FIG TREE/FIGS: T’ehnah, feminine noun. (Strong’s 8384).
In Hebrew lettering: תאנה
Sounds like: t’eh’nah.
The Bible is full of garden metaphors: seed, spring growth, fruit, and harvest. Symbolically, in the Scriptures, humans are like trees. We are planted seeds; we sprout and grow with God’s love and guidance. When we are healthy children of YHWH we bear good fruit, feeding others. The harvest is when we go home to the Father and return to His High Garden Kingdom.
In regards to the specific fig tree, it was symbolic of the health status of God’s people. This was evident in the writings of the prophet Jeremiah, who lived in Jerusalem during the Babylonian invasion and exile:
Jeremiah 24 (Full chapter) (see also Jeremiah 29:17)
After Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken into exile Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the officials of Judah with the craftsmen and metalworkers from Jerusalem and had brought them to Babylon, YHWH showed me: behold, two baskets of figs [t’ehnim] placed before the temple of YHWH. One basket had very good figs [t’ehnim tovoht m’ohd], like first-ripe figs [ki-t’ehnei], and the other basket had very bad figs [t’ehnim ra’oht m’ohd] which could not be eaten due to rottenness.
Then YHWH said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
And I said, “Figs [t’ehnim]: the good figs are very good [ha-t’ehnim ha-tovoht tovoht m’ohd], and the bad ones, very bad [w-ha-ra’oht ra’oht m’ohd], which cannot be eaten due to rottenness.”
Then the word of YHWH came to me, saying, “This is what YHWH, the God of Israel says: ‘Like these good figs [ka-t’ehnim ha-tovoht], so I will regard as good the captives of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans. For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; and I will build them up and not overthrow them, and I will plant them and not uproot them. I will also give them a heart to know Me, for I am YHWH; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me wholeheartedly.
But like the bad figs [w-ka-t’ehnim ha-ra’oht] which cannot be eaten due to rottenness,’ indeed, this is what YHWH says, ‘so will I give up Zedekiah king of Judah and his officials, and the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and the ones who live in the land of Egypt. I will make them an object of terror and an evil for all the kingdoms of the earth, as a disgrace and a proverb, a taunt and a curse in all the places where I will scatter them. And I will send the sword, the famine, and the plague upon them until they are eliminated from the land which I gave to them and their forefathers.’”
It was a simple metaphor: good figs, bad figs; good people, bad people. The bad figs would not remain in YHWH’s Kingdom; they would be eliminated. One bad apple/fig spoils the barrel, as they say. It was necessary to remove the bad from the good, or the whole lot could spoil.
Fig leaf clothing and medicinal Figs
When you consider that fig trees represented the spiritual health of the people, it should not be a surprise that the first time we see the word “fig” (t’ehnah) in the Tanakh, it was used to cover the shame of Eve and Adam’s bad behaviour:
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves [a’leh t’ehnah] together and made themselves waist coverings.
What better leaves to use, than that of the fig. Humans had a rocky start from the beginning. We’re easily tempted and we easily go astray. But YHWH was watching and He could see the sincerity of hearts.
King Hezekiah of Judah stood out as one of those sincere hearts. Upon hearing of his impending death, Hezekiah called on YHWH with a heartfelt prayer and it moved YHWH to spare his life. The medicine that was used was figs:
2 Kings 20:1-7 (see also Isaiah 38:21)
In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, came to him and said to him, “This is what YHWH says: ‘Set your house in order, for you are going to die and not live.’”
Then he turned his face to the wall and prayed to YHWH, saying, “Please, YHWH, just remember how I have walked before You wholeheartedly and in truth, and have done what is good in Your sight!” And Hezekiah wept profusely.
And even before Isaiah had left the middle courtyard, the word of YHWH came to him, saying, “Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘This is what YHWH, the God of your father David says: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I am going to heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of YHWH. And I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will save you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will protect this city for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.”’”
Then Isaiah said, “Take a cake of figs [d’velet t’ehnim].” And they took it and placed it on the inflamed spot, and he recovered.
Disaster Equals No Fig Trees
Vibrant gardens flourished in the time of peace, but when the people turned their backs to YHWH and started idolizing foreign gods, YHWH honoured their choices and turned His back on them (although He always hoped for their return):
[YHWH:] “Behold, I am bringing a nation against you from far away, you house of Israel,” declares YHWH. “It is an enduring nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know, nor can you understand what they say. Their quiver is like an open grave, all of them are warriors.
