Q. Re: The Withered Fig Tree. My Question is: If the cursed fig tree is symbolic of Israel, and Jesus’ words were that it would henceforth bear no fruit forever, how do we reconcile that with national Israel being in the millennial Kingdom obviously bearing fruit to the Lord? “Henceforth” and “forever” don’t leave any wiggle room for “except in the millennium”.
A. This is a case where you have to be careful with literal vs. symbolic interpretations. The same Greek word that is translated “forever” in the King James version of Mark 11:14 can also mean for an age, or a period of time. The appropriate meaning comes from the context in which the word is used.
In the literal interpretation the fig tree may never have borne fruit again. In that case “henceforth” and “forever” would convey the appropriate meaning. But in the symbolic interpretation it’s also true that while Israel has borne no fruit in this age, the nation will be fruitful in the next age, the millennium. So the alternate meaning “henceforth in this age” would be appropriate for the symbolic interpretation.