Matthew 13:46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

Parables, Parable of the Pearl

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Discovering, however, one, much valued pearl, departing to sell out as much as he had, he purchased it for himself.

KJV : 

Matthew 13:46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse contrasts the monetary comparisons of the previous parable, the Parable of the Treasure, with a different kind of comparison, the comparison of wisdom. The Greek word "pearl" is a metaphor for wisdom just like we say "pearls of wisdom."

Two of the words here are uncommon for Jesus. In my experience, this means that the words are chose for their very specific meanings of their humor.  The term translated as "great price" is only used h, ere and means "much revered" from a root that primarily means "honor" and "esteem."

The word "sold" is only used twice and it is not the verb translated as "sell" in the previous verse, Matthew 13:44 .It has the special sense of exporting, specifically exporting slaves for sale . It also has the sense of bribery and "betrayal." Jesus uses it elsewhere to refer to the selling of people into slavery. So it may suggest the disreputable nature of the previous wisdom.

NIV : 

Matthew 13:46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

Wordplay: 

The terms translated as "peal of great price" also means "much revered wisdom."

The word for "went" specifically means "having departed" having the same  of "departing from life" as it does in English. 

The word translated as "sold" also means "to sell out." 

My Takeaway: 

We must be willing to sell out our past values to adopt higher ones.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

εὑρὼν (part sg aor act masc nom) "Findeth" is from heurisko, which means "to find", "to find out", "to discover", "to devise", "to invent", "to get," and "to gain."

δὲ (conj) Untranslated is de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if"). --

ἕνα (noun sg masc acc) "One" is from heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

πολύτιμον [1 verse](adj sg masc acc) "Great price" is polytimos, which means "much revered" and "highly priced." The root is the Greek word τιμάω, (timao), that means "honor," "revere", and "reverence." The verb form is τιμή (time) which means "worship," "esteem," and "honor." Secondarily, these words can mean "price," when applied to things, but it the sense of estimating value.

μαργαρίτην [3 verses](noun sg masc acc) "Pearl" is margarites, which means "pearl," and "a precious stone." It is a metaphor for "wisdom."

ἀπελθὼν (part sg aor act masc nom) "Went" is from aperchomai, which means "to go away, ""to depart from", "to spread abroad," and "to depart from life."

πέπρακεν [2 verses](verb perf inf act) "Sold" is from is pipraskô, which also means "to sell. ""to trade," or "to export," but which is specifically used to mean selling into slavery, to sell for a bribe, and is a metaphor for being "betrayed" or "ruined."

πάντα (adj pl neut acc) "All" is from pas, which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything." In the adverbial form, it means "every way", "on every side", "in every way," and "altogether."

ὅσα (adj pl neut acc) "That" is from hosos, which means "as many", "as much as", "as great as", "as far as," and "only so far as."

εἶχεν (verb 3rd sg imperf ind act) "Have" is from echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do." -

καὶ (conj) "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

ἠγόρασεν [8 verses](verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Bought" is from agorazo, which means "to occupy a marketplace", "to buy in the market," and "to buy for oneself."

αὐτόν. (adj sg masc acc) "It" is from autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

KJV Analysis: 

Who, -- (OS) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "who" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

when -- (WW) The word "when" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

had -- (WT) This helping verb "had" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. The tense is the normal tense of a story, that of something happening as a specific time past, present or future.

found  - (WF) The term used for " found" is from the source of our word, "heuristic," meaning enabling a person to find out something for themselves. It means "find out" and "discover." It is a participle, "finding." The tense is the normal tense of a story, that of something happening as a specific time past, present or future.

one  - -- The Greek word translated as "one " means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same."As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

pearl  - The word for "pearl" is a metaphor in Greek for "wisdom" as we would say in English "pearls of wisdom."

of great price,  - (WF) The adjective translated as "of great price" primarily means "much revered" from a word translated mostly as "honored" in the Gospels. "Jesus only uses this word here. As you can see, that idea creates a double meaning "valuable pearls" and "revered wisdom." The root word means "honor" and "esteem." The prefix means "many" or "much."  It sense of "price" is tangential to the idea of "value."

went -- (WF) The Greek verb translated as  "went" means "to go away," "to depart from", "to spread abroad," and "to depart from life."  It is a participle, "departing." The tense is the normal tense of a story, that of something happening as a specific time past, present or future

and -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "and" in the Greek source. It was added because the following verb is translated as active  rather than a participle.

sold  - (WF) Interestingly, the verb for "sold" here is different than the "sell" in Matthew 13:44 . Here, the word means "to sell" or "to export," but it is specifically used to mean selling into slavery and selling for a political bribe, and is a metaphor for being betrayed or ruined. In English, the idea of "selling out" comes close to this idea. The form here is an infinitive, connecting to the "departing to sell out,"

all  - The word translated as "all" is one word meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas. As an adverb, it means "in every way", "on every side," and "altogether."

that  - (WW) The word translated as "that" means "as great as", ""as much as," and similar ideas of comparison.