They will devour your harvest and your food; they will devour your sons and your daughters; they will devour your flocks and your herds; they will devour your vines and your fig trees [u-t’ehnateka]; they will demolish your fortified cities, in which you trust, with the sword.”
“Yet even in those days,” declares YHWH, “I will not make a complete destruction of you.”
When you choose a god to be your god, all other gods are your enemy. The people chose foreign gods to be their gods and made, by their own choosing, YHWH to be their enemy. He played the part, but it was not what He wanted. It was not in His nature to kill; it was not in His nature to destroy; but He would clear out the bad figs in order to raise up the good ones.
[YHWH:] I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your forefathers as the earliest fruit on the fig tree [vi-t’ehnah] in its first season.
But they came to Baal-peor and devoted themselves to shame, and they became as detestable as that which they loved.”
The people became the image bearers of the gods they loved… they were rotten and detestable fruit. And so YHWH stepped out of their gardens. Good gardens were meant to be image bearers of YHWH’s heavenly Kingdom, and since the people no longer followed YHWH, they would no longer taste of the goodness of His Garden. Instead, they would have a taste of ha-Satan’s (the Adversary’s) kingdom… of death and dying gardens… a blight on the earth.
Amos 4:9 (see also Hosea 2:12)
[YHWH:] I struck you with scorching wind and mildew; the caterpillar was devouring your many gardens and vineyards, fig trees [u-t’ehneh’kem] and olive trees; yet you have not returned to Me,” declares YHWH.
Even with the loss of their gardens, the people still did not turn back to YHWH. So YHWH allowed foreign nations to strip their gardens:
Joel 1:7, 12
It [an invading nation] has made my vine a waste and my fig tree [u-t’ehnah’ti] a stump. It has stripped them bare and hurled them away; their branches have become white…
…The vine has dried up and the fig tree has withered [w-ha-t’ehnah]; the pomegranate, the palm also, and the apple tree, all the trees of the field have dried up.
Indeed, joy has dried up from the sons of mankind.
But this would not be forever for the remnant that remained loyal to YHWH. The Garden would return, in full, to His faithful servants:
Do not fear, land; shout for joy and rejoice, for YHWH has done great things.
Do not fear, animals of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness have turned green, for the tree has produced its fruit, the fig tree [t’ehnah] and the vine have yielded in full.
So shout for joy, you sons of Zion, and rejoice in YHWH your God; for He has given you the early rain for your vindication. And He has brought down for you the rain, the early and latter rain as before.
The threshing floors will be full of grain, and the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil.
Figs: A Sign of Wealth and Prosperity
Abundant figs meant abundant wealth. When Moses had led the Hebrew people out of slavery in Egypt and into freedom, that freedom came at a cost. They would find themselves in the desert landscape for decades. YHWH promised them that they would eventually inherit the land of Canaan, a place rich with lush vegetation. When Moses sent the spies into Canaan, he requested that they find out just how rich the land was:
Numbers 13:20, 23-24
[Moses to the spies:] “And how is the land, is it productive or unproductive? Are there trees in it or not? And show yourselves courageous and get some of the fruit of the land.”
Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes…
…Then they [the spies] came to the Valley of Eshcol, and from there they cut off a branch with a single cluster of grapes; and they carried it on a pole between two men, with some of the pomegranates and the figs [ha-t’ehnim]. That place was called the Valley of Eshcol [Clusters], because of the cluster which the sons of Israel cut off from there.
Canaan was good. It was rich with produce! It was the polar opposite to the wilderness they had wandered in for decades. The people had blamed Moses for bringing them out of Egypt and into a place with no figs, grapes, pomegranates, or even consistent water:
[The Hebrew people to Moses:] “Why did you make us come up from Egypt, to bring us into this wretched place? It is not a place of grain or figs [u-t’ehnah] or vines or pomegranates, nor is there water to drink!”
But YHWH gave them a promise. Follow YHWH and He would bring them out of the wilderness and into the good land of Canaan:
Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of YHWH your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. For YHWH your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of streams of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines, fig trees [u-t’ehnah], and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land where you will eat food without shortage, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless YHWH your God for the good land which He has given you.
