be-tra' (ramah; paradidomi):
In the Old Testament only once (1 Chronicles 12:17). David warns those who had deserted to him from Saul: "If ye be come to betray me to mine adversaries .... the God of our fathers look thereon." The same Hebrew word is elsewhere translated "beguile" (Genesis 29:25; Joshua 9:22), "deceive" (1 Samuel 19:17; 28:12; 2 Samuel 19:26; Proverbs 26:19; Lamentations 1:19).
In the New Testament, for paradidomi:
36 times, of the betrayal of Jesus Christ, and only 3 times besides (Matthew 24:10; Mark 13:12; Luke 21:16) of kinsmen delivering up one another to prosecution. In these three places the Revised Version (British and American) translates according to the more general meaning, "to deliver up," and also (in Matthew 17:22; 20:18; 26:16; Mark 14:10,21; Luke 22:4,6) where it refers to the delivering up of Jesus. The Revisers' idea was perhaps to retain "betray" only in direct references to Judas' act, but they have not strictly followed that rule. Judas' act was more than that of giving a person up to the authorities; he did it under circumstances of treachery which modified its character:
- he took advantage of his intimate relation with Jesus Christ as a disciple to put Him in the hands of His enemies;
- he did it stealthily by night, and
- by a kiss, an act which professed affection and friendliness;
- he did it for money, and
- he knew that Jesus Christ was innocent of any crime (Matthew 27:4).
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