The Parable of the Hid Treasure
(The Matthew Mysteries)
By Gary T. Whipple
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
In expounding upon this parable and the next one, we must caution the reader to beware of the modern day interpretations. The false, but popular, interpretations by modern day theologians are a product of the corruption of the three measures of meal (three-fold doctrine of salvation) by the leaven (false doctrine). It is amazing how much leaven has crept into the teaching of Scripture, causing relentless violence to sound exegesis. Even those who call themselves “conservative” have, in many cases, fallen victim to this puffed-up doctrine of Satan. Before we expound upon the interpretation, let us focus on God’s Word to expose these erroneous teachings for what they really are.
The popular view interprets this parable (the hid treasure) and the next (the pearl of great price) to mean that salvation is found when the buyer of the field finds the treasure and the merchant finds the pearl. It fallaciously teaches that both parables are figures of a sinner finding salvation. The only difference is that the man in the field “accidentally” finds it, while the merchant “seeks” to find it. As plausible as this sounds, this false interpretation, if believed, will actually destroy the truth of the plan of salvation. Consider these six points: (1) Man never seeks salvation (Romans 3:11), God seeks man (John 15:16). (2) Man does not find the Lord, since the Lord is not lost; the Lord finds the lost man (Luke 15:4). (3) Salvation is not hid in the world, but is separate from the world. (4) When one is saved he does not hide his salvation in the world, but lets it shine that the world may see it. (5) A man cannot purchase salvation for it is a free gift; and he cannot sell all that he has to purchase it, for he has nothing to sell. (6) He cannot purchase the field to obtain salvation, for the field is the world (Matthew 13:38).
Introduction to the Parable’s True Meaning
The “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” is an expression used by our Lord at the beginning of these seven parables to identify two different kinds of saints who will inherit the kingdom of heaven. They are: (1) certain Old Testament saints, who were called out of the saved of Israel, and (2) the bride of Christ, who will be called out of the body of Christ at the judgment. In the parable of the “treasure,” Jesus unveils the mystery of the Old Testament saints.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
There is no problem in discovering the principles of the fifth parable. The “field” is an emblem of the world (already interpreted in the parable of the wheat and the tares). The “man” is Christ and the “treasure” represents all the Old Testament saints of Israel (the national seed of Abraham), including the remnant who will be saved at Christ’s second coming.
Jesus further identifies the “treasure” in Matthew 13:52, when He says: “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a man who brings out of his treasure things new and old.” Our Lord calls the treasure a repository from which the man (Jesus) takes things “new” and “old.” In light of this truth, the treasure represents all the saved members of Israel. The things “old” represent the peculiar treasure taken out of saved Israel; i.e., those of Israel who will gain a portion of the spiritual kingdom of heaven. The things “new” represent the church [i.e., the bride of Christ], the New Testament saints also taken out of the treasure, who will gain the highest privilege in the spiritual kingdom of heaven. We recognize this because both groups come out of the treasure, both are of the seed of Abraham (Romans 4:11, 12; Galatians 3:29), and the Church has the apostles (Israelites) as its foundation.
The Treasure versus the Peculiar Treasure
The identities of the treasure (Jacob) and the things “old” (Israel), coming out of the treasure, are clearly seen in Psalm 135:4 — “For the LORD has chosen Jacob [the treasure] for Himself, Israel for His special treasure.” “Jacob” represents Jacob’s life being lived through his “old sin nature,” for its meaning is “supplanter.” This is further established when we see that Jacob was called “Jacob” by God for twenty-one years after he was saved at Bethel (Genesis 28:12-22) and before he was renamed “Israel.” This was apparently due to Jacob allowing his old nature to rule over his life for this period of time.
