Friday, January 5, 2024

Saying 109


Jesus said, ‘The kingdom is like a man who had a treasure hidden in his field, but did not know about it. And after he died he left it to his son. The son did not know. He took that field and sold it, and the buyer went and plowed. He found the treasure and began giving money at interest to whomever he wanted.’


Compare Saying 76 and contrast Saying 95. As with the parables of the thief or the assassin, this is does not give moral instruction for how the disciples should conduct themselves. The parable gives an analogy for what God’s kingdom will be revealed to be like after the eschaton. The meaning in this case is more opaque than most of the preceding parable. It may be intended to convey the shock of discovering an immensely valuable treasure, already present but hidden, just waiting to be discovered.


Philo of Alexandria

God’s Immutability 20.91 And we have often met with such things as previously we had never seen even in a dream, like a farmer whom some say, while digging a hole for the purpose of planting some fruit-bearing tree, found a treasure, coming across good fortune for which he had never hoped.


13.44 ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.’

Song of Songs Rabbah

4.12.1 Rabbi Simon, son of Yoḥai, taught, ‘This is like a man whose inheritance was at the site of a garbage dump. The heir was lazy, and he sold it at a minimal price. The buyer went and diligently excavated there, and found a treasure. He built a large palace. The buyer began walking in the marketplace with servants following him, all because of the treasure that he had found there. The seller saw and was sorrowful, saying, “Woe to me for what I lost.” ’

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