BURYING AND DISCOVERING VALUABLES
Through its entire history, Israel has been a land where its inhabitants have often buried treasure in its ground. Foreign foes have many times swept through the land to plunder. In more recent years robber bands from the desert have many times rushed in to rob the inhabitants. A feeling of insecurity has caused the people of the country to seek a place to hide away valuable
possessions. Therefore, many times have valuable possessions been buried in secret places.
This was often done by men before leaving for battle, or before going on a long journey. If they returned safely they would be able to reclaim their buried treasure. But if they died in battle, or for any other reason failed to return, the place where the valuables were hidden would remain a lost secret. Because of this situation, there always has been a looking for hidden treasure by certain people all over the Holy Land.
The Bible contains numerous references to this pursuit. Thus it was that in the days of Job it was said: "The bitter in soul . . . long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures" (Job 3:20, 21).
One of Solomon's proverbs uses the comparison of seeking for hidden treasure: "Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures, then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God" (Proverbs 2:35).
The most famous reference to this custom is the parable JESUS told: "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" (Matthew 13:44). The important consideration in this story is that hidden treasure that is discovered belongs to the man who owns the property where it is found.
Hence the man in the parable sold all he possessed that he might be able to buy the field where the treasure was found, and thereby become owner of the treasure he had discovered.
[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
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