Isaiah 55:1 Buy Without Money

Isaiah 55:1
Buy Without Money and Without Price

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

On birthdays or other special occasions in the East, some individuals celebrate by giving a gift to express their thankfulness.  The best gift to give is that which quenches the thirst of someone else. 
First, the giver determines how much he will spend and then he approaches a merchant in the marketplace.  He buys as much water, wine or milk the money will provide.  The merchant changes from calling “Come ye, buy and drink” to “Come, buy water, wine or milk without money and without price”. This indicates a person is celebrating a special occasion and the merchant is distributing the gift.  The refreshment has no cost because someone paid the price for it.  The man who bought the drinks stands with the merchant until the lot is handed out (without money and without price). After each person’s container is filled, the individual bows and says to the giver:  “Thank you, sir, for paying the price.”
Spiritually, Jesus Christ quenches our spiritual thirst when He paid the price for our salvation.  Salvation is bought without money and without price.  Jesus Christ paid it all. (I John 4:10)

Light through an Eastern Window by Bishop K. C. Pillai, D.D., American Christian Press, 1986, 5th printing 2007, p. 17-20.
Old and New Testament Orientalisms Teachings of Bishop K. C. Pillai transcript
Isaiah 55:1, p. 251-255.



Verse 1 The problem of this verse is how can one buy water, wine and milk without money and without price? In the East on special occasions it is possible for you to buy without money and without price - during the summer pure water is sold in the East—many poor people cannot always afford the water— merchants bring water, milk and wine (wine: freshly pressed juice of the grape) in goatskins to their market places to sell to the people during the day—under certain conditions they change mode of selling from "Come ye, buy and eat" to "Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price"—this latter mode of selling is occasioned by individuals (generally among the higher caste) celebrating their birthday—rather than receiving a gift they give one as expression of their appreciation for another year of life—the best gift which can be given in appreciation is to quench the thirst of someone else:

Matthew 10:42

"And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward."

We have not seen God at any time; therefore, if we do not love and serve man whom we do see—the custom is for an individual to determine how much money he desires to spend, after which he goes to the merchant and buys as much water, milk or wine as his money will provide—whereupon the merchant changes his sales talk from "Come ye, buy and eat" to "Come, buy wine  and milk without price"—this does not mean the merchant is giving away his products but merely that someone is celebrating a special occasion and the merchant is distributing the gift.

Spiritual Application: The whole world is thirsty, sin sick and lost—there is no hope for us to quench our spiritual thirst (material possessions cannot quench this thirst)—therefore, God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to shed His blood and pay the debt for our sins—thus Christ invites us to come (everyone who is burdened and heavy laden) and He will give us rest—He will quench our spiritual thirst—He is the fountain of living waters.

In some places in the eastern market they sell water. The water is sold in bottles of skins brought from their own homes to the markets. He doesn't bring it to give it away (without money and without price, but rather to sell). The grape juice man will bring a 100 gallon of grape juice, the waterman the water, the milkman the milk. They're all selling. There is a price when they start selling. They'll say, "Come, buy water for (so much/gal)." Under certain conditions the people selling will change the mode of selling from, "Come buy for so much a gallon," to "Come buy, without money and without price."

When there is a person celebrating his birthday, in the western world we expect people to give us presents. In the East it's just the opposite. These people make others happy on their birthday. They do this to show gratitude to God for sparing their life.

No one has ever seen God at anytime. So, how can we serve God who we cannot see? (Bishop says,) By serving people who we see, whom we have been. How best can I show gratitude to God for sparing my life this past year? Go to the market, buy some water, wine, grape juice and milk, and give to those thirsty people who come to the market who are in the scorching sun, heavy laden. As you give to these people, you give to God—This is what the Hindus teach as well as Jesus. Krishna taught this 500 years before Christ. There are good morals, ethics on how to live from Krishna, but not salvation.

So you'll go to the milkman, wine man, etc, and buy all that's left of his product to give away on your birthday. Then he'll cry out, "Ho, everyone that thirsteth! Come ye to the waters, but without money and without price." It doesn't cost the people anything because someone paid the price for them.

Why does the man still say buy? This man is still selling. The goods aren't free, they were paid for by somebody else. The man is not giving them away. The man is still selling although he got the money for the lot. Instead of saying he's delivering goods for which have been paid, he says, "Come buy" because the person who gets it is still buying it. Because someone else paid for it, he gets it without money or price. He's still buying—the oriental viewpoint. The man that bought the lot stands there until it's all sold. Everyone fills their containers, walks to the man, bows and says, "Thank you, sir, for paying the price."

Spiritual Application: This was a prophecy concerning Christ. Christ met the demands of God on behalf of the sinner by dying on the cross. Thus Christ paid the price. The sinner buys salvation without money and without price because Jesus paid it all. Costs us nothing. Cost him everything. We can quench our spiritual thirst by drinking of the living waters of life. Living waters are salvation. (John 7:37) (also quotes Matthew 11:28).

