“tree.” Although the illustration that Jesus is using certainly applies to literal trees, the illustration is made more powerful and relevant because in the Bible the powerful people in a kingdom were sometimes referred to as “trees,” something that would not have been missed by Jesus’ audience (cp. Judges 9:8-15; Song of Solomon 2:3; 7:8; Isa. 56:3; Ezek. 17:22-24; Dan. 4:10, 22; Zech. 4:3-14; 11:1-3; Luke 3:9; Rom. 11:16-24). Calling people “trees” is usually the figure of speech hypocatastasis. [For an explanation of the figure of speech hypocatastasis, see commentary on Revelation 20:2].