Fragments of life and captured moments ( from the draft ‘ Figments of Light”)

Here I am, sitting at my client’s balcony, at the 5th floor, in the heart of Paris.

We are in the middle of our French lesson. My client suddenly makes a remark about the infinity of possibilities in life. « Anything can happen any time; anything is possible. »

We are sitting so close to the sky of Elohim, so close to the clouds. I glance at the sky and my heart is in total agreement with my client’s statement. We smile at each other. I feel the excitement of the unknown and a renewed love for a life of wondrous infinite possibilities. Joy is increasing inside of my heart.

I know that what I thought of as impossible, Yeshua will break into a possibility for me.

What a wonderful day. My Lord is with me, reminding me constantly of His might.

Sometimes I am also dealing with unwanted situations. Sometimes I overreact in the face of some enemies in a way I know Yeshua deeply dislikes. I feel guilty about my incapacity to love my enemies in front of my beautiful Savior.

I sometimes feel that a situation is not meant to evolve into a good way.

I am addressing to my Beloved : « Yeshua, please give me a word of encouragement ! »

I open my Bible and here I read :

« If you turn from evil and do good,
you will live safely forever.

 For Adonai loves justice
and will not abandon his faithful;
they are preserved forever.
But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.

 The righteous will inherit the land
and live in it forever.
 The mouth of the righteous articulates wisdom,
his tongue speaks justice.
 The Torah of his God is in his heart;
his footsteps do not falter.

The wicked keeps his eye on the righteous,
seeking a chance to kill him.
But Adonai will not leave him in his power
or let him be condemned when judged.
 Put your hope in Adonai, keep to his way,
and he will raise you up to inherit the land.

When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
 I have seen a wicked man wielding great power,
flourishing like a shade tree in its native soil.

 But I passed by again, and he was no longer there;
I looked for him, but he could not be found. 

Observe the pure person, consider the upright;
for the peaceful person will have posterity.
 But transgressors will all be destroyed;
the posterity of the wicked will be cut off.

 Adonai is the one who saves the righteous;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
 Adonai helps them and rescues them,
rescues them from the wicked and saves them;
because they take refuge in him. »

Psalm 37, verses 27 to 40

These verses resonated in me. I understood that Yeshua was encouraging me not to give up, and to avoid the temptation to render evil for evil.

My Lord understands my stumbling points and never lets me down.

This evening I said : « Yeshua, I love you ». I glanced at the wall and Yeshua let my eyes contemplate His holy Face. A little bit of Yeshua’s hair is visible, despite the veil on His head. Yeshua disappears from my sight as fast as He came to me and I am thinking : « Yeshua vanished from my sight ». Maybe it is the expression of a little disappointment, maybe Yeshua is sensitive to my very thought, because in the next moment, as I am glancing at the wall, once again, I can distinguish my rabbi’s traits in some intense light. His eyes have an solemn expression of seriousness, but they are full of kindness. My King is there, before me. I glance at my rabbi’s beard before His beautiful Face leaves the scene.

I have just been granted a seventh visitation. Praised be my beautiful Lord !

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling


Messiah Yeshua’s application of the “pikuach nefesh” principle

People who didn’t grow up into Jewish culture often fail to understand the Gospels in their true context. If you want to study the Bible properly, it is mandatory to learn the culture and the language, in order to avoid huge misunderstandings.

Christianity often stated that “Yeshua abolished the Law, the Torah”, which is completely wrong ( see Matthew 5:17).

Moreover Yeshua is often presented a “Shabbat breaker/basher”, which is totally untrue again.

This may be a shocker to some people, but Yeshua didn’t come to start a new doctrine called “Christianity”.

Rabbi Yeshua applied Torah, because He is Jewish!

After reading this article, you will understand that rabbi Yeshua’s application of the Torah is orthodox. A Jewish orthodox rabbi who is Torah-savvy would do the same in our contemporary world.

Yeshua opposes to the Pharisees whose rigid practice often excludes compassion. When Yeshua seemingly breaks a rule, especially during Shabbat, it is NOT to profane Shabbat, but rather to apply a specific halachic rule called ” pikuach nefesh”פיקוח נפש“.