How can anybody buy without money and without price? What was there to buy? Water, wine and milk. If it's without price—it's not buying—that's a contradiction. It's given away. Wine here is not fermented. Grape juice. This is the market place.

"Ho, everyone that thirsteth"—This is the call in the eastern market place. Come ye and buy. (an exclamation).

Can only tell if it is talking about grape juice or wine by context. When Jesus turned water into wine it was not fermented, John 2:39.

Buy without money or price; birthday. How can you buy without money or price? It would be a gift, not something bought. The explanation follows. You can buy only three things without money or price in certain conditions: water, milk, wine (grape juice). A seller will be on the street selling these products for a price. Whenever an Easterner has a birthday, anniversary, etc., he goes to the seller and buys his whole stock to "sell without price" to celebrate his birthday. The seller changes his tune and starts selling without price. Blessing the thirsty people is a way of showing gratitude to God. The man celebrating stands there to make sure that the seller sells rightly. As the people come they thank the celebrator.

Wine or grape juice must be determined by context. Jesus Christ turned water into grape juice. Paul say to Timothy drink grape juice. Lots daughters got him drunk with wine. Jesus Christ bought our salvation for us. It cost us nothing, but it cost him something.

Buy without price. In the Eastern markets, compound walls are built to surround the market to protect it. The market is opened on certain days. As the gates are opened there are a few 16-18 year old boys sitting there. One is playing a flute made of reed pipe. The boys sing to the tune, too. Those buying and selling in the market will respond to this boy's sons, too. He will play a song of joy, then a song of mourning. If someone fails to respond, others who had responded would approach them and say, "Are you so materialistic that you don't have the time to respond to these spiritual songs of these boys?" Jesus did the same in Luke 7:32 ("Piped"—song of joy; "mourning"—song of sorrow).

Just inside the first door of the compound is the market proper. At the beginning is a woman cooking and selling bread (pancakes) and frying and selling fish. Two boys work with her with open trays. They carry fish and bread on this open tray throughout the market to vend the product. They use a feather to drive the flies away from the food. "Baker's lad, Baker's lad" is what the boy shouts.

The other items for sale in the market are just like in the United States. The proprietor sits down and does not approach the customer at all. Then he bickers with his customer about the price of his merchandise. He starts his price very high. The customer shows every little flaw in the item. Customer begins to walk away and the proprietor begs him to come back. The proprietor begins swearing in the name of his God, of his temple, of his whatever, that his price is 25¢. This is why Jesus says what he does in Matt. 5:34-47. They swore by Jerusalem, their head, or by the earth. Jesus said, "have one price (yea, yea; nay, nay)." Quakers, for this reason, initiated the one price system. The customer talks (Prov. 20:14) negatively to get the price down, but when he departs, he brags. Every seller shouts out about his product! So there is a water stall, a stall of the calves (Amos 6:4 God says He'll give us the best calves for eating out of the stalls—govt., inspected) too. Water is very scarce, so a man is there selling water in goatskin bottles. I Tim. 5:23.

"Drink a little wine for stomach's sake and oft infirmities." Why should Timothy no longer drink water? Paul tells him not to drink it in excess. The excess of water was corrupting his stomach. This affects digestion. The milk of the Bible is buttermilk, with salt included. It is used for the covenant of salt to seal contracts in the marketplace. These beverage vendors are in a line at the marketplace. Each is calling out: "Ho everyone that thirsteth, come here to the waters, at so much per gallon." People buy as much as they want, then they take it home. Sometimes he changes his call to, "Come buy without money, without price."

In the East, on the anniversary of a marriage or of a birthday, people do not expect gifts. Instead the people give gifts away; others expect from them. A man considers his birthday a blessing from the Lord and gives to others as a thank offering (as showing gratitude unto the Lord by making others happy). For it is believed that if the man can give others a happy heart, then God is happy, too. God prospers anyone who follows the law of prosperity. Whatsoever a man sows, that he shall reap also.

The man whose birthday it is, goes to the market. He cannot afford suits of clothes for everyone but he can afford to buy water. It is believed, in the East, that if a man can quench another's thirst, you make God glad quicker than anything. The man buys 30 gallons of water for his birthday, as well as wine and milk. The birthday man then stays at the stall and watches the vendor that he takes no additional monies for the water. He is still "buying." He brings his jug, fills, and then thanks the birthday man who paid for it.

Jesus Christ came to quench the thirst of man. He paid the price so that man could have peace, forgiveness of sin and salvation. God accepted it ONCE for ALL. Today all we need to do is go to God, open our mouths wide and He will fill it.

"Come buy without price." "wine" means grape juice or fermented wine here it is an Eastern market and this wine is really grape juice. "milk"—buttermilk When water is scarce it must be bought in the market and poor people carried it in skin bottles.

