From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [1]

 Leviticus 1:14 (c) This bird represents the Lord Jesus in His sacrificial work. The bird could be had simply by catching it. So Christ may be had simply by appropriation. The bird is a small bird in size, and this indicates that some people must have just a small comprehension of the value of the Saviour. Others have a greater comprehension as is pictured by the larger animal, the sheep. Still others have a very large understanding of the value of CHRIST, and this is represented by the large animal, the bullock.

 Luke 2:24 (c) This type represents the offering of CHRIST for the pauper. He has no assets and very little understanding of the things of GOD, yet he trusts the Lord JESUS with the faith that he has, though it be very simple.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [2]

The well-known bird, often associated with the turtle dove, as being used by the poor in various sacrifices. A pair of these birds were offered when the Lord was presented in the temple.  Luke 2:24 . Pigeons were so numerous in Palestine that the poor were enabled easily to obtain a pair for any needed sacrifice.  Genesis 15:9;  Leviticus 1:14;  Leviticus 5:7,11;  Leviticus 12:6,8;  Leviticus 14:22,30;  Leviticus 15:14,29;  Numbers 6:10 .

Webster's Dictionary [3]

(1): ( v. t.) To pluck; to fleece; to swindle by tricks in gambling.

(2): ( n.) Any bird of the order Columbae, of which numerous species occur in nearly all parts of the world.

(3): ( n.) An unsuspected victim of sharpers; a gull.

King James Dictionary [4]

PIG'EON, n. A fowl of the genus Columba, of several species, as the stock dove, the ring dove, the turtle dove, and the migratory or wild pigeon of America. The domestic pigeon breeds in a box, often attached to a building, called a dovecot or pigeon-house. The wild pigeon builds a nest on a tree in the forest.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [5]

 Genesis 15:9 Leviticus 1:14 12:6 Luke 2:24Dove

Smith's Bible Dictionary [6]

Pigeon. See Turtle-Dove .

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [7]

Pigeon —See Animals, vol. i. p. 65b, and Dove.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [8]


Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [9]

PIGEON . See Dove.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [10]

is the rendering but only in connection with the epithet "young" of two very different Heb. and one Gr. word: יוֹנָה , Yonah, Περιστερά , a general name for any member of the dove family ("dove" everywhere, except in the Mosaic enactment,  Leviticus 1:14;  Leviticus 5:7;  Leviticus 5:11;  Leviticus 12:6;  Leviticus 12:8;  Leviticus 14:22;  Leviticus 14:30;  Leviticus 15:14;  Leviticus 15:29;  Numbers 6:10;  Luke 2:24); but in  Genesis 15:9, גּוֹזָל , Gozal, the Young of any bird, perhaps there correctly of the dove, although in Deuteronomy 32 the "young" of the eagle is meant. The Biblical passages in which the pieon is mentioned may be classified as follows:

1. Pigeons or doves were the only birds used for sacrifices (comp. already  Genesis 15:9), in particular young pigeons ( בְּנֵי הִיּוֹנָה , Pulli Columbini) and turtle-doves, which were sacrificed, sometimes with other offerings ( Leviticus 12:6, in purifying women after childbed), sometimes alone as free-will offerings made by fire ( Leviticus 1:14); or were prescribed in the purifications from leprosy ( Leviticus 14:22), from personal uncleanness ( Leviticus 15:14); that of Nazarites ( Numbers 6:10), and of women after menstruation ( Leviticus 15:29). But in two cases, where poverty interfered with more costly sacrifices, these were substituted ( Leviticus 5:7 sq.;  Leviticus 12:8. Comp.  Luke 2:24). Such offerings of birds were also made by the poor in Egypt. (See Pausan. 10:32, 9. Comp. Engel, Cyprus, 2:184 sq.) For the purpose of providing these sacrifices, dealers in pigeons used to sit in the neighborhood of the Temple ( Matthew 21:12;  Mark 11:15;  John 2:14;  John 2:16); and the raising of doves was from an early day a pursuit peculiar to the Jews ( Isaiah 60:8. Comp. Rosenmuller, Morgenl. 6:283), although there were also many wild pigeons in Palestine ( Ezekiel 7:16. Comp. Schubert, 3:250), which built their nests in clefts of the rocks ( Jeremiah 48:28;  Song of Solomon 2:14; Robinson, 2:433), or at least sought a refuge there when chased ( Psalms 11:1. Comp. Iliad, 21:493 sq.; Quint. Smyrn. 12:12 sq.). See Schwebel, De columbarum cultu (Onold. 1767); Wernsdorf, De columb. sacra Syrorum (Helmst. 1761).

