[b-hebrew] Genesis 8:22

Harold Holmyard hholmyard at ont.com
Sat Apr 29 17:07:38 EDT 2006

Yitzhak Sapir wrote:

>"Seasons" is obviously not an "obvious" meaning of the
>passage, except maybe to you.  Furthermore, "the swift
>and the thrush" probably refers to a term that denoted one
>bird.  Unlike the "swift" and "stork", there are species of
>doves that are found year round in Israel and so the dove
>seems to be an odd choice for a verse that speaks of how
>the birds properly observe their migration.  In any case,
>translating the word as "seasons" is not necessary in the
>context of the verse.  The other instances that speak of
>"moed" as a counterpart to "new moons" would seem to
>work against such a translation.  This is why "appointed
>times" is a better translation and that in this particular case
>it may be a "seasonal appointed time" is irrelevant to the
>meaning of the word.

HH: See the further material in a later post to Karl. As for the dove, 
they do have migration patterns. In fact, besides Jer 8:7, Song of 
Solomon seems to indicate as much when talking about the advent of spring:

Song 2:12 Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, 
the cooing of doves is heard in our land.

HH: Here is a statement verifying dove migration:

"In 1966, after mourning dove migration patterns and derivation of 
harvest from banding analyses indicated doves crossed Flyway boundaries, 
the mourning dove management units were established.

HH: Here is another statement:

Mourning Dove Migration starts around February depending on cold weather 
and snow.

HH: The only special name given to doves in the Bible is "turtledove," 
but doves are spoken of as giving a mourning sound:

Is. 59:11 We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for 
judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.

HH: The biblical name for a dove, "yonah," implies a moaning sound. By 
the way, here's a good site on birds in Israel today:

HH: Apparently some mourning doves migrate, and others don't (you don't 
need to read all this):

Many aspects of migratory behavior  are known to be inherited, but only 
recently have researchers  revealed some of the details. Experiments 
(Berthold 1996) point  to strong genetic control over many of the key 
components of  migratory behavior...if a population is made up of two 
types  of individuals, migrants and non-migrants, the variation must  be 
heritable and have a genetic basis.

The mourning  dove's winter range has been gradually moving north year 
by year,  shifting the dynamics of the overall population. It has been  
hypothesized by dove biologists (Armstrong and Noakes 1983) that  
successful resident populations could contribute substantially  to local 
recruitment of wintering doves who avoid the hazards  of migration and 
hunting. By remaining year round in the nesting  area, resident doves 
are able to compete more successfully for  mates and resources, 
increasing the length of the breeding season.  Furthermore, being the 
earliest to pair, they are also more likely  to select a mate who has 
also wintered over, genetically reinforcing that behavior in their 

Our resident doves inherently  vary from the migrant doves. Unnatural 
selection imposed by human  hunting management schemes could ultimately 
affect the dynamics  of natural selection on Michigan's dove population. 
The effects  of shooting resident birds could, to a greater degree, 
remove  large portions of wintering doves from the overall population.  
The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Michigan warns that "if the  species were 
hunted here, we would probably lose a large segment  of the wintering 
flock." And we would miss them!

HH: Somebody did a study on the turtledove that seems to resolve the 

 Over the weekend I went to the library to study more about the 
TURTLEDOVE. Here is a summary of what I found out. This is from about 
7-8 different books and encyclopedias. An atlas on bird migration says 
the Turtledove migrates to the sub-saharan Africa in winter. It remains 
there until March, then begins the journey back north. It builds nests 
in May. This evidently is when the bird gets back to Europe ahd Central 
Asia. Fall migration -south--may begin in late July; but peaks in August 
and SEPTEMBER. There are three routes south--one of which is the EASTERN 
MEDITERRANEAN. This would put the southward migration right through 
Israel. Most books indicate that the bird migrates to either northern 
Africa or Mid-Africa. None indicate it actually stops in Israel.

 The Encyl. Americana 1991 ed. says the birds"migrate in SEPTEMBER to 
winter in North Africa." Yet another book says the TD(turtledove) breeds 
in May -July, and migrates south in August and September. It then 
returns to the North in April/ May.

 GRZIMEKS'S book on animal life says the TD breeds in MAY,JUNE, AND JULY 
in Northern /Europe and then "forms flocks in AUTUMN prior to Southern 

 Note that the Feast of Pentecost is usually at the end of May or early 
June. This means that the TD in returning North would already have gone 
back through Israel since it Migrates North in the Months of March and 
April --arriving in Europe to start nesting in May.The southern 
Migration is in AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER--THE MONTH OF ELUL. Finally, here 
is another piece of infor. from the 5 doves site:

 "Turtledoves," (26 Aug)
 The migratory birds of the Bible all arrive in the daylight except the 
turtledove which arrives at night. They are extremely noisy and attract 
much attention.

 According to an atlas on bird migration. the turtledove arrives in late 
April and builds nest in May, Perhaps, the real question might be, when 
do they leave? "Fall" migration peaks in August and September

Harold Holmyard

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