a fig tree: The fig-tree, συκεη [Strong's G4808], is a genus of the polygamia triæcia class of plants, seldom rising above twelve feet, but sending off from the bottom many spreading branches. The leaves are of a dark green colour, nearly a span long, smooth, and irregularly divided into from three to five deep rounded lobes; and the fruit grows on short and thick stalks, of a purplish colour, and contains a soft, sweet, and fragrant pulp, intermixed with numerous small seeds.
haply: Rth 2:3; 1Sa 6:9; Luk 10:31, Luk 12:6-7
he found: Isa 5:7
for: Dr. Campbell observes, that the declaration, "for the time of (ripe, Ed.) figs was not yet," is not the reason why our Lord did not find any fruit on the tree, because the fig is of that class of vegetables in which the fruit is formed in its immature state before the leaves are seen. But as the fruit is of a pulpy nature, the broad, thick leaves come out in profusion to protect it from the rays of the sun during the time it is ripening. If the words, "for the time," etc. however, are read as a parenthesis, they then become a reason why Jesus Christ should look for fruit, because the season for gathering not having fully come, it would remove all suspicion that the fruit had been gathered. While the presence of the leaves incontestably proved the advance of the tree to the state in which fruit is found.