Matthew 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree;

Greek Verse: 

Literal Translation: 

From, however, the fig tree, learn the analogy: When after those branches of its becomes tender and those leaves it produces, you know that near [is] the harvest.

KJV Verse: 

Mat 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

To understand this verse, you have to know how fig trees are propagated. There are also hidden references to "learning" here and the Greek concept of "summer" was more like out autumn, in the sense that it was the harvest time. This verse would seem out of place if this section was as dire a prediction as it seems in the KJV.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ἀπὸ (prep) "Of" is from apo, a preposition of separation which means "from" or "away from" from when referring to place or motion, "from" or "after" when referring to time, "from" as an origin or cause.

δὲ (conj) "But" is from de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

τῆς (article sg fem gen) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

συκῆς [6 verses] (noun sg fem gen) "Fig tree" is from syke, which means "fig tree."

μάθετε (verb 2nd pl aor imperat act) "Learn" is from manthano, which means "to learn" especially by study or practice, "acquire a habit of", "perceive", "understand," and "notice."

τὴν (article sg fem acc) "A" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

παραβολήν: (noun sg fem acc) "Parable" is from parabole, which means "comparison", "illustration," and "analogy." It is most often translated in the NT as "parable" but occasionally as "comparison."

ὅταν (adv) "When" is from hotan, which means "whenever (as a condition)," and "since (as a cause)."

ἤδη (adv) "Yet" is from ede, which means "already", "by this time", "forthwith", "after", "immediately," and "now." It means proximity in time, but also place.

(article sg masc nom) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

κλάδος (noun sg masc nom) "Branches" is from klados , which means "branches", "twig", "shoot," and "branch" of a blood vessel.

αὐτῆς (adj sg fem gen) "His" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself," "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

γένηται (verb 3rd sg aor subj mid) "Is" is from ginomai, which means "to become", "to come into being", "to be produced," and "to be." It means changing into a new state of being. It is the complementary opposite of the verb "to be" (eimi)which indicates existence in the same state.

ἁπαλὸς [2 verses] (adj sg masc nom) "Tender" is from hapalos, which means "soft to the touch", "tender," and "delicate."

καὶ (prep/adv)"And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

τὰ (article pl neut nom/acc) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

φύλλα [2 verses](noun pl neut nom/acc) "Leaves" is from phyllon, which means "leaf", "foliage", "flower", "petals," and generally, "plant."

ἐκφύῃ, [2 verses](verb 3rd sg aor subj act/passive) "Puteth forth" is from ekphyo, which means "generate," produce", "bear", "grow," and "engender."

γινώσκετε (verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "You know," is from ginosko which means "to learn to know", "to know by reflection or observation," and "to perceive."

ὅτι (adv/conj) "That" is from hoti (hoti) which means "that" "because," and "since."

ἐγγὺς (adv) "Nigh" is from eggys, which means "near", "nigh", "at hand," nearly", "coming near," and "akin."

τὸ (article pl neut nom/acc) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

θέρος: [3 verses] (noun sg neut nom/acc) "Summer" is from theros, which means "summer", "summerfruits", "harvest," and "crop."

KJV Analysis: 

Now -- The Greek word translated as "now" is almost always translated as "but" because it joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. When used in writing, it creates complex sentences, but when spoken, it makes a good pausing point so that an important or humorous word can follow.

untranslated -- (MW) The untranslated Greek word is usually translated as "but" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. 

learn "Learn" is a word that means "to learn especially by experience or study." This is consistent with the different verb used below to translated as "you see".

a -- (WW)The word translated as "a" is the Greek definite article, "the" which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more.  There is no indefinite article "a" in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

parable -- "Parable" is translated from a Greek word that means "comparison", "illustration," and "analogy." It is most often translated in the NT as "parable" but occasionally as "comparison." This word is introduced by a definitive article, so "the analogy."

of -- (WW) The word translated as "of" means "from" and "out of" in both location and when referring to a source. This is not a description of the parable, but an independent clause that begins the sentence.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

fig tree; The word for "fig tree" means "fig tree." In ancient times, figs were a symbol for abundance.

When The "when" word here can also mean "since". And since it is immediately followed by the word translated as "yet," a word that actually means proximity in time, the sense is "since right after".

his -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English.   This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

untranslated -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

branch The word for "branch" means a new shoot of a tree as well as any type of branches, such as branches of learning. Notice, it is not plural but singular, so its seems to refer to a shoot of a tree, a new tree, rather than its branches. Fig trees are started from cuttings, that is, a spout is cut from a tree and planted. This is why this particular tree is used as an example here.

is -- (WW) The word translated as "is" means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. In Greek, especially as used by Jesus, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state. This word indicates a transformation. For events, it mean "happen."

yet -- (WW) "Yet" is a Greek adverb meaning "already," "by this time", "forthwith", "after", "immediately," and "now." It means proximity in time, but also place.

tender, The word translated as "tender" also means "soft to the touch", and "delicate." This section of verses generally contrasts the hard, cold, and dark with the soft, warm, and light.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

putteth forth -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

untranslated -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

leaves, The word for "leaves" means "leaf", "foliage", "flower", "petals," and generally, "plant."

ye -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the following verb.

know The Greek verb translated as "know" means "to learn to know", "to know by reflection or observation," and "to perceive." It is not the ordinary form of knowing, but specifically gaining understanding by learning.

that "That" is translated from a Greek word that means "that" "because," and "since."

untranslated -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

summer -- The word for "summer" primarily means "harvest" in Greek. We might think that the new leaves on the fig tree means "spring", but since the reference is to the propagation of a fig tree, it would start growing at harvest time. A little about the propagation of figs: typically, cutting are taken before the winter and growing out of the ground through the winter (to protect from cold) and planted in the spring. Figs are a technically a reed bush, not a tree, growing fruit only from new growth from the previous year.

is -- There is no verb "is" here in the Greek. However, when noun and pronouns appear in the form of a subject without a verb, the verb "to be" is assumed.

nigh: -- The adverb translated as "nigh" means near in time or distance.

KJV Issues: 

8

KJV List: 

MW - Missing Word -- The conjunction "but" or "however" is not shown in the English translation.

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "a" means "the." This is not the adverbial form.

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "of" means "from" or "out of." It is not the "of" of possession as it looks.

MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" is not shown in the English translation.

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "is" means "become." In many sense, the two words are opposites.

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "yet" means "already."

MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" is not shown in the English translation.

MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" is not shown in the English translation.

The Spoken Version: 

"From the fig tree," he continued, kneeling down and sticking a twig broken off from the surrounding trees in the ground. "Learn an example."

At first, his followers thought at first he was referring to the fig tree that he dried up, but he pointed to the twig.

"When," he explained, testing the end of the twig with his fingers. "Right after a new spout becomes soft, it also produces leaves."

He stood up and dusted himself off.

"You learn to see that," he continued, pointing to the position of the sun in the sky and announcing. "Harvest time!"

He paused and then added, "Nearly."

 

Related Verses: 

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

In ancient times, figs were a symbol for abundance. Here, the gathering of the chosen from the four corners of the earth (Mat 24:31) indicates the coming of abundance, the summer of harvest.

Front Page Date: 

Aug 21 2016