Parable of the Budding Fig Tree

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The Parable of the Budding Fig Tree is a parable told by Jesus in the New Testament, found in Matthew 24:32-35, Mark 13:28-31, and Luke 21:29-33. This parable, about the Kingdom of God, involves a fig tree, as does the equally brief parable of the barren fig tree, with which it should not be confused.


According to the Gospel of Luke:

He told them a parable. "See the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see it and know by your own selves that the summer is already near. Even so you also, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near. Most certainly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things are accomplished. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away."

— Luke 21:29-33, World English Bible


Luke presents this parable as eschatological in nature:[1] like the leaves of the fig tree, the signs spoken of in the Olivet discourse of Luke 21:5-28 [2] indicate the coming of the Kingdom of God.

An alternate interpretation is that the fig tree represents the nation of Israel being politically reestablished in their land once again. Accordingly, when the modern state of Israel was formed on May 14, 1948, Hal Lindsey concluded that we are in the last generation.[3][4] Many scholars, however, disagree with this view.[5][6][7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bernard Brandon Scott, Hear Then the Parable: A commentary on the parables of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1989, ISBN 0-8006-2481-5, pp. 338-340.
  2. ^ Luke 21:5-28
  3. ^ Lindsey, Hal. The Late Great Planet Earth. Grand Rapids, MI. Zondervan, 1970.
  4. ^ Lindsey, Hal. 1977. Eternity, January 1977
  5. ^ “Charting the End Times”, Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice, page 37
  6. ^ Systematic Theology Vols 5&6” by Louis Sperry Chafer, Kregel Publications & Dallas Theological Seminary, 1976, pg. 127
  7. ^ (The Late Great Planet Earth, Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1970, pages 53-54)
  8. ^ ”Some have said that the budding of the fig tree speaks of the re-establishment of Israel as a nation (1948), seeing it as a precursor of Christ’s return. Several things work strongly against that interpretation: •Nowhere does Matthew 24–25 speak of Israel’s return to Palestine. In fact we do not find Israel’s return anywhere in Matthew’s gospel. Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, in its flow of future historical events, has moved beyond Israel’s return portraying the Jews already in the land. •Furthermore, Luke says in his parallel account “look at the fig tree, and all the trees” (21:29). Not just one tree is in view, but many. Thus Christ refers to trees in general and what they do in the spring, not to a particular fig tree that pictures Israel. •In Matthew 24, the budding fig tree, rather than picturing Israel, depicts eleven signs that Jesus reveals in 24:4–24. Nine begin to occur in the first half of the Tribulation and two more appear in the second half. Thus what we see unfolding is that as new leaves each spring signal the return of summer, so the signs Christ reveals will signal His return.” “The Parable of the Fig Tree Matthew 24:32-36”, by George E. Meisinger dean of Chafer Theological Seminary