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Bird Study Backs Bible: Pigeons, Doves Sacrificed in Ancient Jerusalem

Analysis of bird remains excavated in Jerusalem confirmed that specific species of birds—pigeons, doves—were indeed sacrificed in the Temple as the biblical text suggests.

“[Noah] again sent out the dove from the ark. The dove came back to him toward evening, and there in its bill was a plucked-off olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the waters had decreased on the earth,” (Genesis 8:10-11).

From the story of Noah and the dove in the Book of Genesis to the issues of ritual sacrifices and dietary restrictions, birds play a very important role in the biblical text.

Pigeons and doves often appear in the Bible as animals fit to be offered to God. For example, as described in Leviticus, they were one of the options for an atoning sacrifice for those who committed several types of sin or who had become impure. Moreover, a mother was required to bring a turtledove after completing her purification period following childbirth. (JPost / VFI News)