Luke 13:6
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any.

New Living Translation
Then Jesus told this story: "A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed.

English Standard Version
And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.

Berean Study Bible
Then Jesus told this parable: "A man had a fig tree that was planted in his vineyard. He went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any.

Berean Literal Bible
And He was speaking this parable: "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it, and not did find any.

New American Standard Bible
And He 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.

King James Bible
He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
And He told this parable: "A man had a fig tree that was planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it and found none.

International Standard Version
Then Jesus told them this parable: "A man had a fig tree that had been planted in his vineyard. He went to look for fruit on it but didn't find any.

NET Bible
Then Jesus told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it and found none.

New Heart English Bible
He spoke this parable. "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it, and found none.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree that was planted in his vineyard and he came seeking fruit on it and he found none.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then Jesus used this illustration: "A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard. He went to look for fruit on the tree but didn't find any.

New American Standard 1977
And He began telling this parable: “A certain 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.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And He spoke this parable: A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came and sought fruit upon it and found none.

King James 2000 Bible
He spoke also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

American King James Version
He spoke also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

American Standard Version
And he spake this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit thereon, and found none.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He spoke also this parable: A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it, and found none.

Darby Bible Translation
And he spoke this parable: A certain [man] had a fig-tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit upon it and did not find [any].

English Revised Version
And he spake this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit thereon, and found none.

Webster's Bible Translation
He spoke also this parable: A certain man had a fig-tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit on it, and found none.

Weymouth New Testament
And He gave them the following parable. "A man," He said, "who had a fig-tree growing in his garden came to look for fruit on it and could find none.

World English Bible
He spoke this parable. "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it, and found none.

Young's Literal Translation
And he spake this simile: 'A certain one had a fig-tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit in it, and he did not find;
Study Bible
The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
5No, I tell you. But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” 6Then Jesus told this parable: “A man had a fig tree that was planted in his vineyard. He went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7So he said to the keeper of the vineyard, ‘Look, for the past three years I have come to search for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Therefore cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’…
Cross References
Isaiah 5:2
He dug it all around, removed its stones, And planted it with the choicest vine. And He built a tower in the middle of it And also hewed out a wine vat in it; Then He expected it to produce good grapes, But it produced only worthless ones.

Jeremiah 8:13
"I will surely snatch them away," declares the LORD; "There will be no grapes on the vine And no figs on the fig tree, And the leaf will wither; And what I have given them will pass away."'"

Matthew 21:19
Seeing a fig tree along the road, He went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. "May you never bear fruit again!" He said. And immediately the tree withered.

Luke 3:9
The ax lies ready at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."

Luke 13:5
No, I tell you. But unless you repent, you too will all perish."
Treasury of Scripture

He spoke also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

fig-tree.

Psalm 80:8-13 You have brought a vine out of Egypt: you have cast out the heathen, …

Isaiah 5:1-4 Now will I sing to my well beloved a song of my beloved touching …

Jeremiah 2:21 Yet I had planted you a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then …

Matthew 21:19,20 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing …

Mark 11:12-14 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry…

and he came.

Luke 20:10-14 And at the season he sent a servant to the farmers, that they should …

Matthew 21:34-40 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to …

John 15:16 You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, …

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, …

Philippians 4:17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

(6) A certain man had a fig tree.--The parable stands obviously in very close connection with the foregoing teaching. The people had been warned of the danger of perishing, unless they repented. They are now taught that the forbearance and long-suffering of God are leading them to repentance. The sharp warning of the Baptist, "Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down" (Matthew 3:10), is expanded into a parable. As regards the outward framework of the story, we have only to note that the joint culture of the fig-tree and the vine was so common as to have passed into a proverb (2Kings 18:31; Song of Solomon 2:13). The interpretation of the parable as to its general drift is easy enough. The barren fig-tree is the symbol of a fruitless profession of godliness; the delay represents the forbearance of God in allowing yet a time for repentance. When we come to details, however, serious difficulties present themselves. If we take the fig-tree as representing Israel, what are we to make of the vineyard? If the owner of the vineyard be Christ, who is the vine-dresser? Do the three years refer to the actual duration of our Lord's ministry? Answers to these questions will be found in the following considerations:--(1) The vineyard is uniformly in the parabolic language of Scripture the symbol of Israel. (See Note on Matthew 21:33.) (2) The owner of that vineyard is none other than the great King, the Lord of Hosts (Isaiah 5:7). (3) If this be so, then the fig-tree must stand for something else than Israel as a nation, and the context points to its being the symbol of the individual soul, which inheriting its place in a divine order, is as a tree planted in the garden of the Lord. (Comp. Psalm 1:3; Jeremiah 18:8.) (4) The "three years" in which the owner comes seeking fruit can, on this view, answer neither to the three stages of Revelation--Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Prophetic--nor the three years of our Lord's ministry, but represent, as the symbol of completeness, the full opportunities given to men, the calls to repentance and conversion which come to them in the several stages of their lives in youth, manhood, age. (5) The dresser of the vineyard, following the same line of thought, is the Lord Jesus Himself, who intercedes, as for the nation as a whole, so for each individual member of the nation. He pleads for delay. He will do what can be done by "digging" into the fallow ground of the soul, and by imparting new sources of nourishment or fruitfulness. If these avail, well. If not, the fig-tree, by implication every fig-tree in the vineyard that continued barren, would be cut down.

