From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Smith's Bible Dictionary [1]

Sparrow. (Hebrew, tzippor , from a root signifying to "Chirp" or "Twitter", which appears to be a phonetic representation of the call-note of any passerine (sparrow-like) bird). This Hebrew word occurs upwards of forty times in the Old Testament. In all passages, except two, it is rendered by the Authorized Version indifferently as "bird" or "fowl," and denotes any small bird, both of the sparrow-like species and such as the starling, chaffinch, greenfinch, linnet, goldfinch, corn-bunting, pipits, blackbird, song-thrush, etc. In  Psalms 84:3, and  Psalms 102:7, it is rendered "sparrow."

The Greek, stauthion , (Authorized Version, "Sparrow" ), occurs twice in the New Testament,  Matthew 10:29;  Luke 12:6-7. (The birds above mentioned are found in great numbers in Palestine, and are of very little value, selling for the merest trifle, and are, thus, strikingly used by our Saviour,  Matthew 10:20, as an illustration of our Father's care for his children. - Editor).

The blue thrush, ( Petrocossyphus cyaneus ), is probably the bird to which the psalmist alludes in  Psalms 102:7, as "the sparrow that sitteth alone upon the house-top." It is a solitary bird, eschewing the society of its own species, and rarely more than a pair are seen together. The English tree-sparrow, ( Passer montanus ), is also very common, and may be seen in numbers on Mount Olivet, and also about the sacred enclosure of the mosque of Omar. This is, perhaps, the exact species referred to in  Psalms 84:3.

Dr. Thompson, in speaking of the great numbers of the house-sparrows and field-sparrows in troublesome and impertinent generation, and nestle just where you do not want them. "They stop your stove - and water-pipes with their rubbish, build in the windows and under the beams of the roof, and would stuff your hat full of stubble in half a day, if they found it hanging in a place to suit them."

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [2]

The Holy Ghost hath taken such notice of this little bird, and thereby rendered the term so familiar to our ears, by his frequent mention of it in Scripture, that I could not altogether find in my heart to pass it by unnoticed. Moreover, it is one of the clean birds: (see  Leviticus 11:1-47) not that I suppose that the sparrow, so called in Scripture, is of the same genus or tribe as our English sparrows of the barn; though this much despised bird is in my esteem a very sweet, interesting, and domestic bird; but certainly the sparrow, or the Tzippher, as the Hebrews called it, of the Scriptures, must have been of gentle and familiar manners. I do not doubt, at the same time, but that the name Tzippher was used for certain small birds beside the one so particularly noticed.

But let the reader pause over the thought of the sparrow making a nest for herself, and where in safety she might lay her young, high on the altar of the Lord's house, far out of the reach of the malice of all robbers of her nest, or murderers of herself and her young; and then let him contemplate the beauty of the similitude, when a child of God flies to the New Testament altar of his security, even to Jesus, and finds a rest in him, far above the reach of all disturbers of his repose, by resting in him, and resting to him, yea, making Jesus himself his rest, and his portion for ever! (See  Psalms 84:1-4)

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [3]

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  Psalm 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,  Psalm 84:3 .

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [4]

Related to Hebrew Tsipor , imitation of the sound made by it, "tzip" ( Psalms 84:3. (See Bird .)  Leviticus 14:4-7 margin.) On the meaning of the rite in cleansing leper's, one Tsippor killed, the other dipped in its blood and let loose alive, Cowper writes: "Dipped in his fellow's blood, The living bird went free; The type, well understood, Expressed the sinner's plea; Described a guilty soul enlarged, And by a Saviour's death discharged." Its commonness gives point to Jesus' remark, "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing ... one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. ... Fear ye not therefore ye are of more value than many sparrows" ( Matthew 10:29;  Matthew 10:31;  Luke 12:6-7). There are one hundred different species of the Passerine order in Palestine.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [5]

