This is one of those stories I have wondered about for a long time. It never made sense to me…
The lesson of the Fig Tree
(Mark 13:28-31; Luke 21:29-33)
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Many in the Dispensational, pre-Trib Rapture camp will refer to 1948 Israel as the “budding of the fig tree” of Yeshua’s parable in the Olivet Discourse. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this stated. OK. Well, let’s carefully consider the fig tree analogy.
(Note: Some of this has been copied and pasted from my previous blog)
Yeshua is saying that when you see certain signs in that particular variety of plant life, you know that Summer is on the way. After giving an analogy all of them would have easily understood, He then said that likewise, when people see all of the above mentioned signs, the end would be very near. In fact, those who do see all of these things taking place, would be the generation that would not pass away before the end comes.
Please note: He said ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL about “Israel becoming a nation” anywhere in the above text! That’s Hal Lindsey (and many others like him) talking here, not Yeshua!! So, everyone trying to apply this text to a count-down clock beginning in 1948 is seriously applying eisegesis (inserting their own ideas) unto the text. 1948 and the re-establishment of the nation calling itself “Israel” has nothing to do with any statement made by Yeshua in the Olivet Discourse. Don’t believe me? No problem. Please go back and re-read verses 1 – 34 and see if you can find any mention of Israel becoming a nation again being described here. You’re not going to find it, but I’ll wait if you want to try anyway.
Welcome back. OK… sorry to disappoint you. I know. I know. Dumping traditional (and profitable) thinking can be painful sometimes. But the text says what it says and we should not add to it what it does not say. At the beginning of Matthew 24. the disciples specifically asked the Son of God what the signs of His coming would be, and therefore, we must take note of two striking omissions:
- No mention of millions of people flying up into the sky before the days of tribulation
- No mention of Israel needing to be re-established as a nation
Oops! Well, let’s just say there’s good reason why countless modern “prophecies” concerning the Rapture and His return have failed time and time again – and will continue to fail so long as they hold to false premises like these.
Something else perhaps worthy of consideration is addressing the claim that Yeshua was talking about Israel as the fig tree in Matt. 24:32. Proponents of this view will cite passages such as Jeremiah 24 as justification for this metaphor. To me this would contradict Paul, who referred to Israel as the “cultivated olive tree” in Romans 11, but let’s go with it anyway. If Israel is allegedly the “fig tree” spoken of in the parable Yeshua gave in Matt. 24:32-34, and He is saying we are to learn the meaning of this parable, then the only precedent we have associating Yeshua with a fig tree was Him cursing it on His RETURN into Jerusalem three chapters prior in…
18 Now in the morning as he RETURNED into the city, he hungered.
19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
In Mark’s account of this story, the cursing of the fig tree happened just after Him riding into town on the donkey, being hailed as King and prior to Him cleansing the Temple of the money changers.
11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.
12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:
13 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.
14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.
15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;
16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.
17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.
The fig tree in Matthew 21 and Mark 11 was cursed because it pretended to be something it was not. It looked ready for food, but it was all a show. It was “ahead of it’s time.”
At first, this bothered me. How could Yeshua curse something that He made to produce fruit just because it wasn’t at that specific time? The Scriptures said Yeshua was hungry. He saw a fig tree in bloom, but there was no fruit because “the time of figs was not yet.” Isn’t that like getting mad because there is no snow in Summer? So, I looked up the harvest times for figs. This is what I found:
Indeed, many fig varieties have two distinct harvests. The first harvest, which happens in June, is called the breba crop. The fruits of this harvest tend to be less sweet and more acidic than the flavorful main crop, which is larger and lasts longer.
The fig harvest is at its peak in September, but some figs may be available as late as November.
The above cited website says that figs are in season: June, July, September and October (or even as late as November). If this is true, Yeshua was there in roughly the April-ish time-frame, as this was the first month of the Hebrew year, the month of Passover, at the start of Spring. Ah… now this makes more sense. He was hungry. He saw a fig tree showing off signs of fruit several months early (for the first harvest) and several seasons early for the main harvest. In short, it was a counterfeit, that had no ability to satisfy our Savior. Not good. Thus cursed.
