|Noah Webster's Dictionary|
1. (n.) The bed or receptacle prepared by a fowl for holding her eggs and for hatching and rearing her young.
2. (n.) Hence: the place in which the eggs of other animals, as insects, turtles, etc., are laid and hatched; a snug place in which young animals are reared.
3. (n.) A snug, comfortable, or cozy residence or situation; a retreat, or place of habitual resort; hence, those who occupy a nest, frequent a haunt, or are associated in the same pursuit; as, a nest of traitors; a nest of bugs.
4. (n.) An aggregated mass of any ore or mineral, in an isolated state, within a rock.
5. (n.) A collection of boxes, cases, or the like, of graduated size, each put within the one next larger.
6. (n.) A compact group of pulleys, gears, springs, etc., working together or collectively.
7. (v. i.) To build and occupy a nest.
8. (v. t.) To put into a nest; to form a nest for.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
(qen; neossia, nossia; in the New Testament kataskenosis; Latin nidus): A receptacle prepared by a bird for receiving its eggs and young. Nests differ with species. Eagles use a large heap of coarse sticks and twigs on the cleft of a mountain (Job 39:27 Jeremiah 49:16 Obadiah 1:4); hawks prefer trees; vultures, hollow trees or the earth; ravens, big trees; doves and pigeons, trees or rocky crevices (Jeremiah 48:28); hoopoes, hollow trees; swallows, mud nests under a roof, on cliffs or deserted temples; owls, hollow trees, dark places in ruins or sand burrows (on the qippoz of Isaiah 34:15 see OWL); cranes, storks and herons, either trees (Psalm 104:17) or rushes beside water (storks often choose housetops, as well).
Each nest so follows the building laws of its owner's species that any expert ornithologist can tell from a nest which bird builded it. Early in incubation a bird deserts a nest readily because it hopes to build another in a place not so easily discoverable and where it can deposit more eggs. When the young have progressed until their quickening is perceptible through the thin shells pressed against the breast of the mother, she develops a boldness called by scientists the "brooding fever." In this state the wildest of birds frequently will suffer your touch before deserting the nest. Especially is this the case if the young are just on the point of emerging. The first Biblical reference to the nest of a bird will be found in Balaam's fourth prophecy in Numbers 24:21: "And he looked on the Kenite, and took up his parable and said, Strong is thy dwelling-place, and thy nest is set in the rock." Here Balaam was thinking of the nest of an eagle, hawk or vulture, placed on solid rock among impregnable crags of mountain tops. The next reference is among the laws for personal conduct in Deuteronomy 22:6: "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." Beyond question this is the earliest law on record for the protection of a brooding bird. It is probable that it was made permissible to take the young, as the law demanded their use, at least in the case of pigeons and doves, for sacrifice. In Job 29:18, Job cries,
"Then I said, I shall die in my nest,
And I shall multiply my days as the sand:"
that is, he hoped in his days of prosperity to die in the home he had builded for his wife and children. In Psalm 84:3 David sings,
"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 Yahweh of hosts,
My King, and my God."
These lines are rich and ripe with meaning, for in those days all the world protected a temple nest, even to the infliction of the death penalty on anyone interfering with it. This was because the bird was supposed to be claiming the protection of the gods. Hebrew, Arab and Egyptian guarded all nests on places of worship. Pagan Rome executed the shoemaker who killed a raven that built on a temple, and Athens took the same revenge on the man who destroyed the nest of a swallow. Isaiah compared the destruction of Assyria to the robbing of a bird's nest: "And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the peoples; and as one gathereth eggs that are forsaken, have I gathered all the earth: and there was none that moved the wing, or that opened the mouth, or chirped" (Isaiah 10:14; compare Isaiah 16:2). Matthew quotes Jesus as having said, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the heaven have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head" (Matthew 8:20 equals Luke 9:58). Gene Stratton-Porter
Nest (22 Occurrences)
Matthew 13:32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches." (See NAS RSV)
Mark 4:32 yet when it is sown, grows up, and becomes greater than all the herbs, and puts out great branches, so that the birds of the sky can lodge under its shadow." (See NAS RSV)
Numbers 24:21 He looked at the Kenite, and took up his parable, and said, "Your dwelling place is strong. Your nest is set in the rock. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Deuteronomy 22:6 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: (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Deuteronomy 32:11 As an eagle that stirs up her nest, that flutters over her young, he spread abroad his wings, he took them, he bore them on his feathers. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Job 29:18 Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand. (KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Job 39:27 Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up, and makes his nest on high? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 84:3 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. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 104:12 The birds of the sky nest by them. They sing among the branches. (WEB NIV)
Proverbs 27:8 As a bird that wanders from her nest, so is a man who wanders from his home. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 10:14 My hand has found the riches of the peoples like a nest, and like one gathers eggs that are abandoned, have I gathered all the earth. There was no one who moved their wing, or that opened their mouth, or chirped." (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 11:8 And the child at the breast will be playing by the hole of the snake, and the older child will put his hand on the bright eye of the poison-snake. (See NIV)
Isaiah 16:2 For it will be that as wandering birds, as a scattered nest, so will the daughters of Moab be at the fords of the Arnon. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 34:11 But the pelican and the bittern shall possess it, and the owl and the raven shall dwell therein; and He shall stretch over it the line of confusion, and the plummet of emptiness. (See NIV)
Isaiah 34:15 The arrow snake will make her nest there, and lay, hatch, and gather under her shade. Yes, the kites will be gathered there, every one with her mate. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 22:23 Inhabitant of Lebanon, who makes your nest in the cedars, how greatly to be pitied you will be when pangs come on you, the pain as of a woman in travail! (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 48:28 You inhabitants of Moab, leave the cities, and dwell in the rock; and be like the dove that makes her nest over the mouth of the abyss. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 49:16 As for your terror, the pride of your heart has deceived you, O you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, who hold the height of the hill: though you should make your nest as high as the eagle, I will bring you down from there, says Yahweh. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 17:23 in the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it; and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all birds of every wing; in the shade of its branches shall they dwell. (See NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 31:6 All the birds of the sky made their nests in its boughs; and under its branches did all the animals of the field bring forth their young; and under its shadow lived all great nations. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Obadiah 1:4 Though you mount on high as the eagle, and though your nest is set among the stars, I will bring you down from there," says Yahweh. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Habakkuk 2:9 Woe to him who gets an evil gain for his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the hand of evil! (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)