It was at Bethel that he dreamed of the ladder to heaven (a type of Christ) with the angels of God ascending and descending upon it (Genesis 28:12; John 1:51). Jacob awoke out of his sleep that night believing what God had told him in his dream. As a result of his faith, hew was saved by grace and became the treasure of Israel (Genesis 28:16, 17). God had told him in his dream that He would give to him and his seed (plural) the land where he slept that night. This spoke of the physical portion of the coming millennial kingdom (Genesis 28:13b-14a). He had told him that his Seed (singular) would be a blessing to all the families of the earth. This spoke of the Promised Seed of Abraham (Christ) who would come through the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Galatians 3:16). Therefore, “Jacob,” as God uses it in the above verse, represents the national seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who, by grace, were saved by believing in the coming Promised Seed (Christ) and God’s promises of the millennial land. It speaks of salvation only and corresponds to the “carnal Christian” of 1 Corinthians 3:1-3. “Jacob” denotes his spiritual posterity in only the physical portion of the kingdom — the millennial land.
It was about twenty-one years after Jacob was saved, became the treasure of Israel, and forgot his vows to God (Genesis 28:20-22) that his name was changed to “Israel,” which represented his new nature. This name was given to him by God after he had wrestled with the Lord and was blessed by Him (Genesis 32:31). From that time on, Jacob walked with a limp as a sign from God that his walk (life) had been changed (Genesis 32:25). He returned to God and committed himself to obey Him and make Him first in his life. Therefore, “Israel,” as used by God in the above verse, represents the peculiar treasure of the house of Jacob, those who were not only saved, but obeyed God’s voice and kept His commandments. It speaks of the salvation of the soul and corresponds to the “spiritual Christian” of 1 Corinthians 2:15, 16. Its meaning is “he will rule as God,” or the “prince of God,” and it denotes his spiritual posterity in the spiritual portion of the kingdom.
God further revealed this division of Israel coming out of Jacob in Exodus 19:5, “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special [peculiar] treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.” At this time, after their exodus from Egypt, the children of Israel were already God’s treasure, through the Abrahamic covenant; but according to this verse, at the beginning of the Mosaic covenant, they also had the right to become His peculiar treasure. The expression peculiar treasure was first used by our Lord to identify the new nature of Jacob (Israel) four hundred years before; now, it was used to identify those of the children of Israel who would inherit the spiritual portion of the kingdom under the Mosaic covenant. God used this expression to distinguish between the Jews who were merely children of Jacob (saved only, with rights to enter the earthly portion of the kingdom) and the Jews who were the children of Israel (saved with an inheritance into the spiritual portion of the kingdom) — compare Psalm 78:5, 71. One was the treasure; the other, the peculiar treasure.
We learn from Exodus 19:5 and Psalm 135:4 that “Jacob” (all believing Israelites) was chosen by God to be saved, under the Abrahamic covenant of grace, into the physical portion of the kingdom (later known as the kingdom covenanted to David). On the other hand, “Israel” (believing Israelites who further heard God’s voice, obeyed and kept His commandments) was chosen out of Jacob, under the Mosaic covenant, to be saved into the spiritual portion of the kingdom (later known as the kingdom of heaven). Hence, Jacob is the treasure; Israel is the peculiar treasure. This corresponds to the Christians of the Church dispensation. Some have only been saved by grace (salvation of the spirit), while others are being saved into the kingdom by obeying and keeping the commandments of Christ (salvation of the soul). The first group is known biblically as the body of Christ; the second is the bride of Christ.
Under the Abrahamic Covenant
As difficult as it is for the Christian’s mind to understand the salvation of the Old Testament saints, we must let Scripture speak for itself. Under the “Abrahamic covenant,” God saved Abraham and his national seed by grace through faith; faith in the promise of God concerning the coming Seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:16), and His promise of the millennial land. The covenant of grace was not conditional on any works of Abraham or his seed — only on their faith in God’s Word (Romans 4:1-5). Once they were saved, they could not lose their salvation, though they could become apostates (fall away from God). There were those who did not believe God concerning these promises, and they died in their sins as lost men. The report of the “rich man and Lazarus,” in Luke 16, is one example.
