9337. Until thou be fruitful. That this signifies according to the increase of good, is evident from the signification of "being fruitful," as being the increase of good (see n. 43, 55, 913, 983, 2846, 2847). That removal from evils and falsities is effected according to the increase of good, is evident from what has been frequently shown above; for the Lord flows into man by means of good, and by means of it He disposes truth into order; but not the converse; and insofar as truths are disposed into order by means of good, so far evils and falsities are removed. In the Word throughout man is likened to a tree, and his truths of faith are signified by the leaves (n. 885), and his goods of love by the fruits (n. 3146, 7690). From this it is plain not only that "to be fruitful" denotes an increase of good; but also that good is man's chief thing, even as the fruit is the chief thing of a tree. The leaves are indeed put forth first, but for the sake of the fruit as the end. That which is the end is not only the last, but it is also the first thing, because it is the one and only thing regarded in the means, thus it is everything. The case is similar with the good of love relatively to the truths of faith.
 Such was the signification of "a fig-tree," of which we read in the following passages:
As Jesus returned to the city, He hungered. And seeing a fig-tree in the way, He came to it, but found nothing thereon, except leaves only; and He said unto it, Let no fruit grow from thee henceforward forever; whereupon the fig-tree withered away (Matt. 21:18, 19).
A certain man had a fig-tree planted in his vineyard; he came therefore seeking fruit thereon, but found none; he said therefore unto the vinedresser, Behold these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig-tree, but find none: cut it down; why rendereth it the land unfruitful? (Luke 13:6, 7).
Every tree is known by its fruit. Of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; but the evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil. Why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:44-46.)
From all this it is evident that the fruit of faith, as it is called, is the primary thing of faith; and that faith without fruit, that is, without the good of life, is only a leaf; and thus that when a man (here meant by "the tree") abounds in leaves without fruit, he is the fig-tree which withers away and is cut down.