THE TREASURE, THE PEARL,
AND THE NET
Now we come to the three remaining parables in Matthew 13: the treasure, the pearl, and the net. This will make a total of seven parables. In the Bible the number seven is composed of four plus three, three plus four, and six plus one. The number seven in Matthew 13 is firstly composed of four plus three. The first four parables comprise one group and the last three comprise another. The first instance of the number seven found in the Bible was composed of six plus one: in Genesis 1 and 2 there are six days for God’s work and one day for God’s rest. Whenever we have six plus one, it means that God has a completion for His rest. The number seven in these parables is composed both ways. First it is composed of four plus three; then it is composed of six plus one. The last parable, the parable of the net, stands alone. When the time of this parable will have been fulfilled, that will be the completion, the consummation of the age. Then God will have rest.
In Revelation 6 and 8 there are seven seals, the first four seals plus the last three. Also, there are six seals plus one seal, for the completion follows the seventh seal. At that time the wrath of God will come. The same principle applies to the seven trumpets in Revelation 8, 9, and 11. First, there are four trumpets and then three trumpets. There are also six trumpets plus the last trumpet. When the last trumpet sounds, God’s wrath is manifested. When the seventh parable of Matthew 13 is finished, that signifies the completion for God’s rest. In this parable the King James Version uses the phrase, "the end of the world." According to the Greek, this phrase should be translated, "at the completion of the age." This indicates that the seventh parable is the completion. When this parable is completed, that will be the time for God’s rest.
The Treasure and the Pearl
Each of the four parables in the first group contains something related to the vegetable life. The two parables following—the treasure hidden in the field and the pearl—are both related to minerals. The treasure certainly must contain either precious stones or gold, both of which are minerals. The pearl also is a type of mineral since its basic structure, a tiny rock, is a mineral.
There is a great deal involved here. The Lord Jesus is very wise, and the parables, although they are simple, contain great wisdom. Taken as a group, the last three parables cover the whole human race. The human race is composed of three peoples: the Jews, the church, and the Gentiles. First Corinthians 10:32 reveals that among the human race today there are only these three peoples—the Jews, the church, and the Gentiles.
(The Kingdom, Chapter 13, by Witness Lee)