Like Doves Flying to Their Dovecotes
DOVES were perhaps among the first birds domesticated by man. Thousands of years ago, Egyptians—with an eye to a year-round food supply—erected dovecotes near their homes. The meat of the birds was much appreciated, and their dung was used for manure. By the Middle Ages, dovecotes were such coveted possessions that in some countries only noblemen or religious orders were allowed to possess them.
Although chickens have now replaced pigeons as sources of meat on most tables, some ancient dovecotes can still be encountered. The dovecotes depicted here are found in Egypt.
Returning en masse in the evening, a veritable cloud of birds descends on the dovecote. The Hebrew prophet Isaiah referred to this when he asked: “Who are these that come flying just like a cloud, and like doves to their birdhouse holes?” As another translation puts it: “Who are these that sail along like clouds, that fly like doves to their dovecotes?”—Isaiah 60:8; The New English Bible.
The answer is found today in the hundreds of thousands of God-fearing people flocking to Jehovah’s organization. In the Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses, they learn to hope in God. (Isaiah 60:9) Among God’s people, they discover that spiritual values, a living faith, and wholesome companionship impart a sense of peace and security similar to that found by the dove in its dovecote.
[Picture Credit Line on page 32]
Pictorial Archive (Near Eastern History) Est.