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Luke 13:6-9

Warning to Israel to Bear Fruit

13:6 Then 1  Jesus 2  told this parable: “A man had a fig tree 3  planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. 13:7 So 4  he said to the worker who tended the vineyard, ‘For 5  three years 6  now, I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and each time I inspect it 7  I find none. Cut 8  it down! Why 9  should it continue to deplete 10  the soil?’ 13:8 But the worker 11  answered him, ‘Sir, leave it alone this year too, until I dig around it and put fertilizer 12  on it. 13:9 Then if 13  it bears fruit next year, 14  very well, 15  but if 16  not, you can cut it down.’”

1 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

2 tn Grk “he”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 sn The fig tree is a variation on the picture of a vine as representing the nation; see Isa 5:1-7.

4 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate the man’s response as a result of the lack of figs in the preceding clause.

5 tn Grk “Behold, for.”

6 sn The elapsed time could be six years total since planting, since often a fig was given three years before one even started to look for fruit. The point in any case is that enough time had been given to expect fruit.

7 tn The phrase “each time I inspect it” is not in the Greek text but has been supplied to indicate the customary nature of the man’s search for fruit.

8 tc ‡ Several witnesses (Ì75 A L Θ Ψ 070 Ë13 33 579 892 al lat co) have “therefore” (οὖν, oun) here. This conjunction has the effect of strengthening the logical connection with the preceding statement but also of reducing the rhetorical power and urgency of the imperative. In light of the slightly greater internal probability of adding a conjunction to an otherwise asyndetic sentence, as well as significant external support for the omission (א B D W Ë1 Ï), the shorter reading appears to be more likely as the original wording here. NA27 puts the conjunction in brackets, indicating some doubts as to its authenticity.

9 tn Grk “Why indeed.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated.

10 sn Such fig trees would deplete the soil, robbing it of nutrients needed by other trees and plants.

11 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the worker who tended the vineyard) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

12 tn Grk “toss manure [on it].” This is a reference to manure used as fertilizer.

13 tn This is a third class condition in the Greek text. The conjunction καί (kai, a component of κάν [kan]) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

14 tn Grk “the coming [season].”

15 tn The phrase “very well” is supplied in the translation to complete the elided idea, but its absence is telling.

16 tn This is a first class condition in the Greek text, showing which of the options is assumed.

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