John Bengel Commentary - Mark 11:13 - 11:13

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John Bengel Commentary - Mark 11:13 - 11:13

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Mar 11:13. Ἔχουσαν φύλλα, having leaves) And on this account promising fruit.-εἰ ἄρα, whether accordingly [if haply] The whole question as to the kinds of fig-trees may be set aside [dispensed with]. The leaves, which were on it, gave promise ostensibly of an abundance of fruit: accordingly the Lord approached to see, whether He would find anything more than leaves; but He found nothing but leaves, and not also figs: for it was not the time of figs. A nearer view of the tree showed that the tree was not such, as the leaves peculiarly [extraordinarily] promised it would be; but just such as was to be expected from the ordinary season, which was not the time of figs (comp. Mat 24:32); that time either refers to the part of the year, a very few days after the vernal equinox, ch. Mar 13:28, or, independently of the time of year, it is denoted that trees of that kind were not then fruit-bearing. Therefore every fig-tree ought either to have not even leaves; or else, having leaves, to have had fruit also. Other fig-trees, which were clad neither with leaves nor fruits, were exempted from blame: this fig-tree, laden as it was with leaves, though promising, yet in fact refused the fruit which it promised. Therefore it was made to suffer the penalty.-γὰρ, for) This particle intimates the reason for which, both on a tree, though laden with leaves, yet the Lord sought fruit in particular, namely, because it was not the time of fruits: and why He found on it nothing save leaves. [It had seemed likely that at least unripe fruits would be found on it: what use these would have been made to serve by our Lord, it is needless to inquire. He may have been impelled, by the promptings of hunger, to seek for fruits, even though not wishing to eat such food. Nay, even unripe eatables relieve at times, when hunger is pressing. And He who had turned the water into wine, and a very few loaves into a banquet, sufficient for thousands of men,-with what ease may we suppose that HE would have been likely to impart instantaneous ripeness to the fruit.-Harm., p. 453]. This clause [for the time of figs was not yet] applies [is intended] for the explanation of the whole period, as the γὰρ, for, ch. Mar 16:4, where see note.