Under the Mosaic Covenant
Under the “Mosaic covenant,” God elected into the spiritual portion of the coming kingdom all the believers (those under the Abrahamic covenant) who obeyed His voice and kept His commandments. The Old Testament believers who did not continue to obey His voice and keep His commandments became apostates and lost the privilege of entering the spiritual portion of the kingdom. Since the Mosaic covenant (unlike Abraham’s covenant of grace) was a covenant of works, it was a conditional covenant. In Exodus 19:5, God placed conditions upon the children of Israel that they must keep to enter the spiritual portion of the kingdom.
The reader might assume that God was speaking of salvation here (same as the Christian’s salvation of the spirit); but that would be in error, since all of Israel was already saved when He gave them conditional promises under the Mosaic covenant. Consider this: By faith Israel had applied the blood of the Passover lamb (a type of Christ) in Egypt and was saved from the death angel (a type of salvation); by faith, they crossed the Red Sea on dry ground (Hebrews 11:29); they were under the cloud and passed through the sea and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea (1 Corinthians 10:1-4). How, then, can one mistake the Mosaic covenant for a covenant of salvation? No, it was a covenant of works to produce obedience to God’s voice and to keep His commandments — not for salvation, but for the inheritance in the spiritual portion of the kingdom.
The Overcomers of Israel
The peculiar treasure represents the overcomers of Israel, who were invited to inherit their portion of the spiritual kingdom of Christ. In later chapters, we will learn that a part of this assigned portion was to be that of the “wedding guests” (Jewish wedding guests) at the heavenly marriage feast of the Lamb, when the overcomers of the Church period become the bride of Christ. They had the opportunity to reign over Gentile cities of the earth from this spiritual portion of the kingdom. But, sadly, the unbelieving generation of Jesus’ day lost that opportunity. It was given, instead to a chosen group of believers out of the Church period (Matthew 22:2-14). In Matthew 21:43, it is recorded that Jesus Himself took the portion of the kingdom away from Israel and gave it to the Church. He said: “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.”
Jesus’ indictment of national Israel of that day did not preclude earlier individual saints of the Old Testament period from attaining to the spiritual kingdom. Scripture tells us that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will sit down in the kingdom (Matthew 8:11; Luke 13:28). It is suggested by the Scripture that the Old Testament prophets will be the “friends of the bridegroom” during the heavenly marriage of the Lamb. John the Baptist was the last of these prophets (John 3:29).
We see evidence in the book of Daniel that some Israelites of the Old Testament have attained the spiritual portion of the kingdom. “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:2, 3). In these verses, Daniel is not describing the resurrection of the Church, as some have suggested. According to its context, he is describing the resurrection of three classes of Jews: (1) those who were saved by believing the promises of God through the Abrahamic covenant and will have everlasting life (the Jacobs); (2) those who failed to believe and will go to shame and everlasting contempt in hell; and (3) those who are the wise (the Israels), who are taken out of those who are only saved. The wise, in this verse, will have attained to this higher position by turning many to righteousness; i.e., to right living because of the hope of the spiritual kingdom of heaven. Like the Church, they will shine as the brightness of the firmament and as the stars for ever and ever. The Jews who are only the saved (the Jacobs) will be raised into redeemed soulical bodies (like Adam’s body before he sinned) and will be assigned the earthly portion of the kingdom.
Apparently, some of the wise of Israel are the heroes of faith listed in Hebrews 11. They are identified in Hebrews 12:23b as the “spirits of just men made perfect.” However, according to Hebrews 11:40, they are not yet perfect (have not yet received their spiritual bodies) and cannot be until the resurrection of the Church. Their souls are presently in heaven, along with the general assembly of the Church and the names of the “church of the firstborn” (Hebrews 12:22, 23).
The “church of the firstborn” identifies the wise of the Church period, who, like the wise of Israel, will have turned many to righteousness. They, however, will be called out of the general assembly of the Church as the bride of Christ and, like the peculiar treasure of Israel, will have bodies that will shine as the stars in glory (compare 1 Corinthians 13:40, 41; Matthew 13:43).