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

had,  - The word translated as "had" means "to possess" or "to keep."

and  - -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

bought -- "Bought" is a verb that Jesus only uses eight times that means "to occupy a marketplace", "to buy in the market," and "to buy for oneself." Jesus always seems to use it in the sense of "buy for oneself."

it. -  - -- The word translated as "it" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

KJV Translation Issues: 

9
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "who" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "when" should be "however."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "had" indicates the past perfect tense, but that is not the tense here.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "found" is not an active verb but a participle, "finding."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "of great price" is not a noun but a adjective, "much honored."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "went" is not an active verb but a participle, "departing."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "sold" is not an active verb but an infinitive "to sell"
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "that" should be "as good as."

NIV Analysis: 

When -- (WW) The word "when" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

found  - (WF) The term used for " found" is from the source of our word, "heuristic," meaning enabling a person to find out something for themselves. It means "find out" and "discover." It is a participle, "finding." The tense is the normal tense of a story, that of something happening as a specific time past, present or future.

one  - -- The Greek word translated as "one " means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same."As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

untranslated "pearl"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "pearl" is a metaphor in Greek for "wisdom" as we would say in English "pearls of wisdom."

of great value,  - (WF) The adjective translated as "of great price" primarily means "much revered" from a word translated mostly as "honored" in the Gospels. "Jesus only uses this word here. As you can see, that idea creates a double meaning "valuable pearls" and "revered wisdom." The root word means "honor" and "esteem." The prefix means "many" or "much."  It sense of "price" is tangential to the idea of "value."

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

went -- (WF) The Greek verb translated as  "went" means "to go away," "to depart from", "to spread abroad," and "to depart from life."  It is a participle, "departing." The tense is the normal tense of a story, that of something happening as a specific time past, present or future.

away  - -- This is from the prefix of the previous verb that means "away from."

and -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "and" in the Greek source. It was added because the following verb is translated as active  rather than a participle.

sold  - (WF) Interestingly, the verb for "sold" here is different than the "sell" in Matthew 13:44 . Here, the word means "to sell" or "to export," but it is specifically used to mean selling into slavery and selling for a political bribe, and is a metaphor for being betrayed or ruined. In English, the idea of "selling out" comes close to this idea. The form here is an infinitive, connecting to the "departing to sell out,"

everything - The word translated as "everything " is one word meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas. As an adverb, it means "in every way", "on every side," and "altogether."

untranslated "as much as"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "as much as" means "as great as", ""as much as," and similar ideas of comparison.

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

had,  - The word translated as "had" means "to possess" or "to keep."

and  - -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

bought -- "Bought" is a verb that Jesus only uses eight times that means "to occupy a marketplace", "to buy in the market," and "to buy for oneself." Jesus always seems to use it in the sense of "buy for oneself."

it. -  - -- The word translated as "it" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

NIV Translation Issues: 

10
  •  
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "when" should be "however."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "found" is not an active verb but a participle, "finding."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "pearl" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "of great value" is not a noun but a adjective, "much honored."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "went" is not an active verb but a participle, "departing."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "sold" is not an active verb but an infinitive "to sell"
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "as much as" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "that" should be "as good as."

The Spoken Version: 

“Discovering, however, one,” the Master said, emphasizing the word by holding up a single finger, “much valued pearl.”
 “The one, best wisdom,” guessed Johnny Boy, “the highest, the wisdom of the skies!”
The Master nodded.
“What did he do?” asked Flat Nose.
“Departing to sell out ...” continued the Master, pausing.
His students noticed the different meaning of this word for “sell.”
“Selling out and betraying what?” asked Flat Nose.
“As much as he had,” the Master answered.
“So it isn’t the money but leaving his old life,” noted Brother James.
“As we all have,” added Flat Nose.
“For the greatest pearl of wisdom,” added Lover Bo
“He purchased it for himself,” agreed the Master cheerfully.

Front Page Date: 

Jan 1 2021