A term that may refer to any small, brown bird that flits and twitters. Both the Greek and Hebrew words are frequently translated “bird” in the NRSV (Ps 11:1; Ps 102:7; Ps 104:17; Ps 124:7; Eccl 12:4; Lam 3:52). Sparrows are mentioned as nesting near the Temple altar (Ps 84:3). They were sold in the marketplaces of the Middle East as inexpensive food for the poor, and Jesus used them as a symbol for something of minimal value (Matt 10:29; Matt 10:31; Luke 12:6; Luke 12:7).

Ps 11:1

Song of Trust in God
To the leader. Of David.
1In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to me,
“Flee like a bird to the mountains;

Ps 102:7

7I lie awake;
I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.

Ps 104:17

17In them the birds build their nests;
the stork has its home in the fir trees.

Ps 124:7

7We have escaped like a bird
from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken,
and we have escaped.

Eccl 12:4

4when the doors on the street are shut, and the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought ... View more

Lam 3:52

52Those who were my enemies without cause
have hunted me like a bird;

Ps 84:3

3Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.

Matt 10:29

29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.

Matt 10:31

31So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Luke 12:6

6Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God's sight.

Luke 12:7

7But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

 NEH Logo
Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.