I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and they became abominations like the thing they loved.
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Caesarius of Arles
Similarly, the law of the Old Testament, which we said the image of the fig tree represented, threw away the first Jewish people who were useless, that is, sinful and wicked. When these sycophants, to use the Greek word, had been rejected, that is, the conceited and worthless Israelites, there created for Christ through grace as its mother, the rich and fruitful Christian people who were further brought to perfect knowledge of the gospel. Although there is a genus of fig trees that brings its first fruits to maturity, called double bearing, it may signify those of whom it is said, “The Lord loved those figs as his precursors.” The patriarchs are the precursors.
Top. These are the best. (Haydock)
The patriarchs were pleasing to God. He chose the Hebrews; but they began to worship Beelphegor or Adonis, even before the death of Moses. This worship was most shameful. What will not passion do when the gods show the example!