Fig; Fig-Tree

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

Common in Palestine
(Deut. 8:8; Isa. 34:4; 1 Kings 4:25). Pressed figs (1 Sam. 25:18). Fruit appears before leaves (Matt. 21:19).

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. 3:7; 1 Kings 4:25; John 1:48). The figs were made into cakes by being pressed together (1 Sam. 25:18; 1 Sam. 30:12). The trees bear figs at different times, hence the expressions “first-ripe figs,” and also “untimely figs” (Nah. 3:12; Rev. 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. 21:19-20; Mark 11:13, 20-21). This was typical of Israel which had been compared to a fig-tree, bringing forth its first-ripe figs (Hos. 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 13:6-7). As a nation in the flesh no fruit will ever be found on it.

From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Amos 7:14. A gatherer of sycamore fruit.
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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