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Doves were often seen caressing each others necks, thus symbolizing affection.
Turtledoves and pigeons were the only birds that could be offered in
sacrifice, being usually selected by the poor (Gen 15:9; Lev 5:7; 12:6; Lk 2:24); and to
supply the demand for them dealers in these birds sat about the precincts of the Temple (<Matt. 21:12>; etc.).
The dove was the symbol of reconciliation with God (Gen 8:8,10) and has since
been the emblem of peace. It is also a symbol of tender and devoted affection
(Song of Sol 1:15; 2:14; etc.)
The dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit that descended upon Jesus at His baptism with that hovering motion that distinguishes the descent of a
dove (Mt 3:16; Mk 1:10; Lk 3:22; Jn 1:32).