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Bible Dictionaries

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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תזו , τρυγων , Genesis 15:9 ; Leviticus 1:14 ; Leviticus 5:7 ; Leviticus 5:11 ; Leviticus 12:6 ; Leviticus 12:8 ; Leviticus 14:22 ; Leviticus 14:30 ; Leviticus 15:14 ; Leviticus 15:29 ; Numbers 6:10 ; Psalms 74:19 ; Song of Solomon 2:12 ; Jeremiah 8:7 ; τρυγων , Luke 2:24 . We have the authority of the Septuagint, the Targum, and of all the ancient interpreters, for understanding this of the turtle. Indeed, it is one of those evident instances in which the name of the bird is by onomatopaeia formed from its note or cry. The turtle is mentioned among migratory birds by Jeremiah 8:7 , and in this sense differs from the rest of its family, which are all stationary. The fact to which the prophet alludes is attested by Aristotle in these words: "The pigeon and the dove are always present, but the turtle only in summer; that bird is not seen in winter." And in another part of his work, he asserts that the dove remains, while the turtle migrates. Varro, and other ancient writers, make the like statement. Thus Solomon, Song of Solomon 2:12 , mentions the return of this bird as one of the indications of spring: "The voice of the turtle is heard in the land." See DOVE .

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Turtle'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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