Troublesome Topic: The Illustration of the Fig Tree

Matthew 24:32


Now learn the parable

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from the fig tree; whenever

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the branch has become tender and it puts forth leaves, you know that hot weather

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is at hand.

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Now learn this comparison from the fig tree; whenever the branch has become tender and it begins to put forth leaves, you can be sure that high temperatures are ready to start.

The next lesson is: What Is Meant Here by This Generation?



The word is indeed the one from which we get our English word “parable.” It comes from two Greek words, the preposition “beside, or alongside,” and the verb “cast.” It depicted a teaching tool in which something was laid alongside the truth in order to make it more clear; it could be a true story, a story that was made up for this very purpose (the way we use the word parable), an illustration or a word picture. In this case, we would be more likely to call the fig tree an illustration.

2: "Whenever"

The Greek says “when already the branch may have become tender,” but the way we say it in English is simply “whenever the branch has become tender.” The two ways of saying it are similar in that they indicate that the act is either hypothetical or still in the future.


This word comes from the verb “to heat.” It basically means “hot weather.” I have chosen to keep it simply as “hot weather” rather than “summer” because, in America, we often associate the word summer with a specific window of time in which school is not in session. But here the point is only about temperature, so it if gets warm before school is out, do we call it summer or not? I wanted to avoid that confusion, so I am staying away from the word “summer” and going with “hot weather.”


This Greek word means “to be very near (in time or distance), to be ready, to be at hand.”