Everyone Under his Vine & Fig Tree
Figs didn’t just represent communal wealth, but also personal wealth. Once Jerusalem was established, and the Kingdom of Israel under David and Solomon gained peace, the wealth flowed into the kingdom. There was enough abundance, particularly under Solomon, that each person had the potential to amass wealth:
1 Kings 4:24-25
For he [Solomon] was ruling over everything west of the Euphrates River, from Tiphsah even to Gaza, over all the kings west of the River; and he had peace on all sides surrounding him. So Judah and Israel lived securely, everyone under his vine and his fig tree [t-ehnatow], from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.
This phrase “everyone under his vine and his fig tree” was commonly used to denote personal wealth. But this phrase may not have been exclusive to the Hebrew people. When king Sennacheb of Assyria attacked Hezekiah, king of Judah, in Jerusalem, he sent his messenger, Rabshakeh, to deliver this message to the Hebrew people:
2 Kings 18:31-32 (see also Isaiah 36:13-20)
“Do not listen to Hezekiah, for this is what the king of Assyria says: “Make your peace with me and come out to me, and eat, each one, from his vine and each from his fig tree [t’ehnatow], and drink, each one, the waters of his own cistern, until I come and take you to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees producing oil, and of honey, so that you will live and not die.
But do not listen to Hezekiah, because he misleads you by saying, “YHWH will save us.”’”
The Assyrian king promised that if they just surrendered to him they could each live in peace in a land like their own. However, the fig tree in the “land like your own” was noticeably absent. This was not the way to live, as vassals to a pagan king. The wealth of having YHWH as your God, and His generous promise of your own vine and fig tree and cistern, was far more precious than Sennacharib’s promise.
The people stayed loyal to YHWH, and Hezekiah as their royal advisor. And YHWH did, indeed, rescue them from the Assyrians. Through the night 185,000 Assyrians were struck dead. Not a single arrow was shot and the remaining Assyrians crawled home (see Isaiah 37:36, 2 Kings 19:35).
The Hebrew prophet Micah, who was around during the invasion of Sennacharib, wrote this:
Many nations will come and say,
“Come and let’s go up to the mountain of YHWH and to the house of the God of Jacob, so that He may teach us about His ways, and that we may walk in His paths.”
For from Zion will go forth the law, and the word of YHWH from Jerusalem. And He will judge between many peoples and render decisions for mighty, distant nations.
Then they will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift a sword against nation, and never again will they train for war.
Instead, each of them will sit under his vine and under his fig tree [t’ehnatow], with no one to make them afraid, because the mouth of YHWH of armies has spoken.
Though all the peoples walk, each in the name of his god, as for us, we will walk in the name of YHWH our God forever and ever.
Sitting under a vine and fig tree went beyond the celebration of personal wealth, it also looked forward to YHWH’s final Kingdom. This was a Kingdom without war, where violent weapons turned into peaceful gardening tools and the concept of “kingdom” was re-shaped. YHWH would send the Branch, a Messiah (an Anointed One) to bring this idyllic Kingdom forward:
Now listen, Joshua, you high priest, you and your friends who are sitting in front of you—indeed they are men who are a sign: for behold, I am going to bring in My servant the Branch. For behold, the stone that I have put before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes. Behold, I am going to engrave an inscription on it,’ declares YHWH of armies, ‘and I will remove the guilt of that land in one day. On that day,’ declares YHWH of armies, ‘every one of you will invite his neighbour to sit under his vine and under his fig tree [t’ehnah].’”
This was a beautiful promise: the Branch would bring back the Garden Kingdom. There would be a return to YHWH’s Garden home where each person lived and shared the wealth of the Garden.
Yeshua Curses the Fig Tree
For years people have puzzled over the story of Yeshua (Jesusu) cursing the fig tree. Why would Yeshua curse an innocent tree? Was He just hungry and having a bad day? That hardly seems in character for the Messiah. That’s because this was not a grumpy Messiah cursing an innocent tree. This was a prophetic statement. It was Yeshua making a point:
Mark 11:12-14, 20-22 (see also Matthew 21:18-22)
On the next day, when they had left Bethany, He [Jesus] became hungry. Seeing from a distance a fig tree [Greek: syken] in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs . And He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening…
…As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. And being reminded, Peter said to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree that You cursed has withered.”
And Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God…”
What was going on here?
In the book of Jeremiah, YHWH looked at His rebellious people and made this statement:
[YHWH:] “There will be no grapes on the vine and no figs on the fig tree [w-en t’ehnim ba-t’ehnah], and the leaf will wither; and what I have given them will pass away.”
