Luke 13:7-9 ESV

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

Isaiah 5:1-7 ESV

The vineyard of the Lord destroyed

The above parable and song have similar symbols attached to it

1))Had a vineyard/had a vineyard

2)Planted choicest vines/fig tree

3)looked for good grapes/found no fruits

4)Planted on a fertile hill/will fertilize it

5)Dug it around/will dig it around

6)It will be destroyed,trampled/cut it down

7)What more can i do for it/give it one year

Could Luke have been alluding to the Isaiah passage?

2 Answers 2


There are too many differences for Luke 13 to be alluding to Isa 5. Note the following:

  • the vineyard in Luke 13 is incidental - the fig tree represents Israel while in Isa 5, the vineyard represents Israel
  • the fig tree produced no fruit while the vineyard did produce fruit but it was our
  • the owner want to cut down the fig tree but for the vineyard the owner wants to simply remove its protecting wall and allow it to be overgrown
  • The fig tree had a probation of 3 years, while the vineyard had no time mentioned
  • the keeper of the fig tree asks for more time while the owner of the vineyard in Isa does not consider such a request

Thus, the structure of the two parables is quite different even if the point (the spiritual lesson) is the same.


I agree with Dottard's answer. Here I'll supplement a little.

Isaiah 5:

1 I will sing for my beloved a song of his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard
on a very fertile hill.

In terms of genre, Isaiah 5:1-7 is a song. It is poetry filled with emotive words.

On the other hand, Jesus was speaking prose in Luke 13:

6Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any.

Jesus uses propositional statements, stating matters of facts. It isn't a song; it is a parable.

The overall literary forms are very different. Luke 13:7-9 is an allusion to Isaiah 5:1-7 only in the informal sense that they share similar spiritual lessons concerning the unfruitful Israelites. Otherwise, there is very little literary support for a formal allusion.

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