A Very Literal “Pearl of Great Price”

Jesus Christ tells a parable of the “pearl of great price: in Matthew 13:45-46,

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

The parable is familiar to all of us in the Church of God and is popular enough to be familiar to others, as well.

For that reason, an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last May 5, 2007, caught my eye.  By Dennis Huspeni of The Gazette, it was titled “Siblings closer to receiving the famed ‘Pearl of Allah'” and featured a small photograph of a huge oddly shaped pearl, sitting in both hands fo a man (see picture below, courtesy of Wikipedia).  It is thought to be the largest pearl in the world, weighing in at 14 pounds.  According to the article, the pearl is thought to be worth about $59.75 million.

Pearl of Lao Tzu

What also caught my eye was the statement that the Pearl of Allah is “more than 2,500 years old,” causing me to wonder if its existence was known about during Christ’s time.  The Wikipedia article on the pearl (also known as the Pearl of Lao Tzu or Lao Tze) can be read here, where the appraised price is given as $61.85 million (though I think “great price” covers it).  The article mentions its discovery, saying that it was carbon dated back to an origin on 600BC, but that it was only discovered in 1934.

However, the article’s section on the “Chinese legend of the pearl” explains that the pearl possibly has a much longer history and has attached to it various legends concerning the history of China.  Where the truth lies, I will not pretend to know, but I found the article an interesting read, and perhaps worth your time today if you have a few moments and need a distraction.  Truly, a literal pearl of great price!

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