They had rejected God and the goodness of His Garden, and so they lost what God had freely given them. There would be no grapes, no figs, and the leaves would wither.
When the people followed YHWH with sincere hearts their gardens flourished; when they rejected YHWH, the gardens withered.
So when Yeshua walked into Jerusalem He looked for nourishment from the tree, even though Mark clearly pointed out that it was not the season for figs. Yeshua wasn’t literally looking for food, He was reading the insincerity of the hearts around Him and He said to the fig tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” He hoped that people would stop feeding off of rottenness.
This little fig tree was like a false Tree of Life. Yeshua looked for nourishment, but the fig tree was like the withered people around it; there was no nourishment to gain from it… only death and decay.
It has been suggested that Yeshua’s cursing of the fig tree pointed back to the words of the prophet Micah, in chapter seven. Although the text did not specifically use the word “fig” (even though most translators insert fig into the text), Micah’s prophetic words drew the parallel to Yeshua’s current situation during His final Passover week:
Micah 7:1-2, 7-8
Woe to me! For I am like harvests of summer fruit, like gleanings of grapes.
There is not a cluster of grapes left to eat, nor an early
fig fruit, which I crave.
The godly person has perished from the land, and there is no upright person among mankind.
All of them lie in wait for bloodshed; each of them hunts the other with a net…
…But as for me, I will be on the watch for YHWH; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. Do not rejoice over me, enemy of mine. Though I fall I will rise; though I live in darkness, YHWH will be a light for me.
Yeshua cursed the fig tree the week before He was crucified. He symbolically put a spotlight on the tarnished hearts who laid in wait for His blood to be shed. There were no upright people among them, and He mourned them as He walked into Jerusalem. These were the people who would mock Him on the cross and He felt the weight of their scorn.
When Simon Peter pointed out, the next day, that the fig tree had withered, Yeshua responded with the words, “Have faith in God…” We are to trust in our Creator and not be like the fruitless people who put their allegiance on anything other than YHWH Himself. In darkness YHWH would be our light, our allegiance ought to be with Him and Him alone.
Remember that Mark specifically pointed out that this was not the time for figs, the harvest wasn’t ready yet. And Yeshua knew that. But there would be a time when the harvest would be ready, and we would be collected and carried to the Kingdom:
Song of Solomon 2:13
“The fig tree [ha-t’ehnah] has ripened its fruit, and the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance.
Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along!’”
Fig Parable: Like a Fig Farmer, Give Second Chances
Figs made a few appearances in Yeshua’s parables.
And He [Jesus] began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Look! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’
But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, leave it alone for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’”
This was a strange little parable (as many little parables were). What happened to the tree? Did it bear fruit the following year? That was not the point. The point was, the tree deserved a second chance. With a little care and cultivation things were bound to improve. The Gardener wasn’t ready to give up just yet.
This story was immediately followed by Yeshua healing a woman whose spine had been bent over for 18 years. He healed her on the Sabbath which angered the Jewish officials:
But the synagogue leader, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, “There are six days during which work should be done; so come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day.”
But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites, does each of you on the Sabbath not untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it away to water it? And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this restraint on the Sabbath day?”
This woman was like the fig tree. Yeshua cleared out the weeds (dug around the tree) and nourished her soul (fertilized the soil). Every day, Sabbath or not, we should be clearing out the weeds and nourishing our fellow humans. We are YHWH’s image bearers. If that is what Yeshua did, we ought to do it too.
When James noticed the wickedness that was coming out of the mouths of those who professed Yeshua as their Messiah, he noted the hypocrisy:
James 3:12, 17-18
Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, bear olives, or a vine bear figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh…
…But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, free of hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
We are the good figs and we ought to behave like good figs… sweet and nourishing. We are to bear the fruit of righteousness and bring peace, every day of the week.
Fig Parable: Like a Fig, Be who God Meant You to Be
Fig parables weren’t exclusive to the New Testament (B’rit Chadashah). Abimelech was the son of Gideon and his Shemechite concubine (Judges 8:31). Essentially, he was an illegitimate son, and that held a lot of weight with his decision making. In his treacherous desire to take control of the throne of Shechem, he had all of his siblings executed to remove any threat to the throne. But the youngest brother, Jotham, escaped. When Abimelech was proclaimed king, Jotham’s stood on Mount Gerizim, in Shechem, and protested Abimelech’s anointing with a parable:
[Jotham:] Once the trees went to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us!’ But the olive tree said to them, ‘Shall I give up my fatness with which God and mankind are honoured, and go to wave over the trees?’
