The withered fig tree (Mk 11:20-11:20)

“In the morning,

As they passed by,

They saw

The fig tree

Withered away

To its roots.”

 

Καὶ παραπορευόμενοι πρωῒ εἶδον τὴν συκῆν ἐξηραμμένην ἐκ ῥιζῶν.

 

This incident about the withered fig tree continued here, where it was a complete whole in Matthew, chapter 21:18-20.  Here in Mark, it was the next day after the curse when they were passing by it in the morning (Καὶ παραπορευόμενοι πρωῒ).  Then they saw the withered or dried up fig tree, even its roots (εἶδον τὴν συκῆν ἐξηραμμένην ἐκ ῥιζῶν).  Rather than immediately the same day, as in Matthew, the result was the same.  The fig tree was dead.

Daniel repeats the dream wish of the holy watcher (Dan 4:23-4:23)

“The king saw

A holy watcher

Coming down

From heaven.

He said.

‘Cut down the tree!

Destroy it!

But leave its stump!

Leave its roots

In the ground!

Let it be bound

With a band

Of iron,

As well as bronze,

In the grass

Of the field!

Let him be bathed

With the dew of heaven!

Let his lot be

With the animals

Of the field,

Until seven times

It passes over him!’”

Daniel then repeated the dream wish of the holy watcher or the angel from heaven. The tree had to be cut down and destroyed. However, this holy watcher or angel told the king to leave its stump and its roots in the ground. They were to bind this stump with an iron and bronze band in the grassy field, so that heavenly dew would fall on it. This tree has suddenly become a ‘he,’ a masculine personality that will have to suffer like the animals of the grassy field. This was to last at least 7 years or pass over him 7 times.

Save the stump (Dan 4:15-4:16)

“‘But leave its stump!

Leave its roots

In the ground!

Let it be bound

With a band

Of iron,

As well as bronze,

In the tender grass

Of the field.

Let him be bathed

With the dew of heaven!

Let his lot be

With the animals

Of the field

In the grass

Of the earth!

Let his mind

Be changed

From that of a human!

Let the mind

Of an animal

Be given to him!

Let seven times

Pass over him!’”

This holy watcher or angel told the king to leave the stump of the tree with its roots in the ground. They were to bind this stump with an iron and bronze band in a grassy field, so that heavenly dew would fall on it. This tree has suddenly become a ‘he,’ a masculine personality, that will have to suffer like the animals of the grass fields. The human mind of this tree stump was to be changed to that of an animal. This was to last at least 7 years or pass over him 7 times.

Yahweh poses questions about the withering vine (Ezek 17:9-17:10)

“Say!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Will the vine prosper?

Will he not pull up

Its roots?

Will this cause

Its fruit to rot?

Will it wither?

Will its fresh sprouting leaves

Fade?

No strong arm

Or mighty army

Will be needed

To pull it

From its roots.

When it is transplanted,

Will it thrive?

When the east wind

Strikes it,

Will it not utterly wither?

Will it wither

On the bed

Where it grew?’”

Yahweh then posed a series of questions about this vine that was transplanted by the second eagle. Would this vine prosper in the new place, after it was pulled up by its roots? Would its fruit be rotten? Would it wither away? Sometimes letting a vine wither is easier than having a strong army come in and try to tear it up. Would the east wind be too strong for this vine? Basically Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was casting doubts about transplanting this vine.