And if he be not able to bring a lamb
He is not possessed of a lamb, nor able to purchase one:
then he shall bring for his trespass which he hath committed, two
turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the Lord;
either the one or the other; these were common, and in great plenty in the land of Israel, as Maimonides F25 observes, which was the reason of their being ordered, since to be had cheap. The turtledoves were larger, as the Targum of Jonathan calls them, being older, and the pigeons lesser, being young; or the one were grown, and not little, and the other little, and not grown, as the Jewish writers F26 observe; and either of them were proper emblems of Christ in his purity, innocence, and meekness, by whom an atonement is made both for the rich and poor:
one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering;
one of the turtle doves or pigeons, whichsoever were brought, was offered up as a sin offering, and the other that remained was offered up as a burnt offering; so that the poor man had two sorts of offerings out of what he brought, when the rich had but one; and may denote the completeness of his sacrifice, and the full atonement made by it.
F25 Moreh Nevochim, par. 3. c. 46.
F26 Maimon & Bartenora in Misn. Cholin, c. 1. sect. 5.