New International Version
"'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it.
King James Bible
And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
Darby Bible Translation
But he answering says to him, Sir, let it alone for this year also, until I shall dig about it and put dung,
World English Bible
He answered, 'Lord, leave it alone this year also, until I dig around it, and fertilize it.
Young's Literal Translation
'And he answering saith to him, Sir, suffer it also this year, till that I may dig about it, and cast in dung;
Luke 13:8 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Behold these three years - From this circumstance in the parable, it may be reasonably concluded that Jesus had been, at the time of saying this, exercising his ministry for three years past; and, from what is said in Luke 13:8, of letting it alone this year also, it may be concluded likewise that this parable was spoken about a year before Christ's crucifixion; and, if both these conclusions are reasonable, we may thence infer that this parable was not spoken at the time which appears to be assigned to it, and that the whole time of Christ's public ministry was about four years. See Bishop Pearce. But it has already been remarked that St. Luke never studies chronological arrangement. See the Preface to this Gospel.
Why cumbereth it the ground? - Or, in other words, Why should the ground be also useless? The tree itself brings forth no fruit; let it be cut down that a more profitable one may be planted in its place. Cut it down. The Codex Bezae has added here, φερε την αξινην, Bring the axe and cut it down. If this reading be genuine, it is doubtless an allusion to Matthew 3:10 (note): Now the axe lieth at the root of the trees. If the writer has added it on his own authority, he probably referred to the place above mentioned. See the note on the above text.
There is something very like this in the Γεωπονικα, or De Re Rustica of the ancient Greek writers on agriculture. I refer to cap. 83 of lib. x., p. 773; edit. Niclas, entitled, Δενδρον ακαρπον καρποφορειν, How to make a barren tree fruitful. Having girded yourself, and tied up your garments, take a bipen or axe, and with an angry mind approach the tree as if about to cut it down. Then let some person come forward and deprecate the cutting down of the tree, making himself responsible for its future fertility. Then, seem to be appeased, and so spare the tree, and afterwards it will yield fruit in abundance. "Bean straw (manure of that material), scattered about the roots of the tree, will make it fruitful." That a similar superstition prevailed among the Asiatics, Michaelis proves from the Cosmographer Ibn Alvardi, who prescribes the following as the mode to render a sterile palm tree fruitful: "The owner, armed with an axe, having an attendant with him, approaches the tree, and says, I must cut this tree down, because it is unfruitful. Let it alone, I beseech thee, says the other, and this year it will bring forth fruit. The owner immediately strikes it thrice with the back of his axe; but the other preventing him says, I beseech thee to spare it, and I will be answerable for its fertility. Then the tree becomes abundantly fruitful." Does not our Lord refer to such a custom?
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TEXT: "And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift herself up. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity: And he laid his hands on her; and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God."--Luke 13:11-13. These verses present to us one of the most interesting stories imaginable--of interest to us first because it is one of our Lord's miracles, …
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At the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple.
So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?'
If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.'"
It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. "Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear."
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