Eastern celebration of a birthday is to make other people happy.

You can't warm yourself by the village fire and bless the people without putting sticks on the fire.

Eastern Market—(the sellers) They say, "Come buy for so much per gal." But they change to "come buy without money without price" under certain conditions: If it is someone's birthday, the idea of celebration is to make someone else happy; if you do good to other people to celebrate your birthday then you are giving to God, makes God happy. It's an expression of thanks to God for living another year.

Hindu philosophy—if you help those you see you are helping God—Jesus taught same thing. Jesus Christ paid the price for us so we may drink freely from the fountain of living waters. "buy without money without price." Fresh water is sold during the summer. This wine comes straight from the winepress and is not the alcoholic variety. Bottle of skin is used to bring in the wine water, and milk.

"buy without money without price." In the East under certain conditions the people will buy milk, wine, and water. Water is sold in the East during the summer because fresh water cannot be obtained by poorer people. Wine, here, comes right from the wine press and is drunken just like orange juice, it is like grape juice. The merchants come to the market to make a profit. They will call out "Ho everyone come to the waters, wine, milk and buy for so much" (they will quote the  price like $2 per gal.) They will change their mode of selling (under certain conditions at certain times) from "come buy for so much per gal. " to "come buy without money without price." When an Easterner has a birthday he will buy presents for others rather than for others to buy for him. The best way to please God is to quench the thirst of somebody. If I can't love and serve someone I have seen, how can I serve someone I have not seen. If I want to serve God, show gratitude to God then I must serve someone I can see and that will please God's heart. The person with the birthday will buy all the wine, milk and water that the sellers have left. Then the sellers will change their call. It does not mean that they are giving it away for it has been purchased by the man who has had a birthday. The Eastern people realize that some person is celebrating when they hear this cry. They will go to get their cans filled with water, wine and milk and the man who paid the price is there and they will bow and thank him. What are they going to buy? Wine, water and milk. Wine in the Bible is not fermented, it is always grape juice. Easterners drink grape juice, pomegranate juice, orange juice but grape especially. These are all sold in the Eastern market. In some cases, there was scarcity of water, they might have to go miles to get water, so it was sold in the market. Milk of the Bible is buttermilk with a drop of salt in it with butter removed. "Ho" selling exclamation! Say this is a market. You open the gate, and people are sitting down selling everywhere. Lots of noise. As you go in, just before you enter the gate, you will see a boy sitting there, 15 or 16 years old and several boys of the same age around you. That boy will have a flute, made of reed pipe and he plays a tune and all the boys will sing. Not only them but also the buyers and sellers in the marketplace will join in the song. It will be a song of joy, then a song of mourning and if a person doesn't respond, the responders will ask the one who didn't respond "Have you become so materialistic that you haven't got the time to respond to this song of the boy concerning spiritual things?"

"Buy...without money and without price." When tape begins, Bishop is already teaching on this scripture, so scripture is not stated. How can one buy without money? If it is without money, then it isn't bought; it is given away. How can you buy without money and without price. Eastern expression and thinking is much different than Western way. The Bible is in the terms of an Eastern man's thinking. So, in the East, is there any way to do this buying spoken of? Yes! "Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." This is an Eastern exclamation heard in a market, this is how they sold items. The Bible is the Word of God but it is couched with the oriental way of life. Bishop interrupts teaching to give background of Eastern way of life. In the Eastern towns there are 3 forms of government: 1. elders of the gate (oldest system); they have a little office at the town gate. They are elected every 3 years for the people and by the people. They sit at the gate in the mornings and hear all the quarrels of the people. 2. Federal court in the middle of town selected by the political party of that country. 3. Daysman (most ancient of all). Job 9:31,32 speaks of the daysman. This means Mahatma or "great soul." His work is to the religious affairs or disputes of the people. Because in I Cor. 6:14 says if any have a dispute with another, not to go before the court, but to settle it among themselves. So the religious people won't go before the political government but before the daysman or the elders of the gate. Why? If they go before the political court and one is punished and sent to jail, it won't solve anything and when he returns from jail he will be mad and bitter. Instead man needs healing of heart. Cannot heal the wound of the heart by putting a man in jail. The elders of the gate will pacify, swain, advise the people, plead to them and change their hearts, reconciling them. A court won't change your heart, they will put you in jail and embitter you.

"Ho everyone that thirsteth." Wine in the Bible should be understood in the context, it is either grape juice or fermented wine. Wine in the market place is grape juice. Water is sold because it is scarce during the summer. Men carry water in skins. The skins are tanned and sewn up at the legs. Water is poured in the neck and tied off with rope and then carried on the back. No man carries water in pitcher so it didn't go unnoticed by disciples.

Without price, without money. If it is without money and without price, it cannot be bought.

Anthony Gilmore,
Jun 27, 2011, 3:31 PM