Parable #17. Valuable Pearl (Kingdom of Heaven):
- Today is Day #17
- The Seventeenth Mashal of Messiah
- Eight Observations
- Interpretation of the Valuable Pearl
Today is Day #17:
1. Today is “Day #17” in the forty-nine day Countdown to Shavuot.
2. Today is seventeen days which are two weeks and three days of the Omer.
.היום שבעה עשר יום, שהם שני שבועות ושלושה ימים בעומר
Haiyom shiv’ah asar yom, sheaym shnay shavuot ushloshah yamim ba’omer.
“You shall count for yourselves — from the day after the Shabbat, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving — seven Shabbats, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh sabbath you shall count, fifty days.” (Leviticus). “You shall count for yourselves seven weeks, from when the sickle is first put to the standing crop shall you begin counting seven weeks. Then you will observe the Festival of Shavu’ot for Adonai Eloheinu.” (Deuteronomy).
“Blessed are You, Adonai Eloheinu, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning the counting of the Omer.”
ברוך אתה, אדוני אלוהינו, מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצוותיו וצוונו על ספירת העומר.פ
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sefirat ha’omer.
The Seventeenth Mashal of Messiah:
עוֹד דּוֹמָה מַלְכוּת הַשָׁמָיִם לְאִישׁ סֹחֵר הַמְבַקֵּשׁ מַרְגָּלִיּוֹת טֹבוֹת׃ וְכַאֲשֶׁר מָצָא מַרְגָּלִית אַחַת יְקָרָה מְאֹד הָלַךְ וַיִּמְכֹּר אֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ וַיִּקֶן אֹתָהּ׃
“Again, the kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a trader seeking good (fine) pearls. When he found a very precious pearl (of great value), he went and sold everything that he had and bought it.”
Observation #1. The Tanakh reveal in clear terms the future earthly reign of Messiah when He comes as King to sit upon the throne of David and reign over Israel and all the nations of the earth (the future Kingdom of Adonai).
Observation #2. The meshalim (מְשָׁלִים-parables) of the Kingdom (reign) of heaven (מַלְכוּת הַשָׁמָיִם), however, introduce a different form and type of present Kingdom rule than the future rule of the Kingdom of Adonai.
At the present time the Messiah-King only reigns in a very limited form and type. Faith in the Messiah (hearing, understanding and obeying Him) is not yet mandatory. For now it is voluntary. At the present time the Kingdom of heaven is growing as people hear and believe in the Messiah’s Message—His Besorah of the Grace of Adonai. This growth is quite significant. However, this present rule and influence of the Messiah is very small (a mustard seed) in comparison to the absolute power and authority that the Messiah will be exercising in the coming Kingdom of Adonai.
When the Messiah returns to earth (a second time) all who choose to not hear, understand, and obey Him will (unlike today) be judged very harshly. In the Kingdom of Adonai adherence and obedience to the righteous teachings and lawful rule of the Lion of Judah (האריה משבט יהודה-Ha-Aryei Mishevet Yehudah) will be compulsory. Rebellion and disobedience to the rule of Adonai will no longer be tolerated.
Observation #3. The mysteries of the kingdom are the the sodit of G-d (סוֹדוֹת אֱלֹהִים). These are the hidden meanings in the Tanakh that are only revealed by Divine inspiration. In Jewish exegesis (PaRDeS) the revelation of the sodit of G-d is the deepest and most profound level of understanding that can find while meditating on the D’var HaShem (the Word of Adonai).
Observation #4. In messianic Judaism the revelation of the sodit (סוֹדוֹת) of the Kingdom of heaven (מַלְכוּת הַשָּׁמַיִם) is restricted to the period of time that occurs between the first and second advents of the Messiah. During this period of time the Kingdom of heaven has come to earth but its overall global influence has been seriously limited by at least ninety-percent of the world population refusing to accept the rule of G-d on earth. This revelatory period of time does not include the mysteries that will be revealed in the future.
The mysteries that will be revealed immediately following the second coming of the Anointed One, when He actually physically establishes the rule of G-d over all the nations and the peoples of earth, is associated with a different era of time that is called the Kingdom of Adonai (מַלְכוּת הָאֱלֹהִים). It is during this latter period of time that the knowledge, and the power and the glory of Adonai will reach its zenith (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12).
If mere profession of faith was all that was required then there would be over 2 billion followers of the Messiah today. However, the truth be told faith must be exercised from the heart and not just from the mouth. This fact alone makes me believe that at least two-thirds of these professed followers are followers in name only. This means that today the real number of true followers of Messiah (Jew and Gentile) probably does not amount to much more than 500 million people. Still this number of voluntary followers is considerably larger than the 3,000 Jews who were the first to exercise true faith in the Messiah and receive the gift of the Indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit during an observance of Shavuot almost 2,000 years ago (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14).