What exactly is “pikuach nefesh”? How does one apply it?

Torah references: Leviticus 18:5 ” You shall therefore keep my statutes…which if a man do, he shall live by them”

Talmudic reference from the Babylonian Talmud: ” That he shall live by them, and not that he shall die by them.” ( Yoma 85b)

When facing a matter of life and death or each time life should be preserved, Shabbat laws are to be adjourned.

The reason why I am adding a talmudic reference is that I am convinced that not only did Yeshua know Torah perfectly, but He was also very much aware of the application of oral laws back in the first century. The Talmud only has bad press among the people who don’t understand its purpose and who misinterpret some of its words. It is often stated that the Talmud contains bad words about a “Yeshu” who was condamned for sorcery and who is said to have had 4 disciples. This is not Yeshua of Nazareth. Yeshua of Nazareth was known to have 12 disciples and the motives of his condemnation was blasphemy because He quoted Daniel 7:13 and 14 and stated that He was Ben Elohim.

Rabbi Yeshua and “pikuach nefesh”

There are many examples of rabbi Yeshua’s application of “pikuach nefesh” on Shabbat.

One must be very careful in interpreting the Gospel text. Somebody who is not familiar with the Hebrew context may think that Yeshua “broke” or “profaned” Shabbat, which is totally untrue.

Because of His perfect knowledge of Torah in the detail, Yeshua can oppose the Pharisee’s rigid practice, that so often lacks compassion.

Back in the 1st century, Yeshua is very likely to have objected to the Pharisees: “ze pikuach nefesh”, this is pikuach nefesh ( and I am entitled to do it!)

Yeshua favors life and doing good on the holy day of Shabbat. He restores what is sick and broken.

By checking the following resource, you will understand that Yeshua exactly did what was commanded ( the rule of pikuach nefesh) in cases of illness or life threatening conditions during Shabbat.

“He passed on from there to their synagogue. A man was there whose hand had withered. In order to find wrongful words to hold against Him, they asked him: “Is it permitted to heal on Shabbat?”

He said to them:

“Is there a person among you with a sheep, that if it were to dall into a cistern on Shabbat, you would not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more precious is a man than a sheep! Therefore, it is permitted to do good on Shabbat.”

He said to the man, ” Stretch out your hand”. He stretched it out, and it was healed and returned to being like his other hand.

Then the Prushim ( Pharisees) left and deliberated about how to destroy Him.

( Matthew 12: 9-14)

John Chapter 9, verses 1 to 38 depict the healing of a man born blind on Shabbat, which of course, provokes a lot of animosity among the Pharisees, who describe Yeshua as a person who desacrates Shabbat. But then again, some others declare that nobody can do such otioth ( signs) if he is not sent from Above. 

Please note: not all the Pharisees step up against Yeshua. They are actually divided about Him.

I won’t expand on this chapter, as it is quite complex, but I suggest that you read the story from the Orthodox Jewish Bible and from the English Standard Version (ESV).

There are so many other examples of Yeshua applying the rule of “pikuach nefesh”. John, Chapter 5 describes the miraculous healing of a sick man who had been plagued for 38 years at the pool of Beit-Chasda. 

Verse 18 in the Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels posed me a problem, because it states that Yeshua ” profaned” the Shabbat, but then I realized that John placed the reader in the perspective of the Pharisees. It is essential that you remember this point, because a misinterpretation of  Gospel verses led a lot of people ( including horrible nazi propaganda minister Goebbels) into antisemitic thought.

Yeshua cannot go against His own kinsmen and let me tell you that Yeshua was there when people eliminated them. Yeshua has been to the depth of horrors and suffering Himself and He would never discard His own people.

