Judas Hangs Himself

Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”

And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!”

5 Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.

6 But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.” 7 And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. 8 Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.

9 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, 10 and gave them for the potter’s field, as the LORD directed me.” — Matthew 27:3-10.


Judas, seeing what happens to Jesus, is remorseful, but not repentant. He throws down the thirty pieces of silver before the chief priest and elders, who cannot put it into their treasury because it is the price of blood. They buy a potter’s field in which to bury strangers, now called ‘the field of blood’. This fulfilled Scripture’s prophecy. (The quote is from Zechariah 11:12–13. Under the Holy Spirit’s prompting, Zechariah probably quoted consciously or perhaps repeated unknowingly Jeremiah’s words of over a century earlier.) Those who betray Jesus never have peace.


“Judas … was remorseful” (v.3) — Judas was remorseful, but not repentant. Here the word means “sorrow afterwards” but with the implication of no real change (cf. Matt. 21:29; 2 Cor. 7:8). The best context in the NT to compare the implications of these terms is 2 Cor. 7:8-10.

“thirty pieces” — This is an allusion to Zech. 11:12. This was the price of a gored slave (cf. Matt. 26:15; Exod. 21:32).

“in the Temple” (v.5) – He threw down the silver pieces in the Temple Treasury, the Central Shrine made up of the Holy Place and Holy of Holies as separate from the complete Temple area.

“hanged himself” — There are several suicides mentioned in the OT — Judges 9:54; 16:30; 1 Sam. 31:4,5; 2 Sam. 17:23; 1 Kgs. 16:18. Nothing negative is ever said about these acts. It was Judas’ lack of true repentance that sealed his lost state, not his taking his own life.

The account of Judas’ death in Acts 1:18 does not contradict Matthew’s account but supplements it. Apparently Judas hanged himself over a cliff and later the rope broke and his body fell and broke open.

“the price of blood” (v.6) — They had no qualms about giving the money for Jesus’ betrayal, but they felt uncomfortable taking it back! What irony! Rightly did Jesus call them hypocrites.

“they … bought the Potter’s Field” (v.7) — This was possibly a clay quarry which had been depleted and, therefore was of little value.

“Field of Blood” (v.8) — Aramaic term Akel Dama, found in Acts 1:19.

“spoken through Jeremiah the prophet” (v.9) — This is a direct quote from Zechariah 11:12-13. Jeremiah 18:1-11 also speaks of a potter and Jeremiah 32:6-9 mentions the buying of a field.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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