|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:29-41 Christ foretells his second coming. It is usual for prophets to speak of things as near and just at hand, to express the greatness and certainty of them. Concerning Christ's second coming, it is foretold that there shall be a great change, in order to the making all things new. Then they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds. At his first coming, he was set for a sign that should be spoken against, but at his second coming, a sign that should be admired. Sooner or later, all sinners will be mourners; but repenting sinners look to Christ, and mourn after a godly sort; and those who sow in those tears shall shortly reap in joy. Impenitent sinners shall see Him whom they have pierced, and, though they laugh now, shall mourn and weep in endless horror and despair. The elect of God are scattered abroad; there are some in all places, and all nations; but when that great gathering day comes, there shall not one of them be missing. Distance of place shall keep none out of heaven. Our Lord declares that the Jews should never cease to be a distinct people, until all things he had been predicting were fulfilled. His prophecy reaches to the day of final judgment; therefore he here, ver. 34, foretells that Judah shall never cease to exist as a distinct people, so long as this world shall endure. Men of the world scheme and plan for generation upon generation here, but they plan not with reference to the overwhelming, approaching, and most certain event of Christ's second coming, which shall do away every human scheme, and set aside for ever all that God forbids. That will be as surprising a day, as the deluge to the old world. Apply this, first, to temporal judgments, particularly that which was then hastening upon the nation and people of the Jews. Secondly, to the eternal judgment. Christ here shows the state of the old world when the deluge came. They were secure and careless; they knew not, until the flood came; and they believed not. Did we know aright that all earthly things must shortly pass away, we should not set our eyes and hearts so much upon them as we do. The evil day is not the further off for men's putting it far from them. What words can more strongly describe the suddenness of our Saviour's coming! Men will be at their respective businesses, and suddenly the Lord of glory will appear. Women will be in their house employments, but in that moment every other work will be laid aside, and every heart will turn inward and say, It is the Lord! Am I prepared to meet him? Can I stand before him? And what, in fact, is the day of judgment to the whole world, but the day of death to every one?
Verse 32. - Learn a parable (τὴν παραβαλήν) of (ἀπὸ) the fig tree; bettor, from the fig tree learns its parable. Learn ye the lesson which this tree can teach you; though, indeed, it might teach other lessons than the one which Christ would enforce. When his (its), branch is yet tender (ἤδη ... γένηται ἁπαλὸς, is now become tender). This refers to the new shoots of unripened wood. Putteth forth leaves (τὲ φύλλα, its leaves). Copyists and editors vary between ἐκφυῇ, subj. aor. passive, and ἐκφύῃ, active. The Vulgate has the passive, et folia nata. Summer is nigh. The fruit of the fig tree appears before the leaves, as we learned in the story of the withered fig tree (Matthew 21:19), which the Lord may have had in mind when he gave this illustration. Did he intend to symbolize the revival of the life of the withered Jewish race in the time of the end?
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now learn a parable of the fig tree,.... Take a similitude, or comparison from the fig tree, which was a tree well known in Judea; and the putting forth of its branches, leaves, and fruit, fell under the observation of everyone:
when its branch is yet tender; through the influence of the sun, and the motion of the sap, which was bound up, and congealed in the winter season:
and putteth forth leaves; from the tender branches, which swell, and open, and put forth buds, leaves, and fruit:
ye know the summer is nigh; spring being already come: the fig tree putting forth her green figs, is a sign that the winter is past, the spring is come, and summer is at hand; see Sol 2:11.
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