Fig; Fig-Tree

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

Common in Palestine

Concise Bible Dictionary:

There are several kinds of fig-trees, but the well-known tree called the Ficus Carica is common in Palestine and very productive. It also agrees with the description of "sitting under the fig-tree" for repose, its branches and leaves giving protection from the heat of the sun. It was one of the trees in the garden of Eden, of the leaves of which Adam and Eve made aprons (Gen. 3:77And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. (Genesis 3:7); 1 Kings 4:2525And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, all the days of Solomon. (1 Kings 4:25); John 1:4848Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. (John 1:48)). The figs were made into cakes by being pressed together (1 Sam. 25:1818Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses. (1 Samuel 25:18); 1 Sam. 30:1212And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights. (1 Samuel 30:12)). The trees bear figs at different times, hence the expressions “first-ripe figs,” and also “untimely figs” (Nah. 3:1212All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees with the firstripe figs: if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater. (Nahum 3:12); Rev. 6:1313And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. (Revelation 6:13)). The fruit is produced before the leaves; so that leaves being found, there should have been fruit on the fig-tree cursed by the Lord, although the ordinary fig-season had not arrived (Matt. 21:19-2019And 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. 20And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! (Matthew 21:19‑20); Mark 11:13, 20-2113And 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. (Mark 11:13)
20And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. (Mark 11:20‑21)
). This was typical of Israel which had been compared to a fig-tree, bringing forth its first-ripe figs (Hos. 9:1010I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baal-peor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved. (Hosea 9:10)); but in the days of the Lord, Israel had plenty of leaves, professing to be God's favored people, but producing no real fruit to Him (Luke 13:6-76He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. 7Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? (Luke 13:6‑7)). As a nation in the flesh no fruit will ever be found on it.

From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

This shows his humble position, since none but the poorest cultivate or use this fruit. Henderson, speaking of the word boles, “gatherer,” says: “The particular mode in which the ancients cultivated fig-trees the LXX appear to have had in their eye when they rendered it by κνίζων, a nipper or scratcher; for we are informed by Theophrastus that iron nails or prongs were employed to make incisions or scratches in the tree, that, by letting out some of the sap, the fruit might be ripened” (Commentary in loco). Gesenius sustains this rendering of the Septuagint, but Keil dissents. He says that nipping cannot be shown to be implied by the word boles, and further declares that the eating, and not the cultivation, of the fruit is what is meant.

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