We are given another glimpse of the peculiar treasure in Malachi 3:16, 17, when God calls them His “jewels.” They are the ones chosen out of Jacob; those who feared God, obeyed Him, kept His commandments and exhorted others to do so (verse 16). These verses tell us that God recorded their names in a book of remembrance so that in “that day” (after the church of the firstborn has received their reward), they may make up His jewels (Hebrew: special or peculiar treasure).
Summarily, the peculiar treasure (the Israels) represents the saved individual Israelites of the Old Testament who will inherit a heavenly portion of the kingdom. Apparently, they are the “wise” of the Old Testament, mentioned by Daniel, who will shine as the brightness of the firmament; they are also the “jewels” of Malachi. The hidden treasure (Matthew 13:44) of Israel (the Jacobs) represents the individual Israelites of the Old Testament period who were saved, but will have no reward (corresponding to the general assembly of the Church). They will be raised at the close of the tribulation period and will enter the earthly portion of the kingdom along with the remnant of Israel who will be saved at Christ’s coming (Ezekiel 37:1-13).
The earthly portion of the kingdom, the land that God promised to Abraham, is part of the Abrahamic covenant of grace and will be given as a possession to all believing Israelites forever. This portion of the kingdom could not be attained to by works, through the Mosaic covenant; but only by grace, through the Abrahamic covenant. It corresponds to heaven for the believers of the Church period, since like heaven, it will last forever. It will exist, first, under the Davidic covenant for one thousand years on this present earth, and then forever on the new earth (Luke 1:33a; 1 Chronicles 16:15-17).
The Purpose of the Mosaic Law
The Mosaic Law, which included the moral law (Exodus 20:1-20, 26), the civil law (Exodus 21:1-23:35) and the ceremonial law (Exodus 30:1-38), was given by God to the Israelites, not for their salvation, but because of their transgressions (sin). It was to serve as a schoolmaster to point them to Christ that they might be justified by faith (Galatians 3:19-24). Hence, the responsibility of the succeeding generations of Israelites, who lived from the time of the giving of the Mosaic Law down to the time of Christ, was to repent of their sins, turn from the traditions of their fathers, and believe on the coming Promised Seed of Abraham, Christ (Galatians 3:16). Those who did this had their sins “covered,” though they could not be “paid for in full” until Christ had come and died for them (Hebrews 10:1-14). Therefore, the Israelites who believed and died in past centuries waited for this coming event with great excitement in the paradise section of sheol (John 8:56); waited for Jesus to come and “pay” for their sins on the cross and to, then, move them into the paradise of the third heaven (Ephesians 4:8-10).
The Israelites who had believed in God’s promises to Abraham also had the opportunity to enter the coming spiritual kingdom for reward as members of His peculiar treasure (Exodus 19:5). All they needed to do was to obey the voice of God and keep His covenant; a conditional covenant of works based on the law of Moses, which pointed, through typology, to the coming Christ as their sin bearer.
The Traditions of Men
In light of this, one may ask, “How cold these people have fallen away from God?” After all, they had been privileged to hear the voice of God proclaiming the law to them (Deuteronomy 4:11-13; 5:2-4). They were privileged to read the written words of the law, which God had given to Moses, containing, among other things, the Ten Commandments and the ceremonial laws of sacrifices and feast days; all filled with meaning through types and symbols. Every Hebrew sacrifice that was burned on the brazen altar of their tabernacle was an object lesson (type), pointing to Christ’s coming and dying on the cross for their sins. But as time went on, the Israelite believers began to fall away from the commandments of God’s Word. They began to corrupt the Mosaic Law and to set aside the Abrahamic covenant of grace through their own invention called the “traditions of the fathers”; a tradition of “oral law” that had evolved over the centuries and they had come to believe in for eternal life. As a result of this corruption of God’s Word, an untold number of Jews died in their sins.
