by Wayne Blank
The fig plant is cultivated as a bush from 1 meter (3 feet) tall, to large trees over 10 meters (33 feet) tall. Their wide, coarse deciduous leaves are easily identified. The sweet fruit develops above the points of shed leaves, or in the axil of leaves of the current year, with one or two figs set together. Depending upon local temperature and rainfall, there may be one or two crops harvested per year.
Figs have been a major food for people of the Mediterranean and Middle East for thousands of years. Their ability to store easily by drying made them, along with various grains and raisins, a dependable long-term food source. The same can just as truly be said about them today.
Figs are mentioned from beginning to end throughout The Bible, all the way from the Seven Days Of Creation in Genesis, to Revelation. They were in the Garden of Eden at the time of The Creation Of Adam And Eve, and the birth of Cain And Abel, and they are used as a symbol in end-time Prophecy. Virtually everyone in the Bible ate, or at least was familiar with, figs.
- Figs were used as a sign of peace and prosperity, "each man under his own vine and fig tree" (1 Kings 4:25).
- King Hezekiah's life-threatening infection was cured by "a poultice of figs" (2 Kings 20:7).
- Figs were stored in "pressed cakes" (1 Samuel 30:12).
- Jesus Christ put a curse on a fig tree that was in full leaf but had no fruit, as a good productive tree should have had by that time of the season (Matthew 21:18-22).
- James used figs to describe appropriate Christian Living - "can a fig tree bear olives?" (James 3:12).
- Figs are used to symbolize a great end-time meteor storm that will occur as part of the prophesied Signs In The Heavens - "The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars (i.e. meteorites] in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind." (Revelation 6:12-13)
Fact Finder: Of what material was the first clothing made?