Philo On the Unchangeableness of God 1:91

Classical

91 And we have often met with such things as previously we had never seen even in a dream; like a husbandman whom some persons say while digging a hole for the purpose of planting some fruit-bearing tree, found a treasure, meeting with good fortune which he had never hoped for. 92 Therefore Jacob, the wrestler with God, when his father asked him the manner in which he had acquired this knowledge, saying, 'How didst thou find this so quickly, my son?' answered and said, 'Because the Lord my God brought it before me.' For when God bestows on any one the treasures of his own wisdom without any toil or labour, then we, without having expected such things, suddenly perceive that we have found a treasure of perfect happiness.

Matthew 13:44

New Testament

42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The one who has ears had better listen! 44The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure, hidden in a field, that a person found and hid. Then because of joy he went and sold all that he had and bought that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. 46 When he found a pearl of great value, he went out and sold everything he had and bought it.

 Notes and References

"... Philo also uses a treasure parable to elucidate his understanding of Scripture. For example, in his treatise, On the Unchangeableness of God ... The farmer is likened to Jacob, “when his father asked him the manner in which he had acquired this knowledge, saying, ‘How did you find this so quickly, my son?’, answered and said, ‘Because the Lord my God brought it before me’” (ibid. 92). Again, a special type of knowledge available to an individual only, is likened to a found treasure here. Philo goes on to explain that the found “treasure” refers to knowledge that is revealed by God to those he chooses, without the need to study (“without any toil or labour”) to gain access to it (ibid.). In fact, “it often happens to those who seek with great labour, that they miss that for which they are seeking; while others, who are seeking without any diligence, find with great ease even things that they never thought of finding” (ibid. 93). If the editors of Matthew’s gospel were familiar with such arguments, they might have used them to distinguish their own group of (Jewish-)Christians, who claimed the “treasure” of knowledge of the “kingdom of the heavens” for themselves, from Pharisees who “toiled” in the study of the Torah instead ..."

Hezser, Catherine Finding a Treasure: The Treasure Motif in Jewish, Christian, and Graeco-Roman Narratives in the Context of Rabbinic Halakhah and Roman Law (pp. 295-325) Mohr Siebeck, 2019

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