The Meaning of Matthew 13:46 Explained

Matthew 13:46

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

YLT: who having found one pearl of great price, having gone away, hath sold all, as much as he had, and bought it.

Darby: and having found one pearl of great value, he went and sold all whatever he had and bought it.

ASV: and having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

What does Matthew 13:46 Mean?

Context Summary

Matthew 13:44-50 - Securing Treasure Rejecting The Bad
The parables of treasure and pearl are a pair. They describe the various ways we come to know God's truth. Some happen on it suddenly. They are pursuing the ordinary vocations of life when suddenly the ploughshare rings against a box of buried treasure. The husbandman is suddenly rich beyond his dreams.
But in other cases religion is the result of diligent search. Man cannot be happy without God. He goes from philosophy to philosophy, from system to system, turning over the pearls on the dealer's trays; but suddenly his listlessness is transformed to eagerness as he discovers the Christ. Here is the pearl of great price. He has sought and found, and is prepared to renounce all. See Philippians 3:7. Is there not, too, a deep sense in which Jesus has renounced all, that He might purchase for Himself the Church, His bride? He is the merchant, and we the pearl, though only in His eyes-the eyes of love-could we be held worthy of all that He surrendered to win us! [source]

Chapter Summary: Matthew 13

1  The parable of the sower and the seed;
18  the explanation of it
24  The parable of the weeds;
31  of the mustard seed;
33  of the leaven;
36  explanation of the parable of the weeds
44  The parable of the hidden treasure;
45  of the pearl;
47  of the drag net cast into the sea
53  Jesus is a prophet without honor in his own country

Greek Commentary for Matthew 13:46

He went and sold [απελτων πεπρακεν]
Rather eagerly and vividly told thus, “He has gone off and sold.” The present perfect indicative, the dramatic perfect of vivid picture. Then he bought it. Present perfect, imperfect, aorist tenses together for lively action. Εμπορωι — Emporōi is a merchant, one who goes in and out, travels like a drummer. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Matthew 13:46

John 12:5 Sold [επρατη]
First aorist passive indicative of πιπρασκω — pipraskō old verb to sell (Matthew 13:46). For three hundred pence Genitive of price. Same item in Mark 14:5, while in Matthew 26:9 it is simply “for much” But all three have “given to the poor” First aorist passive indicative of διδωμι — didōmi with dative case πτωχοις — ptōchois (note absence of the article, poor people), real beggars, mendicants (Matthew 19:21; Luke 14:13). But only John singles out Judas as the one who made the protest against this waste of money while Mark says that “some” had indignation and Matthew has it that “the disciples” had indignation. Clearly Judas was the spokesman for the group who chimed in and agreed with his protest. The amount here spent by Mary (ten guineas) would equal a day labourer‘s wages for a year (Dods). [source]
Romans 7:14 But I am carnal [εγω δε σαρκινος ειμι]
“Fleshen” as in 1 Corinthians 3:1 which see, more emphatic even than σαρκικος — sarkikos a creature of flesh.” Sold under sin (πεπραμενος υπο την αμαρτιαν — pepramenos hupo tēn hamartian). Perfect passive participle of πιπρασκω — pipraskō old verb, to sell. See note on Matthew 13:46 and note on Acts 2:45, state of completion. Sin has closed the mortgage and owns its slave. [source]
Romans 7:14 Sold under sin [πεπραμενος υπο την αμαρτιαν]
Perfect passive participle of πιπρασκω — pipraskō old verb, to sell. See note on Matthew 13:46 and note on Acts 2:45, state of completion. Sin has closed the mortgage and owns its slave. [source]
Revelation 3:18 To buy []
Compare Isaiah 4:1; Matthew 13:44, Matthew 13:46. Those who think themselves rich, and yet have just been called beggars by the Lord, are advised by Him to buy. The irony, however, covers a sincere and gracious invitation. The goods of Christ are freely given, yet they have their price - renunciation of self and of the world. [source]
Revelation 21:21 Twelve pearls [δωδεκα μαργαριται]
These gate towers (πυλωνες — pulōnes) were mentioned in Revelation 21:12. Each of these (cf. Isaiah 54:12) is a pearl, one of the commonest of jewels (Matthew 7:6; Matthew 13:46; 1 Timothy 2:9). [source]

What do the individual words in Matthew 13:46 mean?

having found now one very precious pearl having gone away he has sold all things as many as he had and bought it
εὑρὼν δὲ ἕνα πολύτιμον μαργαρίτην ἀπελθὼν πέπρακεν πάντα ὅσα εἶχεν καὶ ἠγόρασεν αὐτόν

εὑρὼν  having  found 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: εὑρίσκω  
Sense: to come upon, hit upon, to meet with.
δὲ  now 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: δέ  
Sense: but, moreover, and, etc.
ἕνα  one 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: εἷς  
Sense: one.
πολύτιμον  very  precious 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: πολύτιμος  
Sense: very valuable, of great price.
μαργαρίτην  pearl 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: μαργαρίτης  
Sense: a pearl.
ἀπελθὼν  having  gone  away 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἀπέρχομαι  
Sense: to go away, depart.
πέπρακεν  he  has  sold 
Parse: Verb, Perfect Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: πιπράσκω  
Sense: to sell.
πάντα  all  things 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Neuter Plural
Root: πᾶς  
Sense: individually.
ὅσα  as  many  as 
Parse: Personal / Relative Pronoun, Accusative Neuter Plural
Root: ὅσος  
Sense: as great as, as far as, how much, how many, whoever.
εἶχεν  he  had 
Parse: Verb, Imperfect Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἔχω  
Sense: to have, i.e. to hold.
ἠγόρασεν  bought 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἀγοράζω  
Sense: to be in the market place, to attend it.