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Matthew 24:32

Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When its branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near:
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Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
The parable of the fig tree is offered as a lesson in recognizing the signs of the times. When its branches become tender and green we know that summer is near. Both this fig tree and this summer are very different from those found in nature, however. In nature there is a considerable interval between the onset of summer and the greening of a tree’s branches, which begin to grow tender early in the spring. Consequently this parable cannot be about the tree. Indeed, we have already dealt above with the particular meaning of the tree. We saw that Adam had covered himself with its leaves to hide his shameful conscience, which is to say that he was bound under the law as though clothed in sin. The fig tree’s branch therefore represents the antichrist, who is a son of the devil, a partaker of sin and protector of the law. When it begins to grow tender and green, then the summer, which here represents the day of judgment, is near. The greening of the tree then refers to the rise of sinners, ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Forasmuch as He had said, Immediately after the tribulation of those days; but they sought of this, after how long a time it should be, and desired to know in particular the very day, therefore He puts also the similitude of the fig tree, indicating that the interval was not great, but that in quick succession would occur His advent also. And this He declared not by the parable alone, but by the words that follow, saying, know that it is near, even at the doors. Whereby He foretells another thing also, a spiritual summer, and a calm that should be on that day (after the present tempest) for the righteous; but to the sinners the contrary, winter after summer, which He declares in what follows, saying, that the day shall come upon them, when they are living in luxury. But not for this intent only did He put forward this about the fig tree, in order to declare the interval; for it was possible to have set this before them in other ways as well; but that he might hereby also confirm ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
The time is “immediately after the tribulation of those days.” After how long a time would it be? They desired to know in particular the very day. So he puts forth the analogy of the fig tree. He indicates that the interval was not great but that in quick succession these things would occur at his advent. He declared this not by the parable of the fig tree alone but by the words that follow. “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.” He foretells a spiritual summer, a calm for the righteous that would come on that day, after the storm. But to sinners, on the contrary, there would be winter after summer, which he declares in what follows, saying that the day shall come upon them when they are living in luxury. For these two purposes he spoke about the fig tree: in order to declare the short interval and to underscore that these things assuredly will come to pass. It was possible for him to have demo...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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