Also he sent forth a dove from him
Seven days after he had sent out the raven, as in ( Genesis 8:10 )
to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
for the dove is a creature that delights in cleanness, flies low, and goes far off, so that if it returned not again, he might conclude that the waters were gone off the earth; but being a sociable creature, and familiar to men, and especially loving to its mate, if they were not gone off, it would certainly return again. This some take to be an emblem of the Gospel, bringing the good tidings of peace, pardon, righteousness and salvation by Jesus Christ: rather it is an emblem of a sensible sinner, and true believer in Christ, being mournful, timorous, swift, modest, and affectionate; such persons, like doves of the valley, mourn for their iniquities; tremble at the sight of their sins, and the curses of the law, at the apprehension of divine wrath, at the awful judgment of God; and are fearful lest Christ should not receive them, to whom they swiftly fly for refuge, as doves to their windows; and who are modest, meek, and lowly, and affectionate to Christ, and one another. The Targum of Jonathan calls this an house dove, or tame one: hence, perhaps, came the practice of making use of doves as messengers to carry letters from place to place F15.