Observation #5. The mysteries (סודות-sodit, literally secrets; hidden things), therefore, refer to those Scriptural truths that are hidden in the depths of the Scriptures. Some of these truths are referred to as being under the land. These mysteries are directly related to Israel. Other of these truths are depicted as existing under the sea, These mysteries are directly related to the Gentiles. In messianic exegetical (Jewish) thought there are four levels of revelation that exist in the Divinely inspired Hebrew texts (the Tanakh and the Brit HaChadashah). These are:
Level #1. Peshat (פְּשָׁט) — “surface” (“straight”) or the literal (direct) meaning.
Level #2. Remez (רֶמֶז) — “hints” or the deep (allegoric: hidden or symbolic) meaning beyond just the literal sense.
Level #3. Derash (דְּרַשׁ) — from Hebrew darash: “inquire” (“seek”) — the comparative (midrashic) meaning, as given through similar occurrences.
Level #4. Sod (סוֹד) — “secret” (“mystery”) or the esoteric/mystical meaning, as given only through Divinely inspired revelation.
As already stated, the deepest and most profound level of understanding in the Scriptures is called the ‘sod’ (the fourth level). In some cases the sod, literally ‘hidden mystery’ of the Hebrew text, is so wondrous that its contents may not be revealed by the Holy One for a number of generations or even ages to come. Therefore, a mystery (secret) might not be revealed until hundreds, even thousands of years after the text was first spoken or communicated in writing to the people of Israel.
Observation #6. The Tanakh is very disclosing about the first and second coming of the Messiah. There are approximately 300 scriptures that specifically refer to the first visitation of Messiah Ben Joseph to earth (the Suffering Messiah) and there are approximately 300 scriptures that specifically refer to the second coming of the Messiah Yeshua Ben David (the Conquering Messiah). However, the prophecy of the Scriptures regarding what happens between the time of the departure of the Suffering Messiah and the arrival of the Conquering Messiah is very much veiled. This ”in between” time is described only in the sodim, the deep mystery passages of the Tanakh.
Observation #7. Therefore, the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven deal exclusively with the period of time between the first and second advent of Messiah and not the period of the messianic (millennial) kingdom which will follow His second coming (His supernatural return as the Conquering Messiah Ben David).
Observation #8. The meshalim (parables) of the Kingdom of heaven have to do with the entire period of the Kingdom in its most mysterious form that is the period of time between the first and second advents of the Messiah, the period of time during which the King is absent. For the Messiah is presently in heaven awaiting the ‘appointed’ time of His return to earth that has been fixed by the authority of The Father (הָאָב-HaAv). This large window of time (thus far almost two thousand years in duration) includes the seven year period of time of Jacob’s Trouble (צָרָה גְדוֹלָה-The Great Trouble/Tribulation) that exists between the rapture (explained in other parts of this web-site) and the second coming of the Messiah.
The revelation of the rapture, the miraculous resurrection and translation of a future international remnant of the body of Messiah is not found in any of the 49 meshalim of the Messiah. There is also very little evidence of the rapture in the teaching of the Messiah. This highly supernatural event is mainly revealed outside of the first advent teaching of the Messiah. It is revealed in the many end-time interpretive revelations (midrashim) of Messiah’s Shlichim (His “sent ones”) that can be found in the Brit HaChadashah.
Interpretation of the Valuable Pearl:
A. The valuable Pearl (under the sea) represents the redemption of the international followers of Messiah (the Gentiles); rather than the Treasure of Adonai which is a reference to the redemption (salvation) of Israel. Therefore, the Seventeenth Parable of Messiah is all about the redemption of an international body of people (past, present, and future) whose origins are from the ‘sea;’ which is a symbol of the Gentile peoples and lands.
B. The Hidden Treasure and the Pearl are acquired from two completely different locations:
The Treasure is acquired from under the Land
The Pearl is acquired from under the Sea.
As already indicated discerning this symbolic variance of location is quite important. In the symbolism of the Scriptures the nation of Israel is always identified as being from the Land and the Gentiles are identified as being from the Sea. We must remember that it was only recently, in the middle of the last century, that the People of Israel were allowed to return to the land of Israel and after an incredibly long period of time to once again be blessed to live in the Promised Land.
C. The most interesting thing about Messiah’s Mashal of the Valuable Pearl, however, is not the revelation of the redemption of the Gentiles. That wonderful fact was already revealed to us previously in our study of the first sixteen parables of Messiah. What is most interesting to us is the vast amount of value that is assigned to the Pearl itself. It is also important to see how different the Hidden Treasure and the Valuable Pearl are in terms of how they personally affect the mood of the Messiah. The personal affect upon the Messiah in the discovery of the Hidden Treasure is one of great joy.
