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People's Dictionary of the Bible

Fig Tree

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Fig, Fig Tree. This, Ficus carica, was a tree very common in Palestine. Deuteronomy 8:8. Mount Olivet was famous anciently for fig trees; and still some are to be found there. The first notice we have of this tree is when Adam and Eve endeavored to clothe themselves with leaves. Genesis 3:7. Whether the leaves they used were those of the ordinary fig tree may be questioned; but the practice of fastening leaves together for various utensils, as baskets, etc., is common in the East to the present day. Not only was the fresh fruit of the fig tree valued, but also cakes of figs are mentioned in Scripture; e.g., 1 Samuel 25:18; 1 Samuel 30:12, These were made either by simple compression, or by pounding them into a mass, sometimes together with dates. They were then cut into cakes, often similar to bricks, and hardened by keeping. Twice the fig tree is mentioned in the New Testament. Our Lord, shortly before his crucifixion, being hungry, sought fruit from a fig tree, and, finding none, condemned it. Matthew 21:18-20; Mark 11:12-14; Mark 11:20. It was early in the season, not the ordinary time for figs; but yet, as the fruit precedes the leaves, and there were leaves on this tree, figs might naturally have been expected on it; and, as there were then none, there was proof enough that the pretentious tree was worthless. The parable of the fig tree spared at the intercession of the dresser of the garden, Luke 13:6-9, is full of instruction. There is, it may be added, an expressive phrase in which the fig tree is introduced; when men axe said to sit under their own vine and their own fig tree, 1 Kings 4:26; Zechariah 3:10, a state of general peace and prosperity is indicated.


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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Fig Tree'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/rpd/f/fig-tree.html. 1893.

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