Matthew 13:44-46

Matthew 13:44-46
Narrative Lectionary


44 “The kingdomA of heavenB is likeC treasureD

Notes on verse 44a

A “kingdom” = basileia. From basileus (king, emperor, sovereign); probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is kingdom, rule, authority, sovereignty, royalty, a realm.
B “heaven” = ouranos. May be related to oros (mountain, hill); probably related to airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is the air, the sky, the atmosphere, and heaven. It is the sky that is visible and the spiritual heaven where God dwells. Heaven implies happiness, power, and eternity.
C “like” = homoios. From the same as homou (together); from homos (the same). This is similar to, resembling, like.
D “treasure” = thesauros. 17x in NT. From tithemi (to place, lay, set, establish). This is treasure, storehouse, deposit. It can be used figuratively for treasured thoughts.

hiddenE in a field,F which a manG foundH and reburied;I

Notes on verse 44b

E “hidden” = krupto. 18x in NT. This is to hide by covering, secret, hidden things. This is the root of the word “cryptography.”
F “field” = agros. This is a field as a place where one grows crops or pastures cattle. It can also refer to a farm or lands. This is one of the roots of “agriculture.”
G “man” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face); {from optanomai (to appear, be seen); perhaps from horao (become, seem, appear)}. This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
H “found” = heurisko. This is to find, learn, or obtain. It is to discover something, which generally implies a period of searching for it. This is to find in a literal or figurative sense. This is where the word “heuristic” comes from.
I “reburied” = krupto. Same as “hidden” in v44. See note E above.

then in his joyJ he goesK and sellsL

Notes on verse 44c

J “joy” = chara. From chairo (to rejoice, be glad or cheerful; a greeting); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is joy, delight, gladness. Can be understood as the feeling you get when you are aware of grace.
K “goes” = hupago. From hupo (by, under, under the authority of) + ago (lead, bring, guide, spend, drive, carry). This is to lead under so to depart, go away, or die. It is to lead away under the command of someone else, being given a mission or objective to carry out.
L “sells” = poleo. This is to barter or sell. It can also refer to the thing that is sold.

allM that he hasN and buysO that field.

Notes on verse 44d

M “all” = pas. This is all, every.
N “has” = echo. This is to have, hold, possess.
O “buys” = agorazo. From agora (assembly, forum, marketplace, town square, thoroughfare); from ageiro (to gather). This is to go and buy something at market with a focus on goods being transferred. It can also mean to purchase or redeem.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like aP merchantQ in search ofR fineS pearls;T 

Notes on verse 45

P {untranslated} = anthropos. Same as “man” in v44. See note G above.
Q “merchant” = emporos. 5x in NT. From en (in, on, at, by, with, among) + the base of poreuomai (to go, travel, journey; transportation something from one place to another; focuses on the personal meaning given to getting to the destination); {from poros (passageway, ford)}. This is a merchant or trader. It can refer specifically to one who travels by ship or more broadly one journeying. This is where the word “emporium” comes from.
R “in search of” = zeteo. This is to seek, search for, desire. It is searching for something by inquiring or investigation. It can be seek in a literal or figurative sense. There is a Hebrew figure of speech “to seek God’s face” so it can also mean to worship God. Alternately, you could seek someone’s life i.e. plot to kill them.
S “fine” = kalos. This is good, noble, beautiful, correct, or worthy. This is external signs of goodness like beauty, demonstrations of honorable character, showing moral virtues. A different word, agathos, speaks of intrinsic good.
T “pearls” = margarites. 9x in NT. “Borrowed from Iranian. Compare Middle Persian mwlwʾlyt’ (morwārīd) (whence Persian مروارید‎ (marvārīd)), Sogdian (marγārt), Sanskrit मञ्जरी (mañjarī), and Avestan (mərəya).” OR from margaros (a pearl oyster). This is a pearl. It is where the name “Margarite” comes from. See

46 on finding oneU pearl of great value,V he wentW and soldX all that he had and bought it.

Notes on verse 46

U “one” = heis. This is one, a person, only, some.
V “great value” = polutimos. 3x in NT. From polus (much, many, abundant) + time (worth or something’s perceived value; literally, price, but figuratively, the honor or value one sees in someone or something else; also esteem or dignity; also precious or valuables); {From tino (to pay, be punished, pay a penalty or fine because of a crime); from tio (to pay respect, value)}. This is very precious, valuable, or costly.
W “went” = aperchomai. From apo (from, away from) + erchomai (to come or go). This is to depart, follow, or go off in a literal or figurative sense.
X “sold” = piprasko. 9x in NT. From pernemi (to sell by export). This is to sell with travel involved. It can also mean to sell into slavery or to be devoted to.

Image credit: “Treasure in the Field” by Peter Koenig.

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