However, oddly enough, in the narrative of the Valuable Pearl there is no expression of joy (שִׂמְחָה-simcha). In the Pearl of Great Price the mood of the Mashiach is somber. Even business like. The uncomfortable, painful central focus of the narrative is the great sacrifice that must be made. Therefore, the central point of the narrative is not the joyousness of it but the incredible high price the Merchant (the Messiah) had to pay to purchase the Pearl!
D. This indicates to me that to truly be Rich in Adonai the Messiah had to sacrifice and suffer greatly so that the saving faith of Adonai might come to the lost Gentile nations and peoples of the world. Yet, what of the salvation of Israel? The truth is the Joy of the Messiah will not be complete until all Israel has been saved. This truth is attested to in the Messiah’s own words, when He says to His Jewish talmadim:
פ“וַאֲנִי אוֹמֵר לָכֶם, מֵעַתָּה לֹא אֶשְׁתֶּה מִפְּרִי הַגֶּפֶן הַזֶּה עַד אוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר אֶשְׁתֵּהוּ חָדָשׁ פעִמָּכֶם בְּמַלְכוּת אָבִי.”פ
“But I (Ha-Mashiach) say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine [*the fourth cup] from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
This means that Abba Avinu does exceedingly care for and place an incredibly great value upon the lives of the Gentiles. However, Adonai places an even higher value upon the children of Israel. You cannot ask the stranger to sacrifice. You ask your beloved firstborn son to bear the burden and the sacrifice. Therefore our people and nation (Israel) are a preeminent part of all that Adonai our Father has sacrificed in His endeavor to bring salvation to all of the nations, peoples and families of the world:
“He went and sold all that He had and bought it the Pearl.”
The Messiah Himself said that “salvation is of the Jews.” The Jewish people have been the most hated and persecuted people on the face of the earth for almost two millennia. Much of this abuse has come from the hands of gentiles who have claimed to be followers of the Messiah. The horrible irony is that all who have claimed to believe in the Messiah are dependent on the sacrifices of both the nation of Israel and the Messiah of Israel. For without the nation of Israel there would be no Messiah; and without the Messiah one day returning to rule over a revived nation of Israel there would be no Kingdom of Adonai.
The fact is that the redemption of the gentiles has cost our Father in heaven everything He has. It has cost Adonai in the sacrifice of His beloved Individual-Son (Ha-Mashiach) and it has cost the sacrifice of His beloved Nation-Son (Am Israel).
All that is precious to our Father Adonai has been sacrificed so that He might bring His Salvation to all of the people of the world!
As messianic Jews we believe all of these sacrifices are necessary. We give thanks to G-d for the salvation of the Gentiles. We give thanks for your joy. But we cannot fully rejoice yet. For our redemption has not yet fully come. Like the Messiah our burden will not be fully lifted and our souls rejoice until He comes—and all Israel is saved!
E. The Seventeenth Mashal of Messiah reveals to us the Mystery of the salvation of the gentiles that has been made possible by the Merchant (Adonai) who sold all that He had to secure the Pearl of Great Price. This most certainly speaks of the Messiah leaving the glory of heaven to make the supreme sacrifice of dying on the accursed tree in order to make it possible for the formation of an international assembly of believers.
This body of messianic believers at present is initially made up of a large number of gentiles (a remnant of the peoples of the Sea-הַיָּם) and a very small but growing number of messianic Jews (the Beach-הַחוֹף; i.e. those of us who are a remnant of the people of the Land; Am Israel).
This international Assembly of Messiah is at present a living organism. It is a living extension of the body of the Messiah whose Head is G-d and whose Divinely appointed rule is over both the Land and the Sea (both Jew and Gentile). We are that international body of believers who are called to proclaim the sacrificial death and redemption of the Messiah until He comes.
In the meshalim of the Hidden Treasure and the Great Pearl we discover our Father in heaven’s plan to end the division (enmity) that has always existed between Jew and Gentile and to remake of us a new united humanity. For in the messianic kingdom of Adonai there will be:
One universal calling to the Unity of the Spirit (the Shema),
One Adon (Lord),
One faith (emunah),
One mikveh (lit. immersion) and
One G-d and Father, Who is above All, through All, and in All!
This ultimate Divine initiative of bringing all of humankind under the one world governance of G-d our Father through the Messiah is the reason for the Spirit of the Holy One establishing the existence of an International Assembly of Messiah made up out of a remnant of Jews and Gentiles, drawn out from under all the nations of the World.
The present day existence of this prototype of the future messianic kingdom, the International Commonwealth of Israel, is one of the twelve great mysteries that are revealed in the Brit HaChadashah (the New International Covenant of Messiah).
This Assembly of Messiah is a temporary solution to the problem of the long delay that has occurred due to the people and nation of Israel not as yet acknowledging the Messiah Yeshua Ben Joseph, Ben David as the Divinely appointed King of Israel (Melekh Yisra’el) and, therefore, the rightful King of kings (Melekh HaMelakhim) and Lord of lords (Adonei Ha-Adonim) of all the world.