Truth, Understanding, Insight

The Fig Tree

12th May 2007, seh, mgh


2) Adam and Eve and the Fig Leaf

In the Bible the vine and the fig tree are frequently used as symbols. The fig tree was the first tree bearing edible fruit to be mentioned in the Biblical records.

“And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.” (Genesis 3: 7)

What was the significance of this?

From the time of Cain and Abel, men have worshipped a God, or many gods, according to their own desires. Man has always believed that he has the right to worship in the way that he chooses. This is a fatal fallacy. The message to Adam and Eve, and to Cain, was that man has the right to worship one God only, in the way that Yahweh has appointed.

In the Garden of Eden, the lamb was slain and Adam and Eve were given the covering of a lamb skin, demonstrating to them that the fig leaf covering was not an acceptable covering for their sin. In this way, an important principle of worship was shown to Adam and Eve. Their disobedience was sin. The shedding of the blood of the lamb was a demonstration of the only means by which man could gain forgiveness. This principle, established in the Garden, culminated in the sacrifice of the Messiah through whom redemption can only be achieved.

Israel and the Fig Tree

The fig tree was to have significance in the teaching of the nation of Israel about their destiny and God's purpose on earth.

As its name implies, the fig is a shade tree. In the Hebrew, 'te-enah' figuratively means to 'spread out', which gives the sense of safety and protection. In 1 Kings 4: 25, and in other places in the Bible, the fig tree is used to imply safety and security.

“Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and fig tree.” (1 Kings 4: 25)

A vision of security and safety is also created by Micah in describing the 'last days'.

“They shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid.” (Micah 4: 4)

In a dried state, the fig was an article of commerce and a staple food. In the case of Hezekiah, the fig was used for medicinal purposes.

If the fig trees failed to produce, it constituted a national calamity. Their productiveness was a token of divine favour, of peace, prosperity and security.