Matthew 21:18

Jesus Curses a Fig Tree

18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry.

Matthew 21:18 in Other Translations

18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
18 In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry.
18 In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry,
18 Early the next morning Jesus was returning to the city. He was hungry.
18 Early in the morning, as He was returning to the city, He was hungry.

Matthew 21:18 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 21:18

Now in the morning
Greek "in the first", or morning light, in the dawn, or break of day, the first spring of light; so the Latins F19 use "prima luce" for early in the morning, as soon as ever day breaks: so early did Christ rise, and return from Bethany to Jerusalem;

and as he returned to the city.
The Persic version renders it, "they returned"; which, though not a good version, gives a true sense; for, as Christ went with the twelve to Bethany, as Mark affirms, so these returned with him, as is clear from what follows. Thus Christ, day after day, went to and from Jerusalem: in the evening he went to Bethany, or to some part of the Mount of Olives, and there abode all night, and returned in the daytime to Jerusalem, and taught in the temple; for it does not appear that he was one night in Jerusalem, before the night of the passover.

He hungered,
rising so early before his friends were up, he had eaten nothing that morning, and so before he had got far from Bethany, found himself hungry; which proves the truth of his human nature, which was in all respects like to ours, excepting sin.


F19 Caesar. Comment. 1. 1. p. 14. & passim. Curtius, 1. 5. c. 5. passim. Apulei Metamorph. 1. 9. p. 134.

Matthew 21:18 In-Context

16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “ ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”
17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry.
19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.
20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.
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