By the Jews following this unwritten law, known as the Cabala, the Lord Himself tells us they “transgressed and made void the commandment of God.” Nevertheless, in order to create credence for these inventions, the Jews taught that Moses himself had received this tradition law from Sinai, and delivered it to Joshua, Joshua to the elders, the elders to the prophets, and the prophets to Ezra’s great synagogue. Afterwards, it was transmitted orally through the centuries from the elders to the prophet, etc. The Roman Church, learning from the conduct of the Jews, later did the same thing by instituting its apostolic succession and tradition (inventions of doctrine that made void the Word of God) from pope to pope. The traditional law of the Jews, however, “was not in written form until several centuries after the New Testament times. It existed during this period in the form of ‘oral tradition,’ committed to memory verbatim in the rabbinical schools. The oral law, or the elaboration of the Torah, was organized into a systematic arrangement by Rabbi Juda about A.D. 200, but none of it was reduced to writing until later” (H.E. Dana, The New Testament World, p. 65, Broadman Press, Nashville, Tennessee, 1937).
This oral tradition began with Ezra’s great stress on observing the law after the Jews had come out of captivity. He had the post-exile Jews to begin studying it diligently and in depth to get the greatest possible knowledge of it. From this arose a class of people in Judaism known as the scribes, or rabbis, from which, later came the Pharisees. They not only gave themselves over to the study of the law, but also to the defending of the “traditions of Israel.” Thus, by combining their oral traditions with the law, they devised more detailed regulations for personal conduct. These traditions and regulations were transferred down through the years in oral form and were regarded as authoritative. Later generations came to conceive this tradition as a “hedge about the law,” and it filled volumes of Hebrew books. It extended to the most trivial matters and became preposterous, unbearable and rigid. Jesus referred to this when He rebuked the Pharisees as those who “bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders” (Matthew 23:4). The apostle Paul also referred to this tradition when he described his own zealous attitude for it before he was saved: “And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers” (Galatians 1:14). Additionally, the apostle Peter reminded the early Jewish church in his first epistle that they “were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers” (1 Peter 1:18).
Before the Jews were led captive into Babylon in 606 B.C., they were all for idolatry; but after their return from captivity, having learned their lesson not to worship other gods, they abhorred idolatry; instead, they were all for traditions: “they changed naught for naught, or rather naught for worse. For, indeed, their traditions, one may justly say, were more destructive than their history” (G.H. Pember, The Church, the Churches, and the Mysteries, p. 475, Schoettle Publishing Co., Miami Springs, Florida, 1984).
Consequently, those following the traditions of the Jews when Jesus appeared did not believe the promises of the Abrahamic covenant and, as a result, rejected Jesus, crucified Him and, afterwards, died in their sins. They thought by “searching the Scriptures” (through their own invented oral law) and keeping the Mosaic Law (according to the oral law) that they would have eternal life. Jesus Himself even said to them, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39).
Heaven on the New Earth
As bizarre as this may sound to some, Scripture reveals that God will ultimately have an earthly people who will live forever on the new earth, which He will create (Revelation 21:1-5). They will be composed of the nations, with Israel as their head, living in natural, or redeemed, bodies (like Adam’s body before he sinned), without the possibility of dying. This is what the writer terms God’s “Adam plan”; for if Adam had not sinned, he would still be alive today, along with all of humanity. Apparently, God will return to that “Adam plan” after all things are reconciled to Christ at the great white throne of judgment and He destroys all enemies, including death and hell, by casting them into the lake of fire (1Corinthians 15:24-28; Revelation 20:14). Hence, the “Adam plan” includes: (1) those of Israel who will be raised at the beginning of the millennium (Ezekiel 37:7-12) and will live in the promised land in their resurrected and redeemed bodies; (2) those of the remnant of Israel who will be saved at His coming; (3) the Gentile nations saved during the tribulation period under the preaching of the “gospel of the kingdom” by the 144,000 Jewish evangelists (Revelation 7:4-8; Matthew 24:14); and (4) all those saved during the millennium, both Jew and Gentile.
