Parable of the Hidden Tresure

What is the parable of the hidden treasure?

The parable of the hiddden treasure was spoken by Jesus Christ and is recorded in Matthew 13:44. The concealed treasure is a widespread Eastern idea (Job 3:21; Proverbs 2:4); pearls or rubies, which may be represented by the same Hebrew word (Job 28:18; Proverbs 3:15, etc.) will mean the "jewel" of faith, our Lord Himself, or everlasting life; and Christians must make the great surrender if they would gain it.

No keeping back is possible, so far as the Spirit is concerned, a man must give the whole world for his "soul", which is worth more, hence he rejoices. Here as elsewhere, the comparison does not imply any judgment on the morality of the persons taken by way of figures; the casuistry of "treasure trove", the possible overreaching in business, belong to the "rind" not the "marrow" of the story and yield no lesson.

St. Jerome understands the Holy Bible to be the treasure; St. Augustine, "the two Testaments of the Law", but Christ never identifies the "Kingdom" with Scripture. A strange interpretation, not warranted by the context, looks on the Saviour as at once seeker and finder.


44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

Analysis of the Parable of the Hidden Treasure

With Origen we may term these "similitudes"; in one the object is found as if by accident (Isaiah 65:1; Romans 10:20: "I was found by them that did not seek me"); in the other a man seeks and buys it deliberately.

Under such figures would be signified the calling of the Gentiles and the spiritual strivings of those who, with Simeon, waited "for the consolation of Israel." There is surely an allusion to the joy of martyrdom in the first (Matthew 10:37).


International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, which is in the public domain (with minor edits).