One basket [had] very good figs, [even] like the figs
are] first ripe
As there are some figs that are ripe sooner than others, and which are always the most desirable and acceptable; and such were they that were presented to the Lord, ( Micah 7:1 ) ( Deuteronomy 26:2 ) ; these signified those that were carried captive into Babylon with Jeconiah, among whom were some very good men, as Ezekiel, and others; and all might be said to be so, in comparison of those that were at Jerusalem, who were very wicked, and grew worse and worse: and the other basket [had] very naughty figs, which could not be
eaten, they were so bad;
as nothing is more sweet and luscious, and agreeable to the taste than a sound ripe fig, and especially a first ripe one; so nothing is more nauseous than a naughty rotten one: these signified the wicked Jews at Jerusalem indulging themselves in all manner of sin; so those who seemed to be the worst, through their being carried captive, were the best; and those who, seemed to be the best, by their prosperity, were the worst. This is to be understood in a comparative sense, as Calvin observes; though this does not so much design the quality of persons, as the issue of things, with respect unto them. The captivity of the one would issue in their good, and so are compared to good figs; when the sins of the other would bring upon them utter ruin and destruction without recovery, and therefore compared to bad figs that cannot be eaten.