2. The flight of the pigeon was employed by the poet as a figure for swiftness ( Psalms 55:7;  Hosea 11:11. Comp. Soph. (Ed. Col. 1081; Eurip. Bacch. 1090; Robinson, 2:484), and is so understood by many interpreters in several passages of the New Testament ( Matthew 3:16;  Mark 1:10;  John 1:32) in which the Holy Spirit's descent is spoken of, but this may be doubted. The figure is carried out still further by Isaiah ( Isaiah 60:8), and it is true that the pigeon surpasses in swiftness and directness of flight many birds of its size, without, however, being remarkable in this respect (Virg. in. 5:213 sq.; Plin. 10:52). The cause of this may be found in its long wings (Rechstein, Naturgesch. 4:2), by means of which it often escapes the birds which would prey upon it (Plin. 10:52; Phedr. 1:323; AElian, Animeal. 3:45). In songs of love, the eyes of the beloved, as expressive of attachment and of innocence, are compared with those of the dove, or, as some say, with little doves ( Song of Solomon 1:15;  Song of Solomon 4:1). And in  Song of Solomon 5:12 it is said, "His Eyes Are Like Doves Over Brooks Of Water, Bathed In Milk, Resting Infulness;" a very beautiful description of the swimming apple of the eye. (The explanation of these words by Umbreit and Dipke is in better taste than that of Rosenmuller.) The voice of the dove is represented by the poets as a sigh, an expression of sorrow ( הגת ,  Isaiah 28:14;  Isaiah 59:11;  Nahum 2:8. Comp.  Ezekiel 7:16; Theocr. 7:141; Virg. Eclog. 1:59; Martial, 3:59, 19; and quotations from the Oriental poets in Jones, Poes Asiat. page 346 sq.; Gesen. Comment. on Isaiah 1:992). To the white and glimmering plumage reference is made in  Psalms 68:14; on which we remark that, according to Hasselquist (Travels, page 553), the pigeons of Palestine have usually whitish-gray feathers on the neck, head, breast, and shoulders. In the comparison used by Jesus ( Matthew 10:16), the dove is the image of innocence. (Comp. Schottgen and Wetstein, ad loc.)

3.  Psalms 55:7 was understood by the Hebrew interpreters as affording a trace of the use of carrier-pigeons among the ancient Jews; their use being common now in the East. (See Arvieux, Nachr. 5:422; Troilo, Trav. page 610 sq.; Russell, N.H. of Aleppo, 2:90; and especially Bochart, Hieroz. 2:542; J. De Sacy, La Colombe messagere, from the Arabic of Michael Sabbagh [Par. 1805]; and on the use of them in ancient times, especially in sieges, see AElian, V.H. 9:2; Plino 10:53; Front. Strateg. 3:13, 8.) But the words of this passage contain no such reference. Some would also refer to the same birds the words in  Psalms 56:1 (Lengerke, Ken. page 166), but without reason. (See Gesen. Thes. 1:104.) (See Dove); (See Turtle- Dove)

