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The Eighty-Third (Treasure)

I hope your week went well. Remember as you go through your day to have on, and actively use, the FULL armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). Everything from the girding of your waist with truth to the sword of the spirit! This world will not get better until Jesus returns, and Satan is only going to get more bold and more public with his actions and attempts to tempt, enslave and persecute.

This week we're going to talk about treasure. I have talked about treasure previously, but haven't really gone into depth with it. So let's take a look at it now!

The first thing you'll find is if you compare the number of times the word "treasure," or "treasures" occurs is different between the KJV and the NKJV. In the KJV, these words occur in 70 verses while in the NKJV they occur 90 times. This is because as the translators for each of these versions translated from the original language to English, they attempted to convey the idea presented in the original using the words available in the English language.

Let's take the first occurrence of the word "treasure." It's the same for both versions, and the Hebrew word used is matmon (Genesis 43:23). This word means, "hidden treasure," or "treasure," according to Strong's Concordance. Despite the fact that this word's definition is exactly the same as our word in English, out of the 35 KJV and 32 NKJV verses in the New Testament containing "treasure" or "treasures," only four have this Hebrew word. It's interesting though the similarity this word has to the Greek word mamonas, which is used in the New Testament and means "riches" (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:9, Luke 16:11, Luke 16:13).

The next occurrence of "treasure" is different between the two versions, so when you look at the KJV you find the word used is miskenoth which actually means "supply," or "storage" (Exodus 1:11). The NKJV correctly translates this to "supply." Following that, both versions line up again, translating the word segullah to "treasure," when the Strong's Concordance definition is "possession," or "property."

However, when you look at the other places this Hebrew word is used, it doesn't quite make sense to use the word treasure. The only other verse to translate it to treasure is Psalm 135:4. The majority of the rest use the word, "possession." Interestingly, the next two occurrences of treasure in the NKJV are actually translated from segullah, and the KJV doesn't translate it to treasure!

The last one we're going to look at in the Old Testament is one where the KJV and NKJV line back up again (Deuteronomy 28:12). In this verse, treasure is translated from otsar, which means "treasure," "store," "a treasury," or "storehouse." We found another with the actual definition of treasure! I want to take a moment for this occurrence because it's in the middle of something special.

This occurrence of treasure is in the middle of the blessings on obedience. When you have a moment, read the first part of this chapter and see what Yehovah promises to those that follow His commandments (Deuteronomy 28:1-14). And I know, some out there will claim that these verses don't apply to us because we are not the Israelites He was speaking to at the time, but don't forget He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11, Ephesians 6:9, Colossians 3:25, 1 Peter 1:17). This means He blesses for obedience to Him no matter who you are. Those blessings are for us if we follow His commandments.

Jumping forward to the New Testament, we find things a lot simpler. There are exactly two words translated to "treasure," or "treasures." The first is thesauros, or the verb form thesaurizo, which Strong's says means "treasure." The other is gaza, which also means treasure but only occurs once and seems to be associated with royalty (Acts 8:27).

Quite interestingly, thesauros seems familiar, doesn't it? It's actually where we get our word, thesaurus. Not sure what to make of that, but there it is! Let's skip to one of Jesus' parables where He talks about treasure, though (Matthew 13:44). He likens the Kingdom of Heaven to a field with hidden treasure. A man found the treasure and sold everything He had to buy that field.

Now previously I interpreted this as the man being those who learn of the gospel of salvation in Jesus and lose their interest in the worldly things they previously coveted and held onto. Recently, I heard someone talk about it from the opposite perspective and it really got me thinking and the idea stuck. What if Jesus was talking about the man being Him? What if the joy of finding that hidden treasure was actually the joy He felt when there were individuals like Noah and Abraham and Moses that obeyed Him out of love? What if Him selling everything He had to buy the field was Him dying on the cross and buying our salvation?

If that were the case, the field would be those who obey Him, and the treasure is the love for Him they have that moves them to obedience to Him. Which ties perfectly into the blessings for obedience we touched on in Deuteronomy 28! That tie, I tell you, was not planned, and neither was the message of His death in this context lining up with the time of the year He was crucified. That's just how the Holy Spirit works though! I hope this message touched you as much as it did me!

Shabbat shalom and God bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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