Points to remember:

  • Rebbe Melech Moschiach Yeshua is addressed as ” rabbi”, because this is what He is. Yeshua has been raised as a practicing Jew. His words have to be understood into context, otherwise you will miss the point.
  • Yeshua does not break Shabbat! He applies the rule of “pikuach nefesh” to bring relief to the sick and to save lives, as it is prescribed in Torah. When He appears to be breaking Torah, the Gospel writer exposes this from the Pharisees’ angle.
  • Yeshua’s followers are Jewish, most of the people backing Him are Jewish. Most of His opponents come from the religious establishment in Jerusalem. The crowds, especially in Galilee, love Him!
  • Yeshua did not create a new “doctrine”, but always showed people how to apply Torah perfectly with much compassion. From a Christian point of view, Yeshua discards Torah with a very relaxed approach-this point of view is very misleading about our Messiah’s intent! While Yeshua is very compassionate and forgiving, He always asks people to comply with what Moshe said and also, to stay away from sin.

© 2017 by Isabelle Esling

Contemporary lessons to be learnt from Parashat Balak

 מַה-טֹּבוּ אֹהָלֶיךָ, יַעֲקֹב; מִשְׁכְּנֹתֶיךָ, יִשְׂרָאֵל

In the Book of Numbers, the Torah tells us the story of a King of Moab, called Balak, who contemplated the accomplishment of the people of Israel and who became very much afraid. The Moabites are the descendants of Lot, born from an incestuous relationship between Lot ( as he was drunk) and one of his daughters.

So Balak went to see Balaam, the son of Beor, who had a solid reputation as a prophet.

Interestingly, Balaam ( transcribed Bilaam in Hebrew), apparently a Midianite, seems to have a lot of common points with Tsipporah ( Moshe’s wife)’s father, Ytro, priest of Midian, as the following, detailed article points it out. More astonishingly, Balak’s father is named Tsippor ( the masculine form for Tsipporah).

Balak expects to receive some consistent help from Balaam to curse the Hebrews.

“Come with us Balaam to curse these Hebrew. We all know that whomever you bless Balaam is blessed and whomever you curse is cursed.”

From the Book of Numbers, it is quite hard to know who Balaam-pronounced Bilaam- actually was. We know from the accounts of Torah that he was probably a Midianite. He was not an Israelite, but he seemed to abide the God of Israel and to prophesy in His Name. Because he acted in HaShem’s Name, his reputation probably grew very fast in Midian and the surrounding regions. This seems to explain why Balak came to him in order to get his enemies ( the Hebrews) cursed. However the prophet seemed to have a syncretist/ or idolatric practice that he will give up while pronouncing the last blessing.

The donkey’s eyes perceive who Balaam is unable to see: the angel of the Lord placed in front of Balaam’s path.

It has been scientifically proven that animals do perceive a lot of things that are invisible ( ultraviolet light, for instance) or inaudible to humans ( like ultrasounds).

In front of Balaam’s stubbornness and also because He wants to rescue the poor donkey from physical abuse, HaShem puts some speech into the animal’s mouth that will unlock Balaam’s sight, who will admit his sin.

I admit that there are many mysteries that I don’t understand about this episode and that it left me perplexed, because the Almighty is telling him to go, but to only obey what He would say.

Some rabbis would argue that HaShem told him to go, because Balaam had his free will-but then why would the Lord add ” do as I say”. I humbly admit that I have no answer, but the disapprobation of HaShem about Balak’s prior intent.

Israel will be blessed three times through Bilaam ( Balaam) ‘s mouth. Note that the Torah states that when Bilaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel ( the Hebrew text specifies that it was good in HaShem’s eyes to bless Israel-see text in red), he gave up his idolatric practices ( enchantments) and he set his face toward the wilderness:

וַיַּרְא בִּלְעָם, כִּי טוֹב בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָה לְבָרֵךְ אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְלֹא-הָלַךְ כְּפַעַם-בְּפַעַם, לִקְרַאת נְחָשִׁים; וַיָּשֶׁת אֶל-הַמִּדְבָּר, פָּנָיו.

And when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he went not, as at the other times, to meet with enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.”

