(38) Why does he in the second place send forth the dove, and why does he send it forth from himself to see whether the water had ceased, when he uses no such expressions about the raven? (#Ge 8:8). In the first place, the dove is a clean animal, and in the second place it is tame, civilised, and one which associates with mankind, on which account also the honour has been allotted to it of being offered up upon the altar in sacrifices; and on this account the sacred writer, sanctioning this honour and adding the weight of his assertion, has said, he sent it forth from himself, declaring by this expression that it was to see whether the water was abated, he displays the common anxiety felt by both. But those birds, the raven and the dove, are symbols of wickedness and virtue: for the one, whether it is wickedness or the raven, has no house, nor habitation, nor city, being an insolent unsociable bird; but the other, namely virtue, has a regard to humanity, and to the public good: and so the man endowed with virtue sends that bird forth as his ambassador for desirable and salutary objects, wishing to receive from it desirable information; and she, like an ambassador, brings us back genuine pleasure, so that what is hurtful may be guarded against, and what is useful may be diligently and carefully admitted.