tsippor, στρουθίον. It is supposed that various kinds of small birds are alluded to by these names, being so called because of their 'chirping,' which would include the sparrow. The Hebrew word is often translated 'bird,' but only twice 'sparrow.' It is alluded to in the Psalms as a lonely one upon the housetop, and as such finding a house in the courts of God's house.  Psalm 84:3;  Psalm 102:7 . In Palestine sparrows are plentiful, and five were sold for two farthings, and yet the Lord said not one fell without His Father's knowledge, adding "Ye are of more value than many sparrows." If God cares for the birds (and here the diminutive is employed), surely He will care for His own beloved ones.  Matthew 10:29,31;  Luke 12:6,7 . There are several species of sparrow in Palestine, the Passer cisalpinus, etc. The Petrocossyphus cyaneus, or blue thrush, may be alluded to.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [6]

צפור ,  Genesis 7:14 , and afterward frequently; στρουθιον ,  Matthew 10:29;  Luke 12:6-7; a little bird every where known. The Hebrew word is used not only for a sparrow, but for all sorts of clean birds, or for those the use of which was not forbidden by the law. That the sparrow is not intended in  Psalms 102:7 , is evident from several circumstances; for that is intimated to be a bird of night, one that is both solitary and mournful; none of which characteristics is applicable to the sparrow, which rests by night, is gregarious and cheerful. It seems rather to mean a bird melancholy and drooping, much like one confined in a cage. See Swallow .

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [7]

1: Στρουθίον (Strong'S #4765 — Noun Neuter — strouthion — stroo-thee'-on )

a diminutive of strouthos, "a sparrow," occurs in  Matthew 10:29,31;  Luke 12:6,7 .

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [8]

Sparrow ( tsippôr ,   Psalms 84:3;   Psalms 102:7 ). The Heb. word is probably equivalent of Arab. [Note: Arabic.] ‘asfûr , and includes any ‘twittering’ birds; generally tr. [Note: translate or translation.] ‘bird’ or ‘fowl’. See Bird. In the NT references (  Matthew 10:29 ,   Luke 12:6-7 ) strouthion evidently refers to the sparrow, which to-day is sold for food as cheaply as in NT times.

E. W. G. Masterman.

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [9]

 Psalm 102:7 (a) Our Lord Himself uses this bird as a type of His loneliness in His life on earth. He had been with angels, archangels, seraphim, cherubim, and with GOD His Father throughout eternity. Now He was dwelling among those who hardly understood Him, or cared about Him. They could not live the life that He lived. He lived a lonely life for lack of companions who understood Him. The sparrow is seldom seen alone, and rarely on the housetop. It is usually under the eaves, or out in the road, or down in the grass, and always in flocks. This is a picture of the lonely, desolate life of our Lord Jesus on earth.

Webster's Dictionary [10]

(1): ( n.) Any one of several small singing birds somewhat resembling the true sparrows in form or habits, as the European hedge sparrow. See under Hedge.

(2): ( n.) One of many species of small singing birds of the family Fringilligae, having conical bills, and feeding chiefly on seeds. Many sparrows are called also finches, and buntings. The common sparrow, or house sparrow, of Europe (Passer domesticus) is noted for its familiarity, its voracity, its attachment to its young, and its fecundity. See House sparrow, under House.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [11]

 Matthew 10:29 Luke 12:6 Tsippor   Leviticus 14:4 Psalm 84:3 102:7 Strouthion   Matthew 10:29-31

Holman Bible Dictionary [12]

 Psalm 8:8 Ezekiel 17:23  Matthew 10:31 Luke 12:7Birds

King James Dictionary [13]

SPAR'ROW, n. A small bird of the genus Fringilla and order of Passers. These birds are frequently seen about houses.