Lessons for our contemporary world:

  • more than ever before, Israel is surrounded with numerous enemies…Unesco’s twisted policy and lies to deny Israel’s Jewish history on its own soil has brought many nations to turn against Israel. A lot of nations are openly stepping against Israel. Actually Israel has very few allies besides the USA ( since Donald Trump’s election), India, Burkina Faso and the Philippines. This clearly means that the rest of the world believes Unesco’s blatant LIES and is ready to curse the Hebrews publicly. HaShem’s warning in verse 13: ” you shall not curse the people for they are blessed” is VALID in our times, yet very few pay attention to it.
  • a certain category of ” believers” who support replacement theology and who usually slate Israel and hate the Jews in general would like to obtain, though, the blessings from the God of Israel. Paradox? Yes. Jealousy and fear? 100% certain. Approved by HaShem? No way, unless these people repent from their hatred and start blessing the chosen ones of the Living God of Israel!
  • HaShem can speak through the most humble of His creatures. HaShem chose the mouth of a donkey to open Balaam’s sight. 
  • The donkey is also a symbol of the first Coming of the Messiah and His humbleness. Yeshua, the King of the Kings, the Tzadik, entered Jerusalem sitting on a donkey, fulfilling Zechariah 9:9

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!Behold, your king is coming to you;righteous and having salvation is he,humble and mounted on a donkey,on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” 

גִּילִי מְאֹד בַּת-צִיּוֹן, הָרִיעִי בַּת יְרוּשָׁלִַם, הִנֵּה מַלְכֵּךְ יָבוֹא לָךְ, צַדִּיק וְנוֹשָׁע הוּא; עָנִי וְרֹכֵב עַל-חֲמוֹרוְעַל-עַיִר בֶּן-אֲתֹנוֹת

Man is called to walk in humbleness and one should bear in mind not to despise the tiniest creature that HaShem made. HaShem can use the tiniest and the weakest to get powerful messages through.

The verse of Zechariah 9:9 insists twice about our Messiah riding a donkey first using the word hamor “חֲמוֹר“, then ayir  “עַיִר” to speak about the animal.

And…in conclusion, there is more to the word hamor חֲמוֹר” , donkey, than you may actually think!

Did you know?

חֲמוֹר” donkey is linked with the color red…now this is a very Middle Eastern thing! You wouldn’t think of the color red while picturing a donkey…these animals’ robe is usually grey or brown. Well, in ancient Israel and well as in Arabic countries, the color red is associated with tranquility and settlement.

To learn more about the amazing etymology of the word “hamor”, please check this rich ressource.

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

“The finger of Elohim”-connections with the plagues of Egypt in Yeshua’s speech

“ואם באצבּע אלֹהים מגרשׁ אני את השׂדים הנה הגיע אליכם מלכוּת האלֹהים”

“But if by the finger of God I drive out the demons, then the Kingdom of God has arrived to you.”

Luke 11:20
While reading Luke, Chapter 11, we do realize how much skeptic the religious establishment, that was essentially composed of Pharisees, was about Yeshua’s good deeds and numerous miracles.


Yeshua is wrongly accused to chase demons with the help of Baal Zevuv ( also known as the ” master of the flies” in Hebrew or Beelzebuth).
The expression “אצבּע אלֹהים”, the finger of Elohim  is intimately linked with a well known episode of the Book of Exodus, Chapter 8 verses 14 and 15 ( Shemot),  in Parashat “Vaera” that describes the plague of the frogs, the magicians incapacity and Pharaoh’s hardening of heart. Even the magicians recognize the “finger of the Almighty” in the punishment that strikes Egypt.

Exodus 8:14-15

וַיַּעֲשׂוּ־כֵ֨ן הַחַרְטֻמִּ֧ים בְּלָטֵיהֶ֛ם לְהוֹצִ֥יא אֶת־הַכִּנִּ֖ים וְלֹ֣א יָכֹ֑לוּ וַתְּהִי֙ הַכִּנָּ֔ם בָּאָדָ֖ם וּבַבְּהֵמָֽה׃The magicians did the like with their spells to produce lice, but they could not. The vermin remained upon man and beast;וַיֹּאמְר֤וּ הַֽחַרְטֻמִּים֙ אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֔ה אֶצְבַּ֥ע אֱלֹהִ֖ים הִ֑וא וַיֶּחֱזַ֤ק לֵב־פַּרְעֹה֙ וְלֹֽא־שָׁמַ֣ע אֲלֵהֶ֔ם כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר דִּבֶּ֥ר יְהוָֽה׃ (ס)and the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God!” But Pharaoh’s heart stiffened and he would not heed them, as the LORD had spoken.Note that the divine might is not at its maximum strength, like during the passing of the Red Sea where it is said that HaShem brought Israel out of the land of Mitzraim ( Egypt) with the “strong hand” (ביד חזקה) alongside with the outstreched arm(וּבזרע וטוּה) -beyad hazaka uvezroa vetuya:

