New International Version
Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.
King James Bible
And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.
Darby Bible Translation
And seeing from afar off a fig-tree which had leaves, he came, if perhaps he might find something on it. And having come up to it he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the time of figs.
World English Bible
Seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came to see if perhaps he might find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.
Young's Literal Translation
and having seen a fig-tree afar off having leaves, he came, if perhaps he shall find anything in it, and having come to it, he found nothing except leaves, for it was not a time of figs,
Mark 11:13 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
For the time of figs was not yet - Rather, For it was not the season of gathering figs yet. This I am fully persuaded is the true sense of this passage, ου γαρ ην καιρος συκων. For a proof that καιρος here signifies the time of gathering the figs, see the Lxx. in Psalm 1:3. He bringeth forth his fruit, εν καιρω αυτου, in his season; i.e. in the time in which fruit should be ripe, and fit for gathering. See also Mark 12:2 : - And at the season, τῳ καιρῳ, the time of gathering the fruits of the vineyard. Matthew 21:34 : - When the time of the fruit drew near; ὁ καιρος των καρπων, the time in which the fruits were to be gathered, for it was then that the Lord of the vineyard sent his servants to receive the fruits; i.e. so much of them as the holder of the vineyard was to pay to the owner by way of rent; for in those times rent was paid in kind.
To the above may be added, Job 5:26 : - Thou shalt come to thy grave in Full Age, like as a shock of corn cometh in his season; κατα καιρον, in the time in which it should be reaped.
When our Lord saw this fig tree by the way-side, apparently flourishing, he went to it to gather some of the figs: being on the way-side, it was not private, but public property; and any traveler had an equal right to its fruit. As it was not as yet the time for gathering in the fruits, and yet about the time when they were ready to be gathered, our Lord with propriety expected to find some. But as this happened about five days before that passover on which Christ suffered, and the passover that year fell on the beginning of April, it has been asked, "How could our Lord expect to find ripe figs in the end of March?" Answer, Because figs were ripe in Judea as early as the passover. Besides, the fig tree puts forth its fruit first, and afterwards its leaves. Indeed, this tree, in the climate which is proper for it, has fruit on it all the year round, as I have often seen. All the difficulty in the text may be easily removed by considering that the climate of Judea is widely different from that of Great Britain. The summer begins there in March, and the harvest at the passover, as all travelers into those countries testify; therefore, as our Lord met with this tree five days before the passover, it is evident, - 1st. That it was the time of ripe figs: and, 2ndly. That it was not the time of gathering them, because this did not begin till the passover, and the transaction here mentioned took place five days before.
For farther satisfaction on this point, let us suppose: -
I. That this tree was intended to point out the state of the Jewish people.
1. They made a profession of the true religion.
2. They considered themselves the peculiar people of God, and despised and reprobated all others.
3. They were only hypocrites, having nothing of religion but the profession - leaves, and no fruit.
II. That our Lord's conduct towards this tree is to be considered as emblematical of the treatment and final perdition which was to come upon this hypocritical and ungodly nation.
1. It was a proper time for them to have borne fruit: Jesus had been preaching the doctrine of repentance and salvation among them for more than three years; the choicest influences of Heaven had descended upon them; and every thing was done in this vineyard that ought to be done, in order to make it fruitful.
2. The time was now at hand in which God would require fruit, good fruit; and, if it did not produce such, the tree should be hewn down by the Roman axe.
1. The tree is properly the Jewish nation.
2. Christ's curse the sentence of destruction which had now gone out against it; and,
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
a fig-tree. The fig-tree, [suke,] is a genus of the polygamia triaecia class of plants, seldom rising above twelve feet, but sending off from the bottom many spreading branches. The leaves are of a dark green colour, nearly a span long, smooth, and irregularly divided into from three to five deep rounded lobes; and the fruit grows on short and thick stalks, of a purplish colour, and contains a soft, sweet, and fragrant pulp, intermixed with numerous small seeds.
for. Dr. Campbell observes, that the declaration, 'for the time of [ripe, Ed.] figs was not yet,' is not the reason why our Lord did not find any fruit on the tree, because the fig is of that class of vegetables in which the fruit is formed in its immature state before the leaves are seen. But as the fruit is of a pulpy nature, the broad, thick leaves come out in profusion to protect it from the rays of the sun during the time it is ripening. If the words, 'for the time,' etc. however, are read as a parenthesis, they then become a reason why Jesus Christ should look for fruit, because the season for gathering not having fully come, it would remove all suspicion that the fruit had been gathered: while the presence of the leaves incontestably proved the advance of the tree to the state in which fruit is found.
LibraryDecember 20 Evening
If the Lord would make windows in heaven might this thing be?--II KGS. 7:2. Have faith in God.--Without faith it is impossible to please God.--With God all things are possible. Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.--Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord …
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path
August 19. "Have Faith in God" (Mark xi. 22).
The Secret of Effectual Prayer
To his Praise!
He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit.
Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered.
The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry.
Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.
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