Psalm 84:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young-- a place near your altar, LORD Almighty, my King and my God.

New Living Translation
Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O LORD of Heaven's Armies, my King and my God!

English Standard Version
Even 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.

New American Standard Bible
The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God.

King James Bible
Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Even a sparrow finds a home, and a swallow, a nest for herself where she places her young-- near Your altars, LORD of Hosts, my King and my God.

International Standard Version
Even the sparrow found a house for herself and the swallow a nest to lay her young at your altar, LORD of the Heavenly Armies, my king and God.

NET Bible
Even the birds find a home there, and the swallow builds a nest, where she can protect her young near your altars, O LORD who rules over all, my king and my God.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Even the sparrow has found a house for itself and the pigeon makes a nest; they have raised chicks on the side of your altar, Lord Jehovah of Hosts, my King and my God!

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Even sparrows find a home, and swallows find a nest for themselves. There they hatch their young near your altars, O LORD of Armies, my king and my God.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Even the sparrow has found a house and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young upon thine altars, O LORD of the hosts, my King and my God.

King James 2000 Bible
Yea, the sparrow has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.

American King James Version
Yes, the sparrow has found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.

American Standard Version
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 Jehovah of hosts, My King, and my God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For the sparrow hath found herself a house, and the turtle a nest for herself where she may lay her young ones: Thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my king and my God.

Darby Bible Translation
Yea, the sparrow hath found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she layeth her young, thine altars, O Jehovah of hosts, my King and my God.

English Revised Version
Yea, the sparrow hath found her an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.

Webster's Bible Translation
Yes, the sparrow hath found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thy altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.

World English Bible
Yes, the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young, near your altars, Yahweh of Armies, my King, and my God.

Young's Literal Translation
(Even a sparrow hath found a house, And a swallow a nest for herself, Where she hath placed her brood,) Thine altars, O Jehovah of Hosts, My king and my God.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

84:1-7 The ordinances of God are the believer's solace in this evil world; in them he enjoys the presence of the living God: this causes him to regret his absence from them. They are to his soul as the nest to the bird. Yet they are only an earnest of the happiness of heaven; but how can men desire to enter that holy habitation, who complain of Divine ordinances as wearisome? Those are truly happy, who go forth, and go on in the exercise of religion, in the strength of the grace of Jesus Christ, from whom all our sufficiency is. The pilgrims to the heavenly city may have to pass through many a valley of weeping, and many a thirsty desert; but wells of salvation shall be opened for them, and consolations sent for their support. Those that press forward in their Christian course, shall find God add grace to their graces. And those who grow in grace, shall be perfect in glory.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 3. - Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young. Both sparrows and swallows abound in Palestine. Canon Tristram found the nest of a sparrow "so closely allied to our own that it is difficult to distinguish it," in a chink of the Haram wall at Jerusalem, near the Golden Gate ('Land of Israel,' p. 182). An anecdote related by Herodotus (1, 159) shows that sparrows built about the Greek temples. The general meaning of the figure in this place seems to be, "If even birds love to build their nests, as they do, in the sacred precincts, how much more reason has the believing heart to find its home in the house of its God!" But the psalmist thinks it enough to suggest the parallel, and does not stop to carry it out. Even thine altars. The "altar" is put, by metonymy, for the temple itself. O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God (comp. Psalm 5:2).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Yea, the sparrow hath found an house,.... One or other of the houses of men, where to build its nest; or its nest itself is called an house, as it seems to be explained in the next clause: the word here used signifies any bird; we translate it a "sparrow", and so Kimchi; the Targum renders it the "dove"; but the Midrash is,

"it is not said as a dove, but as a sparrow: the dove takes its young, and returns to its place; not so the sparrow:''

and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young; the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, have it the "turtle", the stock, or ring dove: and so the Targum, which paraphrases this clause, in connection with the following, thus:

"and the turtle a nest for herself, whose young are fit to be offered up upon thine altars:''

it is translated a swallow in Proverbs 26:2 and has its name in Hebrew from liberty, it not loving confinement, or because it freely visits the houses of men without fear:

even thine altars, O Lord of hosts; that is, as some understand it, there the swallow builds a nest, and lays her young; but it can hardly be thought that this could be done in them, since the priests were so often officiating at them, and there were so much noise, fire, and smoke there; it must be "at the sides of them", as the Syriac and Arabic versions render it, or near unto them; or rather in the rafters of the house where they were; and the rafters and beams of the temple were of cedar, and in such turtles have their nests (s); or in the houses adjoining to the tabernacle; or in the trees that might be near it; see Joshua 24:26, and so the psalmist seems to envy and begrudge the place these birds had, and wishes he had the same nearness as they. Kimchi observes, that if this is to be understood of David, when in the land of the Philistines, at that time high places and altars were lawful everywhere, and there birds might build their nests; but if of the captivity, the birds found a place and built their nests in the ruins of the temple and altars; and so Jarchi; for as for the temple, it was not built in the times of David; besides, when built, had a scarecrow on it (t): though the words may be considered as in connection with Psalm 84:3 and what goes before be read in a parenthesis, as they are by R. Judah Ben Balsam, cited by R. Aben Ezra;

"my soul longeth for the courts of the Lord, crieth out for the living God: even thine altars, O Lord of hosts'';

that is, for them; or may be supplied thus,

"I desire thine altars, O Lord of hosts'' (u):

as the birds above mentioned seek for a nest, and desire to find one, and have what they want, and nature prompts them to; so I desire a place in thine house and courts, and near thine altars; see Matthew 8:20, or thus; as these birds rejoice, when they have found an house or nest for themselves and young; so should I rejoice, might I be favoured once more with attendance on thine altars, O Lord of hosts: mention is made of "altars", referring both to the altar of burnt sacrifice, and the altar of incense, both typical of Christ, Hebrews 13:10 and of his sacrifice and intercession; both which believers have to do with: it is added,

my King, and my God; when, by attending at his tabernacle, courts, and altars, he would testify his subjection to him as his King, and his faith in him, and thankfulness to him, as his God; see John 20:28.

(s) Vide Theocrit. Idyl. 5. (t) "To drive away birds", or "to destroy them", Misn. Middot, c. 4. s. 6. Maimon. & Bartenora, in ib. (u) So Noldius, p. 23.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

3. thine altars—that is, of burnt offering and incense, used for the whole tabernacle. Its structure afforded facilities for sparrows and swallows to indulge their known predilections for such places. Some understand the statement as to the birds as a comparison: "as they find homes, so do I desire thine altars," &c.

Psalm 84:3 Additional Commentaries
Context
How Lovely are Your Dwellings!
2My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. 3The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God. 4How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You. Selah.…
Cross References
Psalm 5:2
Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.

Psalm 43:4
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
Treasury of Scripture

Yes, the sparrow has found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.

yea, etc. Or, rather, Even as the sparrow findeth a house, and the swallow (or the ring-dove, according to some, but probably the bird which Forskal mentions among the migratory birds of Alexandria, by the name of Dururi) a nest for herself where she may lay her young, so I seek thine altars, O Jehovah God of hosts, my King and my God. That is, as nature inclines birds to seek and prepare their nests, so grace has taught me to desire thy altars, and to worship there.

sparrow

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