“ביד חזקה וּבזרע וטוּה”
There is an amazing parallel between Yeshua’s confrontation with the Pharisees and the Book of Exodus, Chapter 8:

  • There is big disbelief before an obvious sign of divine intervention: both Pharaoh, and the Pharisees show a hardening of heart before the signs that are visible in front of their very eyes.
  • The magicians are also the agents of Baal Zevuv and Yeshua is mistaken as one of them by the Pharisees, who refuse to give glory to the Almighty.
  • Yeshua’s use of “etsba Elohim”, אֶצְבַּ֥ע אֱלֹהִ֖ים, is not accidental.

One of the obvious sign of the Coming of Melech Maschiach ( the King Messiah) was His capacity of chasing the demons and curing illnesses. If you also go through Marc, Chapter one, you will notice that Yeshua drives out demons with much authority. This kind of authority can only be given from Above.


As far as archeology is concerned, Yeshua’s miracle pictured above has been confirmed.

It is also important to note that rabbinic tradition is telling us that the  true Messiah had to be able to fulfill 4 specific miracles:
– heal a metzora ( leper)

– heal a mute person

– heal a man born blind

– raise a person from the dead after three days
Question: Did Yeshua fulfill these requirements?

Answer: Absolutely!
One must also understand that, when Yeshua healed the metsora (leper) in Matthew 8 ( 1-14), He is asking the man to obey Torah by showing himself to the priest and by giving the offerings that Moshe prescribed.

The impressing story of Yeshua healing the deaf and mute man is available in Mark Chapter 7, verses 31 to 37.

The Gospel of John, Chapter 9 and 11, report very accurately the healing of a born-blind person and the resurrection of El Azar (Lazarus).
Because most of them had hardened hearts, many Pharisees failed to recognize the Messiah in Yeshua, in the same way Pharaoh refused to obey HaShem.
It is pointless to put the blame on the Pharisees of the 1st Century, because the hardening of their hearts and the rejection of Yeshua was in HaShem’s plan. Even ancient rabbinic traditions out of the Tanach report that Maschiach ben Yosef had to suffer and to be cut off from His people.

It is hard to accept that Yeshua had to die, especially in this horrible way of Suffering, but you cannot go against the Almighty’s plan.

Rejection from the Jewish establishment allowed the Gentiles access to the Messiah.

Now I would also like to point out, for all the people who are expecting Yeshua’s Second Coming, be very careful to recognize the signs of His Coming. Make sure that your heart will not harden at the sight of Yeshua and that your eyes will really be open on that glorious day.
Expect to meet a Jew, a Hassid, for Yeshua of Netzeret, Nazareth is a true Hassid. He’s the King of the Jews, as many people tend to forget so easily.
In conclusion, I would like to quote Christopher Frederickson, a Messianic rabbi, in his “rabbinic gospel of Mark”, page 26:
“HaShem works mighty miracles in our lives every moment of every day. Though, even the smallest things we take for granted. Having oxygen in your lungs, coming down from the rain clouds that feed the lants we eat and so that the animals we eat can be nourished through the water and the plants.

Hassidic Judaism is focused on gratitude ( Hakarat hatov) so the Creator of the universe may be exalted. And the talmidim of Yeshua were the world’s first Hasidic Jews. As I say often Notzri Judaism is the original Hasidic Judaism”) ( Ref Mark 1, page 26, the rabbinic Gospel of Mark).

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

To the Creator, our lives matter

To our Creator, each of us is a unique masterpiece. We are loved and known intimately. We are important and HaShem desires a relationship with us.

