then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves, or of young
the Jewish writers all agree, that the turtles should be old, and not young, as the pigeons young, and not old; so the Targum of Jonathan, Jarchi, Aben Ezra and Gersom F12; the latter gives two reasons for it, because then they are the choicest and easiest to be found and taken: no mention is made of their being male or female, either would do, or of their being perfect and unblemished, as in the other burnt offerings; but if any part was wanting, it was not fit for sacrifice, as Maimonides F13 observes. These creatures were proper emblems of Christ, and therefore used in sacrifice, whose voice is compared to the turtle's, and his eyes to the eyes of doves, ( Song of Solomon 2:12 ) ( 5:12 ) and who is fitly represented by them for his meekness and humility, for his chaste and strong affection to his church, as the turtledove to its mate, and for those dove like graces of the Spirit which are in him.
F12 Vid. T. Bab. Cholin, fol. 22. 1, 2.
F13 Issure Mizbeach, c. 3. sect. 1, 2. Vid. Misn. Zebachim, c. 7. sect. 5. & Maimon. & Bartenora, in ib.