So, whether it be that He was NOT referring to Israel being reinstated again as a nation in Matt. 24 (as I believe to be the case) or He was (as many others believe), I can’t see how anyone can look at this analogy as a good thing and something we should be excited about in reference to the Last Days. From my reading of Scripture, I see 2/3rds of that place being killed and 1/3rd “going through the fire” (Zech. 13:8,9) and Yeshua telling those who are in Judea to get out of there in the Last days (Matt. 24:16). For more on this, see the notes and videos I’ve posted here: http://www.quest4truth.net/Archived-Shows/quest4truth-episode-11
It may be time to rethink everything we’ve been taught in the last 70 years concerning the so-called “nation of Israel” and what it means in terms of End Times prophecy. Why? Because so many think and preach that, “Israel was gathered together again as a nation, thus fulfilling Isaiah 66:8.” But did it really fulfill this Scripture?
Isaiah 66:8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
They will say, “Can a nation be born in a day? Yep! May 14, 1948.” Well there are a number of problems with that. First of all the plan for this to happen was set in motion LONG before May 14, 1948, so it can hardly be considered as happening in one day. In fact, some would say it goes all the way back to the late 1800s and a script written that outlines three World Wars, two of which followed the script perfectly and a third making a fair run at doing the same as we speak.
Whether you believe this document was attributed to Albert Pike or not is really irrelevant. The fact is, the document did exist before the events took place, and the events followed the script nearly to the letter. Problem is, they didn’t follow the SCRIPTures.
Over and over again throughout the prophets (especially the book of Hosea), we see YHWH saying that HE is going to assemble the whole house of Israel (all 12 tribes as Judah and Ephraim) together Himself. Some say, “Yes. But He did so using those (Luciferian) Rothschilds, Zionists and Freemasons in 1948.” Well, the problem is the prophet Amos said…
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
So, if He meant to tell us that He was going to use the Luciferian Rothschilds, Zionists, Freemasons and the ungodly United Nations to accomplish His will concerning the regathering of Israel as a nation once again, He would have made some mention of this to His prophets, just as He did when He declared what He was going to do through a pagan like Cyrus. He did not. This is just one of many problems. To me, the bigger one is the fact that Isaiah 66 is in the context of the previous chapter, which sets it up in a Millennial Reign context! Furthermore, if you keep reading just 4 more verses after Isaiah 66:8, you see…
Isaiah 66:12 For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.
Peace flowing like a river from the nation born in a day?? What? We’ve had anything but peace since 1948! Sorry, but no matter how you look at Yeshua’s statements in the Olivet Discourse, there is simply no way you can derive any notion of the establishment of “Israel as a nation” from His words concerning the fig tree apart from the possibility of it being a counterfeit, which gathered itself together, destined to being cursed, just as the poser of a fig tree was in Matthew 21.
1 Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired;
2 Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord’s anger come upon you.
Now, I know this is going to be upsetting to some people. Many will likely throw the “antisemitism” card and accuse me of “cursing Israel.” Regarding the latter accusation, we must revisit the context of that Scripture too:
1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
4 So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
The entire context of this passage of Scripture is Abram being called to leave his family behind and to go on a journey that YHWH was going to lead Him on into what would become known as the “Promised Land.” Note how many times I had to bold and color red the subject of this discussion. The entire context is Abram and what YHWH was going to do for, in and through him. YHWH was encouraging Abram and basically telling him (if I may paraphrase), “Don’t worry Abram. I’ve got your back. Just do what I say and I will protect you every step of the journey. I’ll bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. You have nothing to fear, so get going.” Yet, time and time again Christians and Zionists, will try to use this Scripture out of context as a tool of manipulation to get us to support political agendas – most of which are directly contrary to the Torah and the prophets.
Hear me clearly:
I LOVE THE JEWISH PEOPLE! I LOVE THE PEOPLE OF (true) ISRAEL!
So, don’t even think about twisting my words to say otherwise. My issue is with political Zionism and supporting things that are clearly contrary to the Word of God. YHWH has very specific “house rules” about having the privilege of living on HIS land. Read Leviticus 18 and Leviticus 26 if you want to know what those rules are and what happens when you disobey them. In short, disobedience ALWAYS leads to exile from the land and judgement/punishment in increasing measure depending on how long you choose to remain defiant and disobedient. Question: As a nation, is the 1948 established “Israel” being obedient or disobedient to YHWH’s Torah? Granted, there are certainly individual people there who are moving in that direction. But as a nation, they have all the evils of America and worse within their borders. According to Leviticus 18 and 26, you simply can not do that on YHWH’s Holy Land. Not for long anyway. For more on my view concerning this issue, see:
If we are to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” as Paul told Timothy in 2 Tim. 2:15, then we need to do exactly that. We need to keep Scripture in context, take it at face value, not adding to nor subtracting from it.
- Rob Skiba