When we realize about the greatness of our Lord, we envision how little and miserable we are as human beings. The little ants we are in the universe are nevertheless of very great value to our Maker.

Gideon said to the Lord: “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least in my father’s house”.  (Judges 6: 15)

Prophet Yirmiyahu ( Jeremiah) spoke of himself as of an infant. Especially the ones who were supposed to be HaShem’s voice had a belittleling vision of themselves.

I am convinced that HaShem chooses the complexed and the hurt persons to fulfill His plan.

Our eye is sometimes very critical towards our own person. This is often due to the fact that we have been hurt in our early childhood and adult life, sometimes by the individuals who were supposed to be our most intimate relatives or friends.

Even when we do have a strong relationship with Him, it is hard to imagine how much precious we are to our Lord.

Yesterday I stumbled upon the following piece of Scripture from Isaiah , Chapter 43…it also happens to be an exerpt of the Haftara from Sefer Bereshit ( Book of Genesis).

א  וְעַתָּה כֹּה-אָמַר יְהוָה, בֹּרַאֲךָ יַעֲקֹב, וְיֹצֶרְךָ, יִשְׂרָאֵל:  אַל-תִּירָא כִּי גְאַלְתִּיךָ, קָרָאתִי בְשִׁמְךָ לִי-אָתָּה.

ב  כִּי-תַעֲבֹר בַּמַּיִם אִתְּךָ-אָנִי, וּבַנְּהָרוֹת לֹא יִשְׁטְפוּךָ:  כִּי-תֵלֵךְ בְּמוֹ-אֵשׁ לֹא תִכָּוֶה, וְלֶהָבָה לֹא תִבְעַר-בָּךְ.

A love that is unconditional


Our existences DO matter to our Creator. If you doubted it, I invite you to read this specific portion of Scripture and to meditate on it.

During Shabbat, I reflected on Daniel’s exile in Babylon. It was very hard for practicing Jewish children to be deported to Babylon. Even if Daniel and his fellow friends were well treated, they were also robbed from their Jewish I.D s and given pagan names.

Yet, they refused to conform to the customs of Babel regarding food and idolatry. Daniel and his friends’ lives were put at risk on many occurences for being faithful to HaShem. 

Even when the children were thrown into the fire, people could witness there was a fourth person walking with them. Daniel and his fellows met their Messiah in the furnace and the fire did not burn them.

The most difficult part for all of us, children of men, is to totally trust our Lord. When difficulties arise and in times of danger, we tend to forget that He is with us!

Remember the Torah verse from Deuteronomy, Chapter 46, verse 4:

 אָנֹכִי, אֵרֵד עִמְּךָ

I myself will descend with you.

These are our Lord’s words. No water, no fire will ever harm us, if we just accept to trust Him.

Our help comes from Him and to Him ALL the glory!


Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

A Hebrew perspective on the accursed tree: more than just a whim from Yeshua’s side

Because of the lack of understanding in the right context, Yeshua’s words and deeds have been the object of wrong or very simplistic interpretations. The estrangement of the Gospels from their very Hebraic roots are responsible of many misinterpretations and misplaced criticism against Yeshua our Messiah.

I’ve often heard that “cursing the fig tree just because He was hungry” was just a whim from Yeshua, some kind of human weakness. Well, this is ignoring the whole symbolism that revolves around the fig tree, starting with Bereshit (Genesis Chapter 3).

The fig tree is a MAJOR symbol. While most people link it with Israel, one must also be aware, that, first and foremost the fig tree is the tree of knowledge (עץ  הדעת). When we read Bereshit, Chapter 3, we undertstand that the fruit that led the first human beings into temptation is the fig ( not the apple-this is a catholic adjunction). When Adam and Eva’s eyes were opened, they became aware of their nakedness and they sewed fig leaves together to make themselves girdles.

Both, fig tree and fig fruit are called “teena” (תְאֵנָה) in Hebrew. You will understand after the scriptural context, which one is meant. In Genesis 3; 7 it is quite clear that “teena” refers to the fig tree leaves.

