This generation will not pass away

After describing the Great Tribulation and the Rapture, Jesus told his disciples,

“Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near.  In the same way, when you see all these things, know that he is near, at the gates.  Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.”  
– Matthew 24:32-34

Because figs are an ancient symbol for the Hebrew nation, some Bible scholars interpret this passage to mean that the End Times will happen within the lifetime of those who were alive when the modern nation of Israel was reborn.

1948_05 14 Israel is reborn NYT

Old Testament fig symbols

Fig trees = A characteristic of the wealth of the Holy Land

“The Lord, your God, is bringing you into a good country, a land with streams of water, with springs and fountains welling up in the hills and valleys, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, of olive trees and of honey, a land where you will always have bread and where you will lack nothing.” – Deuteronomy 8:7-9

A fig tree = A characteristic of peace and prosperity in Israel under godly leadership

“Thus Judah and Israel lived in security, everyone under their own vine and fig tree from Dan to Beer-sheba, as long as Solomon lived.” – 1 Kings 5:5 NABRE  [N.b., in some translations, this is numbered 1 Kings 4:25.]

Good figs = A symbol of faithful Jews in exile

In the 6th century BC, Jeremiah prophesied:  “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: “Like these good figs, I will also regard with favor Judah’s exiles whom I sent away from this place into the land of the Chaldeans. I will look after them for good and bring them back to this land, to build them up, not tear them down; to plant them, not uproot them.” – Jeremiah 24:5-6

Tending a fig tree = Being a good servant

“Those who tend a fig tree eat its fruit; so those attentive to their master will be honored.” – Proverbs 27:18

If Jesus intended “this generation” (Matthew 24:34 ) to mean people who were alive when modern Israel was reborn on May 14, 1948, then the End Times are imminent.

“Seventy is the sum of our years, or eighty, if we are strong.”  – Psalm 90:10

A child born on or before May 14, 1948 will be 70 years old in the spring of 2018.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremiah
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figs_in_the_Bible

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