Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Very naughty figs

One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.
Jeremiah 24:2

When I first read this scripture, I was perplexed. How could a fruit behave badly? I learned from reading further into the chapter that the two different baskets of figs represented two different types of people-good and very evil. But I still wondered why the figs were described using a word I associated with little children. This verse definitely went into my 'weird scripture' file. I was happy when I came across the information below.

"Naughtiness" is really bad in the KJV; it means downright wickedness. The injunction in James 1:21 to "lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness" is now translated in more modern versions as "put away all filthiness and rank growth of wickedness."

The terms "naughty" and "naughtiness" have lost some of their evil through the years; they are now used for the misdeeds of children or the trivial misbehavior of adults who have not matured. The "naughty figs" that Jeremiah saw in his vision (24:2) were simply "bad figs," so bad that they could not be eaten.

Shakespeare used "naughty" frequently, the best-known lines being

"How far that little candle throws his beams!

So shines a good deed in a naughty world."

Merchant of Venice, V, 1, 91

(The Bible Word Book, Bridges & Weigle, pg 228)


  1. Hey, cool--now I know where the Willy Wonka quote comes from. :)

  2. Another insightful post. I believe that figs represent the priesthood. So that this makes total sense! Thanks.