A small bird, the Passer Domesticus of naturalists, with quill and tail feathers brown, and its body gray and black, resembling the small "chirping-bird" of America. It is a general inhabitant of Europe, Asia, and Africa; is bold and familiar in its habits, and frequents populous places. It builds under the eaves of houses, an in similar situations; feeds on seeds, fruits, and insects; and lays five or six eggs of a pale ash color, with brow spots. The Hebrew name Tzippor includes also other small chirping birds, feeding on grain and insects, and classed as clean, Leviticus 14:4; among others the thrush, which may be alluded to in Psalms 102:7, a bird remarkable throughout the East for sitting solitary on the habitations of men and warbling in sweet and plaintive strains. A sparrow is of course of comparatively little value; and it is therefore a striking exemplification of God’s providence to say that he watches even over the sparrow’s fall, Matthew 10:29.
These birds are still very numerous, troublesome, and cheap in Jerusalem, Luke 12:6, and flit in great numbers around the mosque of Omar, on the site of the ancient temple, within the precincts of which they built their favored nest of old, Psalms 84:3.
These dictionary topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859. Public Domain, copy freely.