A note to Vulgar Errors, Book III, Chapter 3
From Annotations Upon the Third Book of Moses, Called Leviticus. by Henry Ainsworth (1618)
The Sacrifice of Doves
14 And if the burnt sacrifice for his offering to the Lord be of fowls, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves, or of young pigeons.
15 And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off his head, and burn it on the altar; and the blood thereof shall be wrung out at the side of the altar:
16 And he shall pluck away his crop with his feathers, and cast it beside the altar on the east part, by the place of the ashes:
17 And he shall cleave it with the wings thereof, but shall not divide it asunder: and the priest shall burn it upon the altar, upon the wood that is upon the fire: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord.
V. 14 turtle-doves] of the Hebrue Tor, the Latine Turtur, and English Turtle are derived: and the voice of this foule, agreeth with the name. Here is no difference put of male or female, of perfect or blemished: how be it, the Hebrew doctors gather by proportion from the former lawes, that although lesser blemishes disable not doves from sacrifices, yet the greater doe, as if they wantt an eye, or a foot &c. it is not lawful to bring them upon the altar. Also they say, yong turtles are unlawful, and old doves are unlawful. Yong pigeons are allowable, so long as if one pluck the wing, the place whereout he plucketh, fyll up with blood. And Turtles are allowable, after that they were golden coloured; [as Psalm. 68. 14.] Maimony, tom. 3 in Issure Mizbeach. chapt. 3. Sect. 1.2. yong pigeons ] Hebr. sonns of the dove. The holy Ghost in Greek translateth these sonns, yong ones, Luk. 2.24., from Lev. 12. The Turtle doves were to be old, not yong: the pigeons, yong, not old: sayth also R. Sol. Jarchi on Lev. 1. These were sacrifices for the poorer sort, that were not able to bring a lamb, Levit. 5. 7. & 12. 8. Therfore the dayly burnt-offring of the church of Israel, was two Lambs. Numb. 28. 3. and by the Hebrew canons, the congregation never offred foule; Maimony, treat of offring sacrif. chapt. 2. Sect. 4. The Dove is a creature sociable, innocent, chast, mournful, quiet, fearful, given to meditation; & unto such, gods people are often likened: see Song. 2. 14. & 4. 1. Mat. 10. 16. Esai. 38. 14. & 59. 13. & 60.8. Ezek. 7. 16. Hos. 12. 11. Psal. 74. 19.
V. 15. bring-it-neer] or, offer it at the altar. cut-with-his nayl] The Hebrew Malak, is found onely here, & in Lev. 5. 8. which the Greek interpreteth Apokniso, to cut with the nayl of ones finger. By this means, the blood came out, but the head was not therby parted from the body, Levit. 5. 8. The manner (as the Hebrew doctors have recorded) was thus: The Preist went up on the footstall (of the Altar) and turned in compaß and came to the south-east horne, & there he took the head from the neck, and divided them asunder: [and herein the Burnt-offring differed frõ the syn-offring, which might not be divided, Lev. 5.8.] & if hee divided it not, it was unlawful. Then wrung he out the blood of the head and the blood of the body, upon the side of the altar, &c. and he took the head, and returning to that place of the altar where he cut it with his nayl, he rubbed it with salt, and sprinkled it upon the fyre offrings. And he came to the body, and pluckt away wit his hand, the crop and skin that was upon it, with the meat, and the entrails that came-out therwith, and threw them into the place of the ashes. And he clave it to the wings thereof with his hand, without a knife; and divided it not asunder; then he rubbed it with salt, and sprinkled it upon the fyre-offrings. He that cut the neck with a knife, or (did cut it) on the sides, it was not Melicah [the cutting with the nayle here commanded,] but as if it had been strangled, or had bled at the nose; [which was an unlawful way of killing.] Maimony treat. of offring sacrif. chap. 6. S. 20. 21. 22. 23.
V. 16. fethers of the same] or, filth of the same; to weet, of the crop, for thereunto (by the gender) it hath reference; and is therfore by Onkelos the Chaldee paraphgrast translated the meat of the same, which was in the crop; and the Chaldee called Ionathans expounded it the doung (or filth) therof: but the Greek translateth it, fethers, as elswhere the Hebrew word [huwn] signifieth. eastward] that was neerest the dore, and furthest from the sanctuarie: ready to be carried out, Lev. 6. 10. 11. to teach that all uncleannes was to be removed out of Gods sight: for holynes becometh his house; Psal. 93. 5. And so it figured the holynes that was in Christ our sacrifice, who without all syn or uncleannes offered himself unto God for us; by which also he cleansed and purifyed his people, & their service of God. Heb. 9.14.