וַתִּפָּקַחְנָה, עֵינֵי שְׁנֵיהֶם, וַיֵּדְעוּ, כִּי עֵירֻמִּם הֵם; וַיִּתְפְּרוּ עֲלֵה תְאֵנָה, וַיַּעֲשׂוּ לָהֶם חֲגֹרֹת

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves girdles.

The fig tree without the fruit i.e the use of the fig leaves is a symbol of human decadence.

Here is Matthew’s report about the accursed fig tree:

“In the morning, He returned to the city and He was hungry. He saw a fig tree beside the road, and He drew near to it, but found nothing on it except the leaves.

He said to it, “From now on, there shall not be fruit from you ever again!”

Suddenly the fig tree withered.

The disciples saw it and were amazed.

They said: “How did the fig tree wither so suddenly?”

Yeshua answered to them, 

“Amen I say to you, if you have faith and your heart is not divided, you will do things like the deed of the fig tree. 

You will even say to this mountain: ” Be lifted up and be moved in the middle of the sea”, and it will be so. All that you ask in prayer if you believe will come to you.” 

Matthew 21:18-22 Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels

Of course, on a literal level of intepretation, Yeshua was hungry. However, within a single verse, there are always several levels of interpretation, and it is impossible to separate Yeshua’s sayings from Torah studies. One must always remember that Yeshua is a rabbi and that His teachings matter in regards of the Torah.

Mark’s report is intertwined with Yeshua turning over the tables of the Temple merchants.

“The next day, a they went out from Beit-Hini, He was hungry. He aw a fig tree from far away. It has leaves, so He came to see if He could find fruit on it. He drew near to it, but He did not find anything but leaves, because it was not the season of the figs. He answered and said to it: ” From now on, no one will eat from you ever again”. And His disciples heard.” (Mark Chapter 11, verses 12-14) Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels

Probably because Mark added the precision that “it was not the season of the figs”, a lot of people thought that Yeshua just had a temper tantrum.

However, not only must we do our best to read every story in context, we must also understand when the narrator connects another story with a specific episode, which is the case here. The fig tree episode is followed by the story of Yeshua driving out the merchants from the Temple, then Mark goes back to the fig tree:

“They were passing through in the morning, and they saw that the fig tree had withered from its roots. Petros remembered and said to Him, “Rabbi, look!” The fig tree that you cursed is withered!

Yeshua answered and said to them: “Let the faith of God be in you., For, amen, I say to you, anyone who says to this mountain, ” Be lifted up and moved into the middle of the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but rather believes that what he says will be done, so will it be for him as he has said. Therefore, I say to you,  all that you ask in your prayer, believe that you have receive it, and it will be so for you. And when you pray, pardon eeryone for what is in your heart against them, so that your Father who is in Heaven will also forgive your transgressions. But as for you, if you do not pardon, neither will your Father who is in Heaven forgive your transgressions” Mark 11: 20-26

Yeshua’s teaching of the fig tree is tangled with two major elements: discipleship and faith.

Remember that Yeshua always taught that one recognizes a true disciple by his fruit ( Matthew 7:16)

Not only will a true disciple act in faith ( with a heart that is not divided, as Yeshua stated it), but he will also be zealous for Hashem, denouncing any kind of idolatry or injustice, in the same way Yeshua chased the Temple merchants who were corrupted by money.

Discipleship to Yeshua is very demanding. Remember the words of Revelation 3:16:

“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot or cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

Now, what does this have to do with the fig tree?

The fig tree is found bearing NO FRUIT. 

It represents the workers of iniquity, the ones Yeshua will not recognize when He returns.

Hearing Yeshua’s words and knowing them ( even if it is by heart) is not enough. One must bear good fruit, the fruit of love, compassion and forgiveness.

A tree of knowledge (עץ  הדעת) without fruit is BOUND TO DESTRUCTION. Studying is not enough. Only purity of heart and the actions of kindness that proceed from it will grant you access to Hashem.

Also, what are the implications about the Temple? The following, very detailed study, from a Messianic perspective, will allow you to understand the complex association between fig leaves and the downfall of the Second Temple ( foreseen by Yeshua).

Study your Scriptures, but remember to keep love dwelling inside of your heart. Dead faith will wither like the accursed fig tree.

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling