Hidden treasures today are rare. In the ancient biblical lands, however, they were common. Palestine, caught as a land bridge between Egypt and the great empires, were repeatedly invaded, ravaged, and captured. Multitudes buried gold. There were no banks. The govt., nobility, clergy, & Arab invaders all robbed the common people often and without warning. Because of this, the people quickly buried treasure in the ground, in walls, in tree trunks, or wherever they could. Earthquakes could cover up entire cities and bury gold with them. All kinds of people quickly buried what they had in the face of invasion or political change. They left, they died, they were captured, and no one knew where the treasure was hidden.
W.M. Thompson was a missionary in Syria and Palestine for 30 years. He told of workmen digging up a garden in Sidon. They found several copper pots of gold. They did exactly like the man in the parable – concealed their find with care. But then, wild with joy, they could not keep their mouths shut. The governor of the city caught them and recovered 2 of the pots, and it was found that they contained 8000 pure gold coins of Alexander and his father Philip. Thompson saw hundreds of persons all over the country spending their last penny looking for such treasure.