Parable of the Fig Tree - Arnold Fruchtenbaum

Jan51

Well-Known Member
This has been my stance on this as well and I stopped seeing this parable having anything to do with Israel becoming a nation in 1948. The fact that the AC changes the dates and times cements this further for me. With the change in dating, it may become difficult to track 3.5 years so maybe that's why Jesus gave this sign for the remnant Jews to hold on to.
Maybe that's why Revelation gives the three and a half years also as how many days and how many months.
 

Spartan Sprinter 1

Formerly known as Shaun
I looked through the thread quickly and didn't see anyone that mentioned this view.

Israel is indeed the fig tree, but it isn't the 1948 Israel. It's the woman fleeing to the wilderness Israel. The Israel God protects.
When you see THAT, then that generation will not pass.....

And, it's the woman in the wilderness Israel that Gog and Magog attacks.
I think Andy Woods holds a similar opinion to this as well ?
 

Flyfisher

Well-Known Member
I looked through the thread quickly and didn't see anyone that mentioned this view.

Israel is indeed the fig tree, but it isn't the 1948 Israel. It's the woman fleeing to the wilderness Israel. The Israel God protects.
When you see THAT, then that generation will not pass.....

And, it's the woman in the wilderness Israel that Gog and Magog attacks.
The only issue I have with this is that we know it is 3.5 years till Christ returns at this point. Why would a generation (vague timeline) matter when we are talking exactly 3.5 years. You can literally set you clock when the AC enters the temple and start a countdown for the day Christ returns at the end of the tribulation.
 

Love His Appearing

Well-Known Member
I can't see how God would show such prophetic signs that are meant to provide us with blessed hope and they be a (trying to think of the appropriate term here) false alarm. For me, when Syria gets bombed and Damascus flattened that will be a major sign - maybe the final sign.
Also I really feel that God deserves a thousand year rest soon :)
I wake up every morning and the first thing I do after saying, "Really Lord? How much longer?" is check to see if Damascus is still standing. LOL
 

Andiamo

"Let's go!"
This thread made me want to study this again. My study isn't that great because I don't have the mental energy to do more right now. And I find this subject difficult. So, have mercy. :)

Anyway, here are some things I found. ( I connected some noteworthy parallels together with colors.)

It's true that Israel is portrayed as a vine more than any other symbol in the Old Testament.
(The vast majority of the scriptures—no matter where in prophecy they refer to—point out the insufficiency of the vine on it's own.)​

  • Ps. 80:8 "Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it."
  • Is 5:2 The vine brought forth wild grapes; the hedge was taken away, vine eaten up and trodden down.
  • Is 5:24 Their root shall be as rottenness because they have despised the Holy One of Israel
  • Je 2:21 ...planted thee a noble vine.....turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto Me
  • Ez 15:6 as the vine tree...which I have given to the fire....
  • Is 17:6-9 vine is withered, God pulls up the vine by the roots
  • In Ez 17:24 The "Splendid" vine bears fruit and "All the trees of the field" shall know that I am the LORD
  • In Joel 1 The vine is dried up because because of lack of Joy.
  • In Song 2:13 the fig tree's figs are ripe; "Arise my darling and come away"
  • In Song 4:16 let my beloved come into his garden and taste it's choicest fruits.

  • In the New Testament,
    • Jesus declared Himself the True Vine. Jn 15 Abide in Me and you will be fruitful...these things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full
    • In parable of the workers Mt 20 and Parable of the two sons Mt 21, vineyard represents a field of work, planting.
    • In Luke 20:16 the vineyard was given to others.
    • In Luke 13, parable of the barren fig tree, fig tree was planted in a vineyard
    • In Mt 21, Jesus hungered for fruit on the fig tree but there was none. He cursed the fig tree and it withered.
    • In Lk 21 Behold the fig tree and "all the trees."
    • Mt 24 Now learn a parable of the fig tree. (I find the word "learn" here interesting)
Anyway, I'm almost embarrassed to show ya'll this disjointed mess. It's how my brain works unfortunately. But I really wanted to share this.

To me, possibly, Jesus is driving home the fact that the vine of Israel is insufficient on its own, and has been spiritually pulled up....He declares that He is the True vine and all must abide in Him to be fruitful. We are fruitful and splendid branches because of the Joy of dwelling in righteousness and Truth, and being in the Word, and in faith. So we don't wither like the vine of Israel did.

Further, after declaring Himself the True Vine—and looking at the fig tree in light of this—Jesus seems to introduce (or re-introduce) Israel as the fig tree.
 
