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Explain Matthew 10:29

Jesus said: Matthew 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?

For what were they sold? They are not listed among the fowl acceptable as sacrificial victims. I don't know if they are kosher, but they certainly are not big enough to eat.

Anybody have an idea?

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 ---Cluny on 7/12/12
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Some small birds were suitable to be used by the very poor for some sacrifices. They were also eaten as a snack. And were kept as caged birds. Leviticus 14:4, Deuteronomy 22:6, Job 41:5.
---Glenn on 9/29/12

Cluny's question may be answered by investigating.....

?? Why did Jesus say:
Two sparrows for
One assarion

4 kodrantes = 1 assarion
8 lepta = 1 assarion

?? Why didn't He say
one sparrow is worth 4 lepta ? Or one sparrow for 2 kodrantes ?

Why did Jesus reference Roman money?

Were sparrows commonly sold in pairs?

buy two pairs, they throw in an extra - 5 birds for 2 assarion (Luke 12:6) - similar to our baker's dozen

Does "Lesbia's Sparrow" help us any?

Pets were a BIG deal to the Romans. Where did sparrows rate?
---James_L on 9/29/12

Jesus was not teaching about "fowl acceptable as sacrificial victims or kosher or anything about eating."

MarkV rightly said, it's "speaking of the fear of God and His sovereignty". That's because, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge". And the knowledge that the Christian will have is that God has control of everything and everyone - so there's no one to fear but Him.

Christ encouragement to the Christian which you missed out in verse 31, "Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."

"...for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Romans 14:17
---christan on 9/28/12

Cluny, speaking of the fear of God and His sovereign power. That was the point Jesus wanted to bring across, not why a bird is sold or what they do, but the will of God. Jesus was teaching that God providentially controls the timing and circumstances of such insignificant events as the death of a sparrow. Even the number of hairs on our heads is controlled by His sovereign will (v.30). In other words, divine providence governs even the smallest deatails and even the most mundane matters. These are very powerful affirmations of the sovereignty of God.
---Mark_V. on 7/15/12

2 Kings 6:25 And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was [sold] for fourscore [pieces] of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five [pieces] of silver.

and I imagine that sparrows were also sold
---francis on 7/14/12

I wouldn't sell sparrows short. A WW1 survivor I knew said that was all there was to eat after the war in Germany. Not too many chickens left around. May be good stuff down the road in the good ol' US of A.
---Phil on 7/14/12

You might say one peanut is not big enough to eat, or one shrimp. I think those are interesting ideas . . . including that a song sparrow would make things nicer in the home, but make sure there is poop control! I had a robin and gave it a perch and soon I discovered what could happen to the wall behind it (c:

And in Psalms it says the birds sing God's praises. So, keeping a song sparrow could represent keeping praise to God going in the home. And so, if our Father keeps each of His little tweety birdies (c: this could represent how He is attentive to those "little" people who live in praise of Him, though they seem unimportant to this world.
---willie_c: on 7/14/12

sparrows are a tastey bird.
takes a lot of them to maake a good stew, but...
They are also good decorative birds to have in your house
---francis on 7/13/12

So far, only joseph has offered an answer to my question.

Let me clarify something: I'm NOT asking for a spiritual interpretation or application of this verse.

I'm simply wondering why people would buy sparrows in 1st century Judea/Palestine.

Glory to Jesus Christ!
---Cluny on 7/13/12

It took me some reaearch and I am still not convinced that this is correct, but according to a common custom in the Eastern world, small birds were caught and sold to be plucked, skinned and roasted. Each small bird made a tasty mouthful and is the origin of our word tidbit.
---Mark_Eaton on 7/13/12

Are not two sparrows ... - He encourages them not to fear by two striking considerations: first, that God takes care of sparrows, the smallest and least valuable of birds, and, secondly, by the fact that God numbers even the hairs of the head. The argument is, that if He takes care of birds of the least value, if He regards so small a thing as the hair of the head, and numbers it, He will certainly protect and provide for you. You need not, therefore, fear what man can do to you.
---francis on 7/13/12

This is about the VALUE of LIFE
Matthew 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

We put a price value on these birds, yet not one of them can be killed unless God permits it.
God knows everything

I like this verse to support the other
Matthew 10:26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed, and hid, that shall not be known.

Do not be afraid on any man, fear god beause Gdo only can destroy a creature totally
---francis on 7/13/12

"Anybody have an idea? " Cluny, with the understanding that there is a variety of sparrow also known as a song bird, which delivers a beautifully soothing sound, they were probably sold as pets.
---joseph on 7/13/12

Chapter 10 is about spiritual warfare as the twelve were sent out to practice being missionaries. Jesus uses the analogy of the price of a sparrow to convey how watchful and protective God is. The analogy is if sparrows are important to God and are worth a farthing (a penny in American terms) how much more important are you, being a son/daughter of God. For example, if you spend money to fix your car, how much more money would you spend "fixing" your child.
---Scott1 on 7/13/12

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