According to Scripture, the rule of Christ, after His millennial reign, will continue throughout the ages for ever and ever and will be known as the “kingdom of God,” or the “kingdom of the Father” (1 Corinthians 15:24). The eternal kingdom will begin when the new heavens and new earth are brought into existence. However, before God destroys this present earth at the close of the millennial kingdom (2 Peter 3:12, 13), He apparently will remove all living saints from the earth; for we see, in Revelation 21:1-5, the holy city descending out of heaven onto the new earth where people with flesh and blood bodies will be living who can no longer die (Revelation 21:4). How is God going to remove all the saved people from the earth before He destroys it? He has not told us how, but we assume He will rapture them, change their bodies into redeemed bodies (bodies like Adam’s before he sinned) at the close of the millennium and, after the new heaven and the new earth are established, “unrapture” them (to coin a word) back to the earth. Is this process un-biblical? I think not; for Elijah was raptured into heaven and will be placed back upon the earth (unraptured) during the great tribulation period to be killed as one of God’s two witnesses.
The final heaven will be upon the new earth in the midst of new heavens (probably only that portion of the heavens that Satan had control over). God’s earthly people will be living on the new earth in redeemed, flesh and blood bodies (like Adam’s before he sinned). Apparently, they will procreate as Adam was told to do before he sinned. They will not die, since death and hell will have been destroyed; and the tempter, Satan, will have been cast into the lake of fire forever.
Also upon the new earth will be God’s spiritual people, dwelling with Christ in the holy city. These will be all the saved from the Church Age, including those called out of the saved; i.e., the chosen and the bride of Christ, who will have rulership over the earth and the universe as co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17b). In addition, the peculiar treasure, or the jewels of God, will apparently be living in the holy city in their spiritual bodies. These may be the saints who were raised from the dead immediately after Christ’s resurrection (Matthew 27:52, 53). They, too, will probably have rights to live in the city, since the names of their tribes are written over its twelve gates (Revelation 21:12). Finally, all the saved, i.e., all whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 21:27), will have the right to enter the city, though they probably will not be permitted to live there.
In summary to this section, there will be two kinds of people in the final heaven. Those who have earthly bodies (the treasure and the saved nations) and those who have spiritual bodies (the saved saints from the Church Age and the peculiar treasure).
Finally, the calling out by God of the peculiar treasure from the treasure corresponds perfectly to the saved of the Church period, when, at the judgment seat of Christ, He will call out the bride of Christ from the body of Christ to be co-heirs with Him (Romans 8:17b).
Back to the Parable
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man has found, he hides, and for joy thereof goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44). Let us expound on our parable point by point. First, the treasure was hid. This has reference to Israel’s national history beginning in Egypt. It was there that they were slaves among the brick-kilns, hidden in the world literally and typically, for Egypt is a type of the world. Later, the ten northern tribes of Israel were so hidden in the world by God through their Assyrian captivity that they are still hidden today, and are referred to as the “ten lost tribes of Israel.”
The second point is that Christ found this treasure (the national seed of Abraham) when He came to fulfill His earthly ministry. In the found, the meaning is extended to all the tribes of Israel, including the ten lost tribes, through their representatives, the Jews (Judah). If all the Jews had repented at the preaching of John the Baptist or of Christ, and had turned to Him as their King (the Promised Seed of Abraham), the remaining ten tribes would have been made part of the earthly portion of the kingdom, and the kingdom would have been established at Christ’s first coming. God, however, had other plans that required the setting aside of the kingdom to include the Church, which is not seen in the Old Testament. Hence, the union of both houses of Israel will not occur until Christ comes again. This truth is established in the prophetic scriptures of Ezekiel 37:15-28, where the Lord promises through the sign of the two sticks that all twelve tribes will be brought back together to dwell in their land in the coming kingdom.
