"Now when these things begin to occur, look up
and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
And he told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees;
When they put forth their buds and come out in leaf, you see for
yourselves and perceive and know that summer is already near.
Even so, when you see these things taking place, understand
and know that the kingdom of God is at hand."
It is quite generally agreed that the fig tree in Scripture
stands for Israel. Thus when Christ speaks of the budding of the
fig tree, He refers to the renaissance of the national life of the Jews.
Surely no one with eyes to see and ears to hear can deny that
the Jewish nation is being revived in a marvelous and miraculous
manner, not to some new location, but in the land that God gave
to Abraham and to his seed by an everlasting covenant.
The people that have been scattered to the ends of the earth
for nearly nineteen centuries, and have been without a home
and a temple and a sacrifice, and have endured untold
persecutions precisely as predicted by Moses more
than 3,000 years ago-that same people have been given
back their ancient homeland, and are returning to it by scores
of thousands annually, and the land that has lain waste and desolate
for centuries is once more blossoming as the rose.
"And I will bring back the exile of My people Israel, and they
shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; and they shall plant
vineyards and drink the wine from them; they shall also make
gardens and eat the fruit of them."
In light of these things can anyone honestly say that the fig tree
of the Jewish national life is not budding and putting forth leaves?
Another interesting fact showing the budding of the fig tree lies
in the renaissance of the Hebrew language. A number of years ago
a well known Jewish leader, E. Ben Yehuda, started a movement in
*Palestine to revive the Hebrew language in the daily speech of the people.
The campaign spread rapidly and today pure Hebrew is the
national language of the Jews throughout the length and breadth of
Palestine. This is all the more remarkable because of the fact that
during the long centuries of their dispersion the Jews spoke the
languages of the lands where they were living.
But now at last when they have returned to the homeland they are
once again conversing in the speech their forefathers used in
the heyday of their national life.
Many books in the classical language of the Old Testament are
being published in Palestine. The results of the agricultural researches
are being put out in circulars, leaflets, and books, in pure Hebrew.
The language that has been for centuries estranged from the soil is
once more becoming, "redolent of the fields and vineyards."
Of the most interesting and remarkable things connected with the
growth of the Jewish national life in Palestine is their observance of
the Sabbath Day. The entire history of the Jewish people in the pages of
the Old Testament is bound up with their observance of the Sabbath.
Next to their worship of the one true God, this was perhaps the
chief distinguishing feature that set them apart from
the surrounding nations.
But during the long dispersion of the chosen people among the
Gentile nations, the institution has fallen more and more into decay.
Today, in America and other lands, the Jew is compelled by necessity
to keep open his place of business on Saturday.
But in Palestine at the present time the Sabbath is being observed
by the Jews with much of its old time strictness.
The Shofar or Ram's horn is blown at sunset on Friday.
It is a call to observe the Sabbath for the twenty-four hours following.
In Jerusalem some ten of these rams' horns sound out the signal
as the sun sinks below the horizon. And the Jews with one accord
heed the call whether they are orthodox or liberal or free-thinkers.
The Sabbath in Jerusalem is certainly a day of rest.
Not even milk is delivered, by the Jewish dairies, until after
sunset on Saturday. All Jewish bus lines stop. If we wanted to go
to the downtown district on Saturday, it was necessary to walk or hire
a carriage from one of the few Arab cabbies that were in the district.
On the Jewish Sabbath the synagogues are thronged with worshipers.
Who can witness this striking manifestation of the revival of the religious
life of the Jewish nation and fail to realize that the fig tree is now
putting forth an abundance of leaves?
The Jews are going back to the land of their forefathers in unbelief,
precisely as foretold. The veil still rests upon their hearts and minds as
it did in the days of the Apostle Paul. But the budding of the fig tree
indicates that the time of the Lord's return in glory is not far distant.
Then Zechariah's prophecy will be fulfilled with the same precision
that the predictions of Isaiah. Jeremiah, and Ezekiel are being
brought to pass in Palestine today.
Zechariah pictures the poignant grief that will come upon the
people of Israel as they realize that Jesus of Nazareth Who was
crucified on Calvary, Whose blood cleanses all from sin, was none
other than their long-promised Messiah.
In Zechariah Chapter 12: 10 we read:
"And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants
of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplications: and they shall look
upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him,
as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him,
as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."
As we see the Jews returning to Palestine by hundreds of thousands;
as we behold the land beginning to blossom as the rose; as we witness
the reviving of the Hebrew language as the daily speech of the people;
as we examine the money of the country and find it stamped with an
olive branch and declaring that Palestine is the "land of Israel";
as we mark the strict observing of the old Jewish Sabbath-as we
see all these things coming to pass before our eyes today-
we cannot fail to realize in the light of Luke 21:31 that
"the kingdom of God is nigh at hand."
Yeshua's Divine Presence
"The Budding Fig Tree"
Excerpt from the book,
"Rebuilding Palestine According To Prophecy"
By George T.B. Davis
*Palestine is a regional area in the Near East which encompasses the
biblical lands of Judea and Samaria. After being away for almost
2,000 years, the Jews were given a national homeland there
by the Balfour Declaration in November, 1917.
In 1922, the League of Nations gave Great Britain the mandate over
Palestine. Only three years after the end of WWII, Great Britain relinquished
her mandate and on May 14, 1948 the nation of Israel was born, thus
fulfilling the words spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
"Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a
land be born in a day? Or shall a nation be brought in a moment?
For as soon as Zion was in labor, she brought forth her children."