Deuteronomy 22:6
Parallel Verses
New International Version
If you come across a bird's nest beside the road, either in a tree or on the ground, and the mother is sitting on the young or on the eggs, do not take the mother with the young.

New Living Translation
"If you happen to find a bird's nest in a tree or on the ground, and there are young ones or eggs in it with the mother sitting in the nest, do not take the mother with the young.

English Standard Version
“If you come across a bird’s nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young.

New American Standard Bible
"If you happen to come upon a bird's nest along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young;

King James Bible
If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If you come across a bird's nest with chicks or eggs, either in a tree or on the ground along the road, and the mother is sitting on the chicks or eggs, you must not take the mother along with the young.

International Standard Version
"When you encounter a bird's nest along the road, whether in a tree or on the ground, and the mother bird is sitting on its chicks or eggs, don't take the mother along with its young.

NET Bible
If you happen to notice a bird's nest along the road, whether in a tree or on the ground, and there are chicks or eggs with the mother bird sitting on them, you must not take the mother from the young.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Whenever you're traveling and find a nest containing chicks or eggs, this is what you must do. If the mother bird is sitting on the nest, never take her with the chicks.

Jubilee Bible 2000
If a bird's nest is encountered before thee in the way in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the mother sitting upon the young or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the mother with the young.

King James 2000 Bible
If a bird's nest happens to be before you in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they are young ones, or eggs, and the mother sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young:

American King James Version
If a bird's nest chance to be before you in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting on the young, or on the eggs, you shall not take the dam with the young:

American Standard Version
If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young:

Douay-Rheims Bible
If thou find as thou walkest by the way, a bird's nest in a tree, or on the ground, and the dam sitting upon the young or upon the eggs: thou shalt not take her with her young:

Darby Bible Translation
If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way, in any tree, or upon the ground, with young or with eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young:

English Revised Version
If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young:

Webster's Bible Translation
If a bird's nest shall chance to be before thee in the way on any tree, or on the ground, whether with young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young:

World English Bible
If a bird's nest chance to be before you in the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the hen sitting on the young, or on the eggs, you shall not take the hen with the young:

Young's Literal Translation
'When a bird's nest cometh before thee in the way, in any tree, or on the earth, brood or eggs, and the mother sitting on the brood or on the eggs, thou dost not take the mother with the young ones;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

22:5-12 God's providence extends itself to the smallest affairs, and his precepts do so, that even in them we may be in the fear of the Lord, as we are under his eye and care. Yet the tendency of these laws, which seem little, is such, that being found among the things of God's law, they are to be accounted great things. If we would prove ourselves to be God's people, we must have respect to his will and to his glory, and not to the vain fashions of the world. Even in putting on our garments, as in eating or in drinking, all must be done with a serious regard to preserve our own and others' purity in heart and actions. Our eye should be single, our heart simple, and our behaviour all of a piece.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 6, 7. - (Cf. Leviticus 22:28; Exodus 23:19.) These precepts are designed to foster humane feeling towards the lower animals, and not less to preserve regard to that affectionate relation between parents and their young which God has established as a law in the animal world. That thou mayest prolong thy days (cf. Deuteronomy 5:16; Exodus 20:12).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in any tree, or on the ground,.... Which are the usual places in which birds build their nests; and this, as Jarchi observes, excepts such nests that are prepared, that is, that are purposely made for fowls kept at home; and with which agrees the Jewish canon, which says (t)"the letting go (the dam out of) the nest is not used but of a fowl, and it is not used but of what is not prepared; what is that which is not prepared? such as geese and hens, whose nest is in an orchard; but if their nest is in the house, and so doves kept at home, a man is free from letting (the dam) go;''that is, he is not obliged to let it go; and this is to be understood of clean birds only; so the Targum of Jonathan,"the nests of clean birds;''agreeably to the same canons and the explanation of them (u),"an unclean bird is free from letting go; so an unclean bird, that sits upon the eggs of a clean bird, also a clean bird that sits upon the eggs of an unclean bird, are free from letting go,''or persons are not obliged to let such go:

whether they be young ones or eggs; that are in the nest; and the Jewish canon is (w),"if there is but one young one, or one egg, a man is obliged to let go the dam, as it is said a nest: a nest is a word of a large sense:"

and the dam sitting upon the young or upon eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young; according to the above canon,"if she is flying at the time her wings reach the nest, a man is bound to let her go; but if her wings touch not the nest, he is free from letting her go--if the young ones are capable of flying, or the eggs rotten, he is free from letting her go, as it is said, and the dam sitting, &c. as the young are alive, so the eggs must be firm and sound, rotten ones are excepted; and as eggs have need of their dam, so the young have need of their dam; those (therefore) that can fly are excepted:''the dam is not to be taken with her young upon any account; yea, it is said (x), not even to cleanse a leper; and whoever does take her is to be beaten: this law was made partly to preserve the species of birds, and prevent the decrease of them; for a dam let go might breed again, and to this purpose are the verses ascribed to Phocylides (y), which contain the substance of this law, and this reason of it: and partly, as Maimonides observes (z), that the dam might not be afflicted at the sight of the spoil of her young; for this law does not prohibit the taking of her in any other place but in her nest, nor after her young are taken, but not together; and, as the same writer remarks, if the law would have such care taken of beasts and birds, that they might be freed from sorrow and distress, how much more of man? Wherefore the intention of this law is to teach humanity, compassion, and pity in men to one another, and to forbid cruelty, covetousness, and such like vices; as also to instruct in the doctrine of Providence, which has a respect to birds; and our Lord may be thought to have this law in view, Luke 12:6.

(t) Misn. Cholin, c. 12. sect. 1.((u) Ib. sect. 2.((w) Ib. sect. 3.((x) Misn. Cholin, c. 12. sect. 5. (y) , &c. Poem. admon. l. 80, 81. (z) Moreh Nevochim, par. 3. c. 48.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

6, 7. If a bird's nest chance to be before thee—This is a beautiful instance of the humanizing spirit of the Mosaic law, in checking a tendency to wanton destructiveness and encouraging a spirit of kind and compassionate tenderness to the tiniest creatures. But there was wisdom as well as humanity in the precept; for, as birds are well known to serve important uses in the economy of nature, the extirpation of a species, whether of edible or ravenous birds, must in any country be productive of serious evils. But Palestine, in particular, was situated in a climate which produced poisonous snakes and scorpions; and the deserts and mountains would have been overrun with them as well as immense swarms of flies, locusts, mice, and vermin of various kinds if the birds which fed upon them were extirpated [Michaelis]. Accordingly, the counsel given in this passage was wise as well as humane, to leave the hen undisturbed for the propagation of the species, while the taking of the brood occasionally was permitted as a check to too rapid an increase.

Deuteronomy 22:6 Additional Commentaries
Context
Various Laws
5"A woman shall not wear man's clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman's clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God. 6"If you happen to come upon a bird's nest along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young; 7you shall certainly let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, in order that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days.…
Cross References
Leviticus 22:28
Do not slaughter a cow or a sheep and its young on the same day.

Deuteronomy 22:5
A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this.
Treasury of Scripture

If a bird's nest chance to be before you in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting on the young, or on the eggs, you shall not take the dam with the young:

young ones

Leviticus 12:6 And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for …

thou shalt not

Genesis 8:17 Bring forth with you every living thing that is with you, of all …

Genesis 32:11 Deliver me, I pray you, from the hand of my brother, from the hand …

Leviticus 22:28 And whether it be cow, or ewe, you shall not kill it and her young …

Proverbs 12:10 A righteous man regards the life of his beast: but the tender mercies …

Hosea 10:14 Therefore shall a tumult arise among your people, and all your fortresses …

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