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

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

So, having discovered a single much honored pearl [of wisdom], having departed, he has sold out as much as he possessed and purchased it [for himself]/

KJV : 

Mat 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: 

There are a lot of undercurrents in this verse of not only selling your early possessions but giving up life and even honor.

The beginning of this verse is different in the KJV Greek source than in the better Greek sources we use today. The word for "who" does not appear, but the word that means "but ""so," or "however," does appear.

The term used for "when he had 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 past participle in the form, "having found."

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

The word translated as "great price" primarily means "much revered" from a word translated mostly as "honored" in the Gospels. As you can see, that idea creates a double meaning "costly pearls" and "revered wisdom."

There is no conjunction here, in either Greek source. It is added by the KJV translators.

"Went" is from a verb that means "to depart from," and "to spread abroad," but it is in the form of a past participle, "having departed." This word also has the sense of "departing" from life as it does in English.

Interestingly, the verb for "sold" here is different than the "sell" in Mat 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 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."

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

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


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." 

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 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 "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 (adj sg masc acc) "Great price" is from polutimos, which means "much revered" and "highly priced."

μαργαρίτην (noun sg masc acc) "Pearl" is from 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 (verb 3rd sg perf ind act) "And Sold" is from ispipraskô, 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 "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 "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 (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."