Then the trees said to the fig (tree) [la-t’ehnah], ‘You, come, reign over us!’ But the fig (tree) [ha-t’ehnah] said to them, ‘Shall I give up my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to wave over the trees?’
Then the trees said to the vine, ‘You, come, reign over us!’ But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I give up my new wine, which cheers God and mankind, and go to wave over the trees?’
Then all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You, come, reign over us!’
And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If you really are anointing me as king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, may fire come out of the bramble and consume the cedars of Lebanon.’”
The fig tree had a purpose that was greater than kingship, as did the olive tree and the grape vine. But what purpose does a bramble have? How easy it is, for those desperate, to take what does not belong to them. Abimelech, the low-grounded bramble, took the kingship and promised destruction to those who did not bow beneath him. So when the people of Shechem turned against him he made good on his terrible promise, and destroyed them with fire.
But YHWH was watching, and Abimelech would not go unpunished. Abimelech was taken down by a woman, and died on the battlefield (Judges 9:52-57).
The fig tree had a job to do: provide sweetness and good fruit. It did not try to be what it wasn’t meant to be. Yeshua may very well have had the story of Jotham and Abimelech in mind when He said:
“For there is no good tree that bears bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree that bears good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil person out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”
Fig Parable: Be Ready!
Yeshua used the fig tree to illustrate the concept of readiness. Readiness for your appointed time (your last breath) and readiness for the appointed time (the Day of YHWH and the return of The King):
“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of heaven.
Now learn the parable from the fig tree: as soon as its branch has become tender and sprouts its leaves, you know that summer is near. So you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Watch out, stay alert; for you do not know when the appointed time is.”
Like fruit ready for the harvest, YHWH is right at the door waiting to take you home.
Under the Fig Tree, with No Deception
There is one more New Testament fig story that needs attention:
Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses wrote in the Law, and the prophets also wrote: Jesus the son of Joseph, from Nazareth!”
Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good be from Nazareth?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite, in whom there is no deceit!”
Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel!”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
In Genesis, Jacob (later named Israel) was seen as “The Deceiver”. He deceived his father Isaac (Genesis 27:21-24) ; he deceived his brother, Esau (Genesis 27:34-36); he deceived his uncle Laban in retaliation for his own deception (Genesis 30:25-43).
It was this same Jacob who had a dream about a ladder that reached up to heaven (Genesis 28). On the ladder angels ascended and descended, and YHWH stood at the top of the ladder and called down to Jacob:
[YHWH:] “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
When speaking to Nathanael, Yeshua altered the vision. He was the ladder that connected heaven to earth. He was the conduit between God and mankind. Nathanael would come and see this for himself, as one of His chosen disciples.
Yeshua bestowed a great title to Nathanael: the one in whom there is no deceit. Nathanael was recognized as a pure heart who physically and symbolically sat under a fig tree, awaiting the Kingdom. Yeshua came to him with the message that the Kingdom was here. Nathanael would inherit eternal life, where he would one day sit under his vine and under his fig tree in YHWH’s Garden.
Final Fig Thoughts
Not every day of our life will be rich and abundant. We will not always get to sit under our own fig tree. Sometimes we will be wandering in the wilderness, crying out to God. But we ought to stay strong, stay faithful, knowing that YHWH is with us even in the dark, desert, place. The prophet Habakkuk showed this kind of faith:
Even if the fig tree [t’ehnah] does not blossom, and there is no fruit on the vines, if the yield of the olive fails, and the fields produce no food, even if the flock disappears from the fold, and there are no cattle in the stalls, yet I will triumph in YHWH, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
Whatever we’re going through, stay strong. Trust in YHWH; He will save you, and deliver you safely into His Garden.
…Consider: Is the seed still in the barn? Even including the vine, the fig tree [w-ha-t’ehnah], the pomegranate, and the olive tree, it has not produced fruit. Yet from this day on I will bless you.’”
Don’t let the seed of your faith stay in storage. Plant yourself out there. Grow in God’s word, sprout and flourish, and feed the people with YHWH’s wisdom, kindness and love.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
One who tends the fig tree [t’ehnah] will eat its fruit, and one who cares for his master will be honoured.
Next week: DUST