Third, our text tells us, “. . . when a man hath found, he hides . . . .” These words do not mean that when Christ came the first time, He found the treasure (the national seed of Abraham), and then hid it back in the world; for to do so, He would have had to hide it again before His crucifixion. Even if He did so, it cannot be said that the Jews were hidden. For the population of the earth has always known where they were, and have persecuted them from the day they were scattered. There exists in these last days a nation of Jews that everyone can see. They are certainly not hidden. No, Christ did not hide them again; He hid Himself! The writer believes that the word “hides” in this verse refers to the man, not the treasure; after He found the treasure, He hides Himself.
The prophet Isaiah made reference to this in Isaiah 8:14-17, when he wrote: “He will be as a sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, as a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble; they shall fall and be broken, be snared and taken. Bind up the testimony; seal the law among my disciples. And I will wait on the LORD, Who hides His face from the house of Jacob; and I will hope in Him. ”
Notice, in verse 17 that the Lord prophesied that He would hide His face from all twelve tribes because of their rejection of Him. In verse 14, He spells out that rejection in terms of the crucifixion by using the expression “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” The Lord clearly chose these terms to show that the crucifixion would be offensive to the Jews and a stone that they would stumble over, since, nationally (through their religion of Judaism), they cannot accept that their Messiah came and was crucified by them (Romans 9:33; 11:7-12; 1 Peter 2:8). Furthermore, the word “hides” could have reference to Jesus purposely hiding Himself from Israel while in His earthly ministry so that only the Israelites who repented to God would have their eyes opened to His person.
Fourth, our text tells us, “. . . he hides, and for joy thereof goes and sells all that he has . . . .” Here, our text teaches that our Lord, through His sovereignty, looked forward to that day when He would claim His treasure; therefore, with joy, He sold all that He had on the cross of Calvary to purchase the object of His joy. Notice that the “hiding” came before the crucifixion, for He first hides and then goes and sells all that He has. This, in the writer’s opinion, proves that “hides” does not refer to the scattering of the Jews throughout the world in A.D. 70, as this occurred after the crucifixion.
Fifth, our text tells us, he “. . . sells all that he has and buys that field.” The buying of the field does not refer to just the salvation of the Jews, but to all creation; because creation fell with man when he first sinned, and is now awaiting its redemption at the coming of the Lord when He will renew all things (Romans 8:22-33). It was at the cross that Jesus sold all that He had, even Himself, to purchase the world and the treasure in the world. Though the world and the treasure in it are His, He has not yet claimed legal title to it. However, one day in heaven, He will break the seven seals on the title deed to the world, which only He is worthy to open (Revelation5). He will come forth for the second time, will cast out Satan, and will take possession of and redeem what is rightfully His. Notice that the treasure is in the world when He comes the second time. There is no mention of His saving the treasure out of the world as He will the Church, but of leaving the treasure where it is and buying the world (the field). Though the peculiar treasure (those who will inherit a spiritual portion of the kingdom) comes out of the treasure, this portion of the parable teaches that the treasure (Jacob) is God’s earthly people, who will inhabit the earthly portion of the kingdom at Christ’s return.
This parable has enabled us to see three divisions of the Jews: first, the unsaved, who, through many generations, came to trust in the “traditions of their fathers” (their own invented oral law) instead of the promises of God through Abraham; second, those represented by the term Jacob (the treasure), who, by believing in the promises of God, i.e., the coming Seed of Abraham (Christ), under the Abrahamic covenant, were saved out of the unsaved Jews and into the coming earthly portion of the kingdom (later their heaven). The apostle Paul said, “. . . they are not all Israel who are of Israel” (Romans 9:6b). The third division is the Jews represented by the term Israel (the peculiar treasure), who are saved out of Jacob into the coming spiritual kingdom of heaven by obeying God and keeping His commandments under the Mosaic covenant.