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [11]

pij´un ( יונה , yōnāh  ; περιστερά , peristerá  ; Latin pipire ): A bird of the family Columbidae. See Dove . The Hebrew yōnāh seems to be translated either pigeon or dove, yet almost every reference made to these birds proves that there were distinct branches of the family recognized, and one or the other or both are designated. On the other hand, some of the translations read doves, where the remainder of the text makes it very clear that pigeons were the birds intended, The Latin pipire means "to cheep," and refers to the unusually clamorous young in the nest. The old birds coo, moan and wail as doves. The birds are almost 12 inches long, have full, plump bodies that are delicious food, and beautifully marked and shaded plumage. They feed principally on grain, seeds, small buds and fruit. Beyond question wild pigeons were the first birds domesticated and taught to home with man. They appeared in a state of such complete domestication, that they flew free, yet homed and bred in places provided by man at the time of the very first attempts at keeping records of history. At the time the earliest Biblical accounts were written, pigeons were so domesticated that in all known countries of the East they were reckoned when an estimate was made of a man's wealth.

The rich provided large and expensive cotes of molded pottery for their birds, each section big enough for the home of one pair of birds, the regular rows of openings resembling lattice work, so that Isaiah refers to them as "windows" ( Isaiah 60:8 ). Septuagint reads σύν νοσσοίς , sún nossoı́s , literally, "with young" or "fledglings" (see below). The middle classes modeled cotes of oven-baked clay, and the very poor cut holes in the walls, over the doors, and allowed the birds to enter and live with the family.

In wild estate, rock and wood pigeons swarmed in countless numbers through rocky caves and caverns and over the plains of Gennesaret, the forests of Gilead and the woody slopes of Carmel. They remained throughout the season, breeding at all times. The doves were migratory, and were kept in confinement only as caged pets or to be held for sale for sacrifice. For these purposes, it appears that the dove was slightly preferred. When only one bird was to be used, a dove is always specified; where two, almost in every case the dove is mentioned first. Where one or the other will suffice, the dove seems to have been given preference. This may have been because it required greater effort to procure a dove, and so it was considered a greater sacrifice. Everyone having a home of any sort had pigeons they could use, or they could be taken wild at any time. The dove is first mentioned in  Genesis 15:9 : "And he said unto him, Take me a heifer three years old, and a she-goat three years old, and a ram three years old, and a turtle-dove, and a young pigeon."

It will be observed that the dove is mentioned first, and it is specified that the pigeon was to be young. It is probable that the people protected their domesticated pigeons by using the wild for sacrifice, whenever possible. Young birds could be taken from a nest at almost any time. The old birds, among the wild, were shy creatures and far more difficult to capture in nets or snares than doves that came close to cities and villages to live, and exhibited much less fear of man than the wild pigeons. The next reference is in  Leviticus 5:7 : "And if his means suffice not for a lamb, then he shall bring his trespass-offering for that wherein he hath sinned, two turtle-doves, or two young pigeons, unto Yahweh; one for a sin-offering, and the other for a burnt-offering." Here two birds of each kind were to be offered, if the person making the sacrifice could not afford a lamb. Again in   Leviticus 12:6 : "And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb a year old for a burnt-offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sinoffering, unto the door of the tent of meeting, unto the priest." Here is a rare instance where the text or the translators place the pigeon first.

"And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtle-doves, or two young pigeons, to the priest, to the door of the tent of meeting" ( Numbers 6:10 ). In  Song of Solomon 2:14 :

"O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock,

In the covert of the steep place,

Let me see thy countenance,

Let me hear thy voice;

For sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely."

Here the text reads "dove," but the description of the location and the implication of the text prove the bird to have been a rock pigeon - a tender, loving thing, yet shy and timid, that peeps with eyes of bright concern over the rocks of its chosen home, down at the intruder.  Isaiah 60:8 : "Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?" Here is another place where the wrong bird is used. Doves were wild and migratory. They had no "windows." But the tile pots massed in one diamond-shaped cote appeared at a little distance, like latticed windows. This should read "pigeons" instead of "doves." For the same reason see   Jeremiah 48:28 : "O ye inhabitants of Moab, leave the cities and dwell in the rock; and be like the dove that maketh her nest over the mouth of the abyss." Again the bird intended is the rock pigeon.   Luke 2:24 : "A sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons." This describes the sacrifice offered in the temple by Mary following the birth of Jesus.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [12]

Pigeon [[[Dove; Turtledove]]]