Verse 6. - He spake also this parable: A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. And then, without any further prelude, Jesus spoke this parable of the barren fig tree, which contained, in language scarcely veiled at all, warnings to Israel as a nation - the most sombre and threatening he had yet given utterance to. "Hear, O people," said the Master. "In the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is a fig tree, long planted there, but utterly unfruitful. It is now on its last trial; indeed, were it not for the intercession of the Gardener, the Lord of the vineyard had already pronounced its final doom." "The very intercession, though, is ominous; the Vinedresser shows his mercifulness by deprecating immediate cutting down, but the careful specification of conditions, and the limitation of the period within which experiments are to be made, intimate that peril is imminent... The restriction of the intercession of the Vinedresser for a single year's grace indicates Christ's own sympathy with this Divine rigour... The Vinedresser knows that, though God is long-suffering, yet his patience as exhibited in the history of his dealings with men is exhaustible, and that in Israel's case it is now all but worn out. And he sympathizes with the Divine impatience with chronic and incurable sterility" (Professor Bruce). A fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. It is not an uncommon practice to plant fig trees at the corners of vineyards, thus utilizing every available spot of ground. Still the Lord's choice of a fig tree as the symbol of Israel, the chosen people, is at first sight strange. This image was no doubt selected to show those Pharisees and other Jews, proud of what they considered their unassailable position as the elect of the Eternal, that, after all, the position they occupied was but that of a fig tree in the corner of the vineyard of the world - planted there and watched over so long as it promised to serve the Lord of the vineyard's purpose; if it ceased to do that, if it gave no further promise of fruit, then it would be ruthlessly cut down. He spoke also this parable,.... That is, Jesus spake, as the Persic version expresses it, that which follows; and at the same time, and upon the above occasion; setting forth the patience of God towards the Jewish nation, their unfruitfulness, and the danger of their being destroyed, in case of non-amendment:

a certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. This was not at all contrary to the law in Deuteronomy 22:9 "thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds": for according to the Jewish canons (e),

"the prohibition on account of divers seeds in a vineyard, concerned divers sorts of corn, (as wheat, barley, &c.) and divers sorts of herbs only: but it was lawful to sow other sorts of seeds in a vineyard, and there is no need to say other trees.''

And there are cases put, and instances given, which express, or suppose fig trees, particularly, to have been planted in vineyards; for it is said (f),

"if a man carries a vine over part of a tree for meat, he may sow seed under the other part of it--it happened that R. Joshua went to R. Ishmael to Cephar Aziz, and he showed him a "vine", carried over, , "part of a fig tree".''

Again, more than once it is said in a parabolical way (g),

"this is like unto a king that has a paradise, or orchard planted, , "a row of fig trees, and of vines", and of pomegranates, and of apples, &c.''

By the "certain man" may be meant, either God the Father, who is sometimes called an husbandman; or rather the Lord Jesus Christ, who is truly man, as well as properly God; and "by his vineyard" may be meant, the Jewish nation; see Isaiah 5:1 which were his own nation and people, from whence he sprung, and to whom he was particularly sent, and among whom he had a special property; and may also be applied to the church of God in any age or nation, which is often compared to a vineyard, consisting of persons separated from the world, and planted with various plants, some fruitful, pleasant, profitable, and valuable, and are Christ's by his Father's gift, and his own purchase. And by "the fig tree planted" in it, may be principally meant the Scribes and Pharisees, and the generality of the Jewish people; who were plants, but not of Christ's Father's planting, and therefore to be cut down, or rooted up: and may be accommodated to professors of religion; some of which are true and real, and may be compared to the fig tree, because of its large and green leaves, expressive of their profession; and become fruitful, as they are, being filled with the fruits of the Spirit, of righteousness, and of grace; and because it puts forth its fruit before its leaves, as there should be the fruit of grace before a profession of faith is made. Others are only nominal professors; and are like a fig tree, of which sort was this in the parable, that has large leaves, but no fruit; make a large profession, but bring forth no fruit to the glory of God; and though they are planted in the house of God, yet not by God the Father, nor by Christ, only at best by ministers and churches hoping well of them, but mistaken in them:

and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. This, if understood of God the Father, designs his coming to the Jewish people by his servants and prophets, time after time, and at last by John the Baptist, and Jesus Christ, and his apostles, seeking and requiring fruits of holiness, righteousness, and judgment, but found instead thereof the wild grapes of wickedness, oppression, and violence: but if of Christ, which sense is rather to be chosen, it denotes his incarnation, or his coming into the world in human nature, and seeking by his ministry, the fruits of faith in himself, and repentance towards God among the people of the Jews, but found none; at least instances of faith in Israel were very rare, and few repented of their evil works; and hence he upbraided many with their impenitence and unbelief; see Matthew 11:20.

(e) Maimon. Hilchot Celaim, c. 5. sect. 6. (f) Misn. Celaim, c. 6. sect. 4. (g) Vajikra Rabba, sect. 23. fol. 164. 3. Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 9. 2.6-9. fig tree—Israel, as the visible witness of God in the world, but generally all within the pale of the visible Church of God; a familiar figure (compare Isa 5:1-7; Joh 15:1-8, etc.).

vineyard—a spot selected for its fertility, separated from the surrounding fields, and cultivated with special care, with a view solely to fruit.

came and sought fruit—a heart turned to God; the fruits of righteousness; compare Mt 21:33, 34, and Isa 5:2, "He looked that it should bring forth fruit"; He has a right to it, and will require it.13:6-9 This parable of the barren fig-tree is intended to enforce the warning given just before: the barren tree, except it brings forth fruit, will be cut down. This parable in the first place refers to the nation and people of the Jews. Yet it is, without doubt, for awakening all that enjoy the means of grace, and the privileges of the visible church. When God has borne long, we may hope that he will bear with us yet a little longer, but we cannot expect that he will bear always.
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