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Wings Like Eagles

Well-Known Member
Thats why I focus on Israel, and if the potential for a Gog-magog attack is close.
For me, the Church fulfills its prophetic role when it focuses on impending judgment rather than looking for escape. Elijah was rescued in a Rapture-like event, but, his main focus was as a prophet, warning of God's judgment. That is what his assignment was. The same will be the case with the Two Witnesses. They will be rescued in resurrection but they had a message of judgment. That is why those who belong to the world will celebrate at their deaths. It is why the people of Jerusalem killed some of the prophets--they hated the message and the messenger.
 

Andiamo

"Let's go!"
For me, the Church fulfills its prophetic role when it focuses on impending judgment rather than looking for escape. Elijah was rescued in a Rapture-like event, but, his main focus was as a prophet, warning of God's judgment. That is what his assignment was. The same will be the case with the Two Witnesses. They will be rescued in resurrection but they had a message of judgment. That is why those who belong to the world will celebrate at their deaths. It is why the people of Jerusalem killed some of the prophets--they hated the message and the messenger.
Do you agree with the Clarence Larkin view of this? I think it's fascinating and may be the correct view. Although I respect Arnold and can see why he says what he does too.
 

Wings Like Eagles

Well-Known Member
Do you agree with the Clarence Larkin view of this? I think it's fascinating and may be the correct view. Although I respect Arnold and can see why he says what he does too.
Clarence Larkin is one of my favorites (it helps that he has passed on, so he can't "go bad"--lol). I have never found anything in his writings with which I disagreed, but admittedly, I haven't read everything--not even close. And even though I respect Fructenbaum, I do disagree with him occasionally. My Messianic friend was a follower of his at one time but now, she's not as big a fan--nor is she as big a fan of Michael Brown's, as she once was.
 

pixelpusher

Well-Known Member
Please bear with me, I often just try to post some witty rejoinder, but I think it is important to not let our pet eisegetical views prevent us from allowing them to change when greater understanding comes. In the case of the Fig Tree and 1948, I now think this is clearly reading the "headlines" or current events into Scripture.

I also previously held to the 1948 Fig Tree view because I heard it somewhere and it sounded good, you could figure 40 years, 70, 80 or even a 100, but it kinda put a light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. But you have to keep extending the timespan of a generation when each span passes. 40 years would have been 1988 for instance, I think as noted upthread.

If you go back to the beginning of Matthew 24 and read it through:

24 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.

9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. (The AOD kicks off the "Great Tribulation" -pix)

22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

29 “Immediately after the distress of those days

“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.[d] 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things (The things He has bulleted in the previous dicourse), you know that it[e] is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation (Who saw ALL these things) will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.


The "generation" spoken of is the group alive at the time that will see all of these things bolded up there. IOW, it will be the Jews and saints who come to be during the Trib. We are not going to see any of them past verse 7 as far as I can tell, considering that the wars and rumors of war and seismic events and food shortages we see now and over the past years are actually more like "Braxton-Hicks" contractions. What is it that is being "born" through the birth pains that will begin in earnest at the Trib? It's the Kingdom. God is going to rule the earth through a Man just like he planned from the start.

Matthew is a Jewish book. It was written to Jews. The Mount of Olives discourse was for the Jews. The Upper Room discourse was for the Church.

Now, I think it is interesting that Luke, the detailed historian, and I believe a Gentile (?), added in "and all the trees". Almost like he anticipated confusion later on! That right there shows that the fig tree Jesus was speaking of in this case was the literal tree being used as an example. Because it bloomed latest in Spring, it was a certain harbinger of Summer. Matthew's Jewish audience would have understood this straight away.

Sometimes, maybe most times, generation means a group of offspring until they bear their own offspring. But sometimes it can mean a group of people.

The word Generation occurs 102 times: https://www.blueletterbible.org/search/search.cfm?Criteria=generation&t=KJV#s=s_primary_0_1

Most of the OT usages are talking about biological generations, but you get up into the NT and Jesus is saying things like:
"A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed."
and
"Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?"

and

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"

Usages like this describe a group of people, not necessarily bound in a span of time.

That's my 2¢. I'm no scholar, and it hurt my brain to put this post together, but I do think it's important we get a proper understanding, and I'm sure y'all will want to be right on this, so to borrow from Dr. McGee, you'll go along with me and Jesus on this matter! :lol
 

Wings Like Eagles

Well-Known Member
Interestingly, the Bible begins with trees in Genesis and it ends with trees, in the Book of Revelation. Trees are a wonderful thing and I believe they represent God's providence to us. They can give us shade from the scorching sun, provide us with food and medicine, be used to kindle a fire to warm us, be useful for building structures to house us and as staffs to support us on a rocky road. Metaphorically, they represent other humans and by their height, remind us of Our Majestic Creator. Not surprising that the LORD placed the first man, Adam in the paradisiacal garden of Eden, and Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before He offered Himself as a ransom for many. At the centre of each Garden, there were trees.

Judgment comes when the trees are dead.
 
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