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What is the biblical symbolism of the sparrow?

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Quick Answer

In the Christian Bible, sparrows have several important symbolic meanings. These birds are tiny and have dull, bland coloring. In the Scriptures, this physical insignificance represents the size and importance of each soul relative to the unfathomable expanse of the universe.

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Full Answer

Sparrows are also symbols of freedom, especially as pertains to the freedom of the soul to choose between good and evil. Sparrows are small, light birds that easily fit through tight spaces and effortlessly soar to the tops of tall trees. Biblical authors relate these qualities to the ability of the soul to ascend to Heaven through faith and good works.

Several other birds are also used as biblical symbols. For example, the dove represents peace, renewal and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Vultures, called "eagles" in some English Bible translations, are carrion eaters whose presence in Scripture indicates purification and the transcendence of death and wickedness.

Many other animals also appear as biblical symbols. For example, snakes and serpents represent Satan. Such symbolism is an explicit condemnation of pagan deities such as the Babylonian Bel, who was depicted as a huge stone serpent. Sheep and goats are also important biblical symbols. Sheep symbolize the righteous faithful who believe the word of God and obey it. Goats symbolize wicked people who have no desire to learn the truth or obey God.

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