions. The most
remarkable of these traditions is that recorded on tablets
prepared by order of Assur-bani-pal, the king of Assyria. These
were, however, copies of older records which belonged to
somewhere about B.C. 2000, and which formed part of the priestly
library at Erech (q.v.), "the ineradicable remembrance of a real
and terrible event." (See NOAH ¯T0002741; CHALDEA ¯T0000758.)
is frequently mentioned in Scripture. The dove from the ark
brought an olive-branch to Noah (Gen. 8:11). It is mentioned
among the most notable trees of Israel, where it was
cultivated long before the time of the Hebrews (Deut. 6:11;
8:8). It is mentioned in the first Old Testament parable, that
of Jotham (Judg. 9:9), and is named among the blessings of the
"good land," and is at the present day the one characteristic
tree of Israel. The oldest olive-trees in the country are
those which are enclosed in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is
referred to as an emblem of prosperity and beauty and religious
privilege (Ps. 52:8; Jer. 11:16; Hos. 14:6). The two "witnesses"
mentioned in Rev. 11:4 are spoken of as "two olive trees
standing before the God of the earth." (Comp. Zech. 4:3, 11-14.)
The "olive-tree, wild by nature" (Rom. 11:24), is the shoot or
cutting of the good olive-tree which, left ungrafted, grows up
to be a "wild olive." In Rom. 11:17 Paul refers to the practice
of grafting shoots of the wild olive into a "good" olive which
has become unfruitful. By such a process the sap of the good
olive, by pervading the branch which is "graffed in," makes it a
good branch, bearing good olives. Thus the Gentiles, being a
"wild olive," but now "graffed in," yield fruit, but only
through the sap of the tree into which they have been graffed.
This is a process "contrary to nature" (11:24).
is converse with God; the intercourse of the soul with God, not
in contemplation or meditation, but in direct address to him.
Prayer may be oral or mental, occasional or constant,
ejaculatory or formal. It is a "beseeching the Lord" (Ex.
32:11); "pouring out the soul before the Lord" (1 Sam. 1:15);
"praying and crying to heaven" (2 Chr. 32:20); "seeking unto God
and making supplication" (Job 8:5); "drawing near to God" (Ps.
73:28); "bowing the knees" (Eph. 3:14).
Prayer presupposes a belief in the personality of God, his
ability and willingness to hold intercourse with us, his
personal control of all things and of all his creatures and all
Acceptable prayer must be sincere (Heb. 10:22), offered with
reverence and godly fear, with a humble sense of our own
insignificance as creatures and of our own unworthiness as
sinners, with earnest importunity, and with unhesitating
submission to the divine will. Prayer must also be offered in
the faith that God is, and is the hearer and answerer of prayer,
and that he will fulfil his word, "Ask, and ye shall receive"
(Matt. 7:7, 8; 21:22; Mark 11:24; John 14:13, 14), and in the
name of Christ (16:23, 24; 15:16; Eph. 2:18; 5:20; Col. 3:17; 1
Prayer is of different kinds, secret (Matt. 6:6); social, as
family prayers, and in social worship; and public, in the
service of the sanctuary.
Intercessory prayer is enjoined (Num. 6:23; Job 42:8; Isa.
62:6; Ps. 122:6; 1 Tim. 2:1; James 5:14), and there are many
instances on record of answers having been given to such
prayers, e.g., of Abraham (Gen. 17:18, 20; 18:23-32; 20:7, 17,
18), of Moses for Pharaoh (Ex. 8:12, 13, 30, 31; Ex. 9:33), for
the Israelites (Ex. 17:11, 13; 32:11-14, 31-34; Num. 21:7, 8;
Deut. 9:18, 19, 25), for Miriam (Num. 12:13), for Aaron (Deut.
9:20), of Samuel (1 Sam. 7:5-12), of Solomon (1 Kings 8; 2 Chr.
6), Elijah (1 Kings 17:20-23), Elisha (2 Kings 4:33-36), Isaiah
(2 Kings 19), Jeremiah (42:2-10), Peter (Acts 9:40), the church
(12:5-12), Paul (28:8).
No rules are anywhere in Scripture laid down for the manner of
prayer or the attitude to be assumed by the suppliant. There is
mention made of kneeling in prayer (1 Kings 8:54; 2 Chr. 6:13;
Ps. 95:6; Isa. 45:23; Luke 22:41; Acts 7:60; 9:40; Eph. 3:14,
etc.); of bowing and falling prostrate (Gen. 24:26, 52; Ex.
4:31; 12:27; Matt. 26:39; Mark 14:35, etc.); of spreading out
the hands (1 Kings 8:22, 38, 54; Ps. 28:2; 63:4; 88:9; 1 Tim.
2:8, etc.); and of standing (1 Sam. 1:26; 1 Kings 8:14, 55; 2
Chr. 20:9; Mark 11:25; Luke 18:11, 13).
If we except the "Lord's Prayer" (Matt. 6:9-13), which is,
however, rather a model or pattern of prayer than a set prayer
to be offered up, we have no special form of prayer for general
use given us in Scripture.
Prayer is frequently enjoined in Scripture (Ex. 22:23, 27; 1
Kings 3:5; 2 Chr. 7:14; Ps. 37:4; Isa. 55:6; Joel 2:32; Ezek.
36:37, etc.), and we have very many testimonies that it has been
answered (Ps. 3:4; 4:1; 6:8; 18:6; 28:6; 30:2; 34:4; 118:5;
James 5:16-18, etc.).
"Abraham's servant prayed to God, and God directed him to the
person who should be wife to his master's son and heir (Gen.
"Jacob prayed to God, and God inclined the heart of his
irritated brother, so that they met in peace and friendship
(Gen. 32:24-30; 33:1-4).
"Samson prayed to God, and God showed him a well where he
quenched his burning thirst, and so lived to judge Israel (Judg.
"David prayed, and God defeated the counsel of Ahithophel (2
Sam. 15:31; 16:20-23; 17:14-23).
"Daniel prayed, and God enabled him both to tell
Nebuchadnezzar his dream and to give the interpretation of it
(Dan. 2: 16-23).
"Nehemiah prayed, and God inclined the heart of the king of
Persia to grant him leave of absence to visit and rebuild
Jerusalem (Neh. 1:11; 2:1-6).
"Esther and Mordecai prayed, and God defeated the purpose of
Haman, and saved the Jews from destruction (Esther 4:15-17; 6:7,
"The believers in Jerusalem prayed, and God opened the prison
doors and set Peter at liberty, when Herod had resolved upon his
death (Acts 12:1-12).
"Paul prayed that the thorn in the flesh might be removed, and
his prayer brought a large increase of spiritual strength, while
the thorn perhaps remained (2 Cor. 12:7-10).
"Prayer is like the dove that Noah sent forth, which blessed
him not only when it returned with an olive-leaf in its mouth,
but when it never returned at all.", Robinson's Job.