1 When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death.
2 And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
3 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.”
plotted (v.1) — Also found in Mark 15:1; Luke 23:1 and John 18:28.
Pontius Pilate (v.2) — The Roman procurator of Judea from A.D. 26-37 under the Prefect of Syria. He was based in Caesarea but was in Jerusalem at this time for the Passover festival in case of trouble.
repented (v.3) = regret, remorse — not the same word as the usual one meaning “change of mind”
temple (v.5) = sanctuary — the entrance to the holy place
The death of Judas (v.5) is also mentioned in Acts 1:18-19.
potter’s field (v.7) — a piece of waste land from which the clay has been removed for use by a potter.
Jeremiah (v.9) — Matthew seems to be referring to Zechariah 11:12-13. Jeremiah does mention a potter’s field in Jeremiah 32:6-9 and a potter in Jeremiah 18:1-4 and 19:1-3, but none of these passages come close to Matthew’s quote. So why did he attribute this to Jeremiah? I’m not sure. Some commentaries say Matthew was combining both prophecies and gave credit to the more prominent prophet. Others say the quote was in a scroll that began with the prophecies of Jeremiah and included Zechariah. One says that Matthew was referring to a prophecy by Jeremiah that wasn’t included in his written book. I don’t have an answer at this point.
The words “the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced” are to be understood as a parenthesis. A similar explanatory parenthesis, had the price been twenty pieces of silver instead of thirty, might have been thus interjected: “And they took the twenty pieces of silver (the price of him whom his brethren sold into Egypt) and they gave them” etc; Or, the verse might read: “They took the thirty pieces of silver (the price given in Israel for an injured servant”) and they gave them,” etc. — Williams, page 728
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