This article considers Mark's account of the cursing of the fig tree, read in conjunction with Jesus’ temple action. Having reviewed recent proposals on the literary shape of Mark 11.1–12.12, the article proposes a fresh reading of the section's structure. Triple introductions at 11.11, 11.15 and 11.27 are shown to match triple conclusions at 11.11, 11.19 and 12.12, these constituents framing interwoven units running from 11.11 to 12.12. The pattern of triple intercalation suggests that the cursing of the fig tree and Jesus’ temple action should be interpreted one in light of the other. The article then considers the intertextual relationship between Mark's narrative and the scriptural texts it evokes. The study uncovers previously neglected echoes vital for understanding the significance of Jesus’ cursing of the fig tree and temple action. The ‘casting out’ motif in Jeremiah 7–8, as dramatically portrayed in Jesus’ temple action, is set forth as heralding a ‘renewed exile’ for those who reject Jesus’ message, while the mirror motif of ‘ingathering’ in Isa 56.1–8, accentuated by the ‘withered tree’ imagery of 56.3, heralds new opportunity, with those who were previously outsiders to the temple made insiders in the eschatological house of prayer.