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On the Fig Tree – Part One

Posted by Stephen Pidgeon on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 6:00 AM

 

There is a broad discussion about the fig tree in both the Tanakh and the Brit Chadashah.  Can we decipher a meaning?

Shofetiym (Judges) 9:7-9

And when they told it to Yotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that ELOHIYM may hearken unto you. 8 The trees (Ha’etziym) went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign over us. 9 But the olive tree (zayith etz) said unto them, Should I leave my fatness (deshen), wherewith by me they honour ELOHIYM and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?

Were we talking about actual trees, one might be concerned how one group of trees might bring a petition to have another group of trees reign over them.  Therefore, it is obvious that this passage speaks metaphorically.  We must ask the question, then, what does the olive tree represent? 

Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 11:16

YAHUAH called your name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken. 17 For YAHUAH TSEVA’OTH, that planted you, has pronounced evil against you, for the evil of the house of Yisra’el and of the house of Yahudah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal.

The green olive tree, of fair and goodly fruit, is the house of Yisra’el and the house of Yahudah; which is to say, the two houses that constitute all of Yisra’el.  This issue of good fruit will be before us here shortly. Who are these two houses to YAH?

Zakaryahu (Zechariah) 4:

And said unto me, What do you see? And I said, I have looked, and behold a menorah all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: 3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. 4 So I answered and spoke to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? 5 Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Do you not know what these be? And I said, No, my lord. 6 Then he answered and spoke unto me, saying, This is the word of YAHUAH unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says YAHUAH TSEVA’OTH. 7 Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. 8 Moreover the word of YAHUAH came unto me, saying, 9 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and you shall know that YAHUAH TSEVA’OTH has sent me unto you. 10 For who has despised the day of small things? For they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of YAHUAH, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

            11  Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the menorah and upon the left side thereof? 12 And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? 13 And he answered me and said, Do you not know what these be? And I said, No, my lord. 14 Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the ADONAI of the whole earth.

We can conclude therefore what is meant by the Olive Tree to whom the trees made their first request – it was the whole of the house of Yisra’el.  Yet, Yisra’el declined, saying: Should I leave my fatness (deshen), wherewith by me they honour ELOHIYM and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? You see, the fatness that Yisra’el is unwilling to forego is the anointing by the ADONAI of the whole earth, so that Yisra’el might point to the honoring of ELOHIYM.

Let’s move on to our second candidate:

Shofetiym (Judges) 9:10-11

And the trees said to the fig tree (תְּאֵנִים  teh-ane'), Come thou, and reign over us. [tav – aleph – nun – heh] [behold, the seed, the aleph, and the mark]. 11 But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness (motheq), and my good fruit (tenubah), and go to be promoted over the trees?

Now, the fig tree is going to forego this opportunity to reign over the trees as well, because it would be required to forsake its sweetness, and its good fruit.

Shofetiym (Judges) 9:12-15

Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us. 13 And the vine (geffen) said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheers ELOHIYM and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?

And what is represented by the vine? 

Yahuchanon (John) 15:1-5

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches:

Not to overstate the obvious, but the vine is MASHIACH.  Do any candidates remain for the trees and their desire to have someone to reign over them?

Shofetiym (Judges) 9:14-15

Then said all the trees unto the bramble (atad – thorn tree), Come you, and reign over us. 15 And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.

The bramble or thorn tree is not a good choice.  Look at the thorn tree’s place in this world:

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 3:17

And unto Adam he said, Because you have hearkened unto the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return unto the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you are, and unto dust shall you return.

Let’s see if we can get a little more information on this fig tree, shall we?

Melekiym Rishon (1 Kings) 4:25

And Yahudah and Yisra’el dwelt safely, every man under his vine (geffen) and under his fig tree (tehane), from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Shalomah.

Mishlei (Proverbs) 27:18

Whoso keeps (natzar) the fig tree (tehane) shall eat the fruit (puree) thereof: so he that waits (shamar) on his ADONAI shall be honoured (kavad).

When we see this phrase “whoso keeps the fig tree” it reminds us of other phrases concerning keeping.

Vayiqra (Leviticus)

18:4 Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am YAHUAH ELOHAYCHA.

18:30 Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am YAHUAH ELOHAYCHA.

22:9 They shall therefore keep mine ordinance, lest they bear sin for it, and die therefore, if they profane it: I YAHUAH do sanctify them.

Yechezq’el (Ezekiel) 11:20

That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their ELOHIYM.

Tehilliym (Psalm) 12:6-7

The words of YAHUAH are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 You shall keep them, O ADONAI, you shall preserve them from this generation forever.

Yahuchanon (John) 14:15

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

23 YAHUSHA answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Yahuchanon (John) 15:10

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

Qorintiym Rishon (1Corinthians) 11:2

Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

Yahuchanon Rishon (1 John)

2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

5:2 By this we know that we love the children of ELOHIYM, when we love ELOHIYM, and keep his commandments.

5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

Chizayon (Revelation)

1:3 Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

3:10 Because you have kept the word of my patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of ELOHIYM, and have the testimony of YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH.

14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of ELOHIYM, and the faith of YAHUSHA.

We conclude, therefore, that the Fig Tree is in fact the Torah – the commandments of YAH.  Let’s go back to Mishlei (Proverbs) and check in on the discussion:

Mishlei (Proverbs) 27:18

Whoso keeps (natzar) the fig tree (tehane) shall eat the fruit (puree) thereof: so he that waits (shamar) on his ADONAI shall be honoured (kavad).

So what is the fruit of the Torah?  Read it, and rejoice!

Devariym (Deuteronomy) 28:1-14

And it shall come to pass, if you shall hearken diligently unto the voice of YAHUAH ELOHAYCHA, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command you this day, that YAHUAH ELOHAYCHA will set you on high above all nations of the earth: 2 And all these blessings shall come on you, and overtake you, if you shall hearken unto the voice of YAHUAH ELOHAYCHA. 3 Blessed you shall be in the city, and blessed you shall be in the field. 4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your kine, and the flocks of your sheep. 5 Blessed shall be your basket and your store. 6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed you shall be when you go out. 7 YAHUAH shall cause your enemies that rise up against you to be smitten before your face: they shall come out against you one way, and flee before you seven ways. 8 YAHUAH shall command the blessing upon you in your storehouses, and in all that you set your hand unto; and he shall bless you in the land which YAHUAH ELOHAYCHA gives you. 9 YAHUAH shall establish you as an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto you, if you shall keep the commandments of YAHUAH ELOHAYCHA, and walk in his ways. 10 And all people of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of YAHUAH; and they shall be afraid of you. 11 And YAHUAH shall make you plenteous in goods, in the fruit of your body, and in the fruit of your cattle, and in the fruit of your ground, in the land which YAHUAH swore unto your fathers to give you. 12 YAHUAH shall open unto you his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto your land in his season, and to bless all the work of your hand: and you shalt lend unto many nations, and you shalt not borrow. 13 And YAHUAH shall make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be above only, and you shalt not be beneath; if that you hearken unto the commandments of YAHUAH ELOHAYCHA, which I command you this day, to observe and to do them: 14 And you shall not go aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other elohiym to serve them.

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