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [14]

SPARROW. —See Animals in vol. i. p. 66a.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [15]

spar´ō ( צפּור , cippōr  ; στρουθίον , strouthı́on  ; Latin passer ): A small bird of the Fringillidae family. The Hebrew cippōr seems to have been a generic name under which were placed all small birds that frequented houses and gardens. The word occurs about 40 times in the Bible, and is indiscriminately translated "bird" "fowl" or "sparrow." Our translators have used the word "sparrow" where they felt that this bird best filled the requirements of the texts. Sparrows are small brown and gray birds of friendly habit that swarm over the northern part of Palestine, and West of the Sea of Galilee, where the hills, plains and fertile fields are scattered over with villages. They build in the vineyards, orchards and bushes of the walled gardens surrounding houses, on the ground or in nooks and crannies of vine-covered walls. They live on seeds, small green buds and tiny insects and worms. Some members of the family sing musically; all are great chatterers when about the business of life. Repeatedly they are mentioned by Bible writers, but most of the references lose force as applying to the bird family, because they are translated "bird" or "fowl." In a few instances the word "sparrow" is used, and in some of these, painstaking commentators feel that what is said does not apply to the sparrow. For example see   Psalm 102:7 :

"I watch, and am become like a sparrow

That is alone upon the housetop."

The feeling that this is not characteristic of the sparrow arises from the fact that it is such a friendly bird that if it were on the housetop it would be surrounded by half a dozen of its kind; so it has been suggested that a solitary thrush was intended. There is little force in the change. Thrushes of today are shy, timid birds of thickets and deep undergrowth. Occasionally a stray one comes around a house at migration, but once settled to the business of living they are the last and most infrequent bird to appear near the haunts of man. And bird habits do not change in one or two thousand years. In an overwhelmed hour the Psalmist poured out his heart before the Almighty. The reason he said he was like a "sparrow that is alone upon the housetop" was because it is the most unusual thing in the world for a sparrow to sit mourning alone, and therefore it attracted attention and made a forceful comparison. It only happens when the bird's mate has been killed or its nest and young destroyed, and this most cheerful of birds sitting solitary and dejected made a deep impression on the Psalmist who, when his hour of trouble came, said he was like the mourning sparrow - alone on the housetop. Another exquisite song describes the bird in its secure and happy hour:

"Yea, the sparrow hath found her a house,

And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,

Even thine altars, [[O Y]] ahweh of hosts,

My King, and my God" ( Psalm 84:3 ).

When the mind of man was young and he looked on the commonest acts of creatures around him as filled with mystery, miracle and sign - he held in superstitious reverence any bird that built on a temple, because he thought it meant that the bird thus building claimed the protection of God in so doing. For these reasons all temple builders were so reverenced that authentic instances are given of people being put to death, if they disturbed temple nests or builders. Because he noticed the sparrow in joyful conditions is good reason why the Psalmist should have been attracted by its mourning. There is a reference to the widespread distribution of these birds in  Proverbs 26:2 :

"As the sparrow in her wandering, as the swallow in her flying,

So the curse that is causeless alighteth not."

Once settled in a location, no bird clings more faithfully to its nest and young, so this "wandering" could only mean that they scatter widely in choosing locations.  Matthew 10:29 : "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father." This is a reference to the common custom in the East of catching small birds, and selling them to be skinned, roasted and sold as tid-bits - a bird to a mouthful. These lines no doubt are the origin of the oft-quoted phrase, "He marks the fall of the sparrow." Then in   Matthew 10:31 comes this comforting assurance: "Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows."   Luke 12:6 : "Are not five sparrows sold for two pence? and not one of them is forgotten in the sight of God." This affirms the implication of Mark that these tiny birds were an article of commerce in the days of Jesus, just as they are now in the Far East.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [16]

Sparrow occurs in;;;;; . The Hebrew word includes not only the sparrow, but also the whole family of small birds not exclusively feeding on grain, but denominated clean, or those that might be eaten according to the law. It includes many insectivorous and frugivorous species, all the thrushes we have in Europe, and the rose-colored ousel or locust-bird, rare with us, but numerous and cherished in the East, solely for the havoc it makes among locusts. It also includes perhaps the starlings, the nightingale, all the European larks, the wagtails, and all the tribe of finches; but not flycatchers, nor indeed swallows, which, there is reason to believe, were reckoned, along with night-hawks or goatsuckers, and crows, among the unclean and prohibited species. In Syria the sparrow is the same vivacious familiar bird we find it in Europe, and equally frequents the residence of man.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [17]

Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Sparrow'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.