Matthew 27:5

5 So he threw the money into the temple, went away, and hanged himself.

Matthew 27:5 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 27:5

And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple
Upon the ground, in that part of the temple where they were sitting; in their council chamber, (tyzgh tkvl) , "the paved chamber", where the sanhedrim used to meet F13: for it seems they would not take the money of him; and he was determined not to carry it back with him, and therefore threw it down before them, left it,

and departed;
from the sanhedrim: and went; out of the temple; not to God, nor to the throne of his grace, nor to his master, to ask pardon of him, but to some secret solitary place, to cherish his grief and black despair,

and hanged himself.
The kind and manner of his death, as recorded by Luke in ( Acts 1:18 ) is, that "falling headlong, he burst asunder the midst, and all his bowels gushed out"; which account may be reconciled with this, by supposing the rope, with which he hanged himself, to break, when falling; it may be, from a very high place, upon a stone, or stump of a tree; when his belly burst, and his guts came out: or it may be rendered, as it is in the Arabic and Ethiopic versions, "he was strangled"; and that either by the devil, as Dr. Lightfoot thinks; who, having been in him for the space of two or three days, caught him up into the air, and threw him down headlong; and dashing him on the ground, he burst in the midst, and his bowels gushed out, and the devil made his exit that way: or by a disease called the squinancy, or quinsy, a suffocation brought upon him by excessive grief, deep melancholy, and utter despair; when being choked by it, he fell flat upon his face, and the rim of his belly burst, and his entrails came out. This disease the Jews call (arkoa) , "Iscara"; and if it was what he was subject to from his infancy, his parents might call him Iscariot from hence; and might be designed in providence to be what should bring him to his wretched end: and what is said of this suffocating disorder, seems to agree very well with the death of Judas. They say F14, that

``it is a disease that begins in the bowels, and ends in the throat:''

they call death by it, (her htym) , "an evil death" F15; and say F16, that

``there are nine hundred and three kinds of deaths in the world, but that (arkoa Nlkbv hvq) , "the hardest of them all is Iscara"; which the Gloss calls "strangulament", and says, is in the midst of the body:''

they also reckon it, (hnwvm htym) , "a violent death" F17; and say F18, that the spies which brought a bad report of the good land, died of it. Moreover, they affirm F19, that

``whoever tastes anything before he separates (i.e. lights up the lamp on the eve of the sabbath, to distinguish the night from the day), shall die by "Iscara", or suffocation.''

Upon which the Gloss says, this is

``measure for measure: he that satisfies his throat, or appetite, shall be choked: as it is said F20 he that is condemned to be strangled, either he shall be drowned in a river, or he shall die of a quinsy, this is "Iscara".''


F13 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 88. 2.
F14 Gloss. in T. Bab. Sabbat, fol 33. 1.
F15 T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 62. 9.
F16 Beracot, fol. 3. 1.
F17 Gloss. in T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 19. 2.
F18 T. Bab. Sota, fol. 35. 1.
F19 T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 105. 1.
F20 T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 30. 2.

Matthew 27:5 In-Context

3 Then Judas, who had betrayed Jesus, regretted what had happened when he saw that Jesus was condemned. He brought the 30 silver coins back to the chief priests and leaders.
4 He said, "I've sinned by betraying an innocent man." They replied, "What do we care? That's your problem."
5 So he threw the money into the temple, went away, and hanged himself.
6 The chief priests took the money and said, "It's not right to put it into the temple treasury, because it's blood money."
7 So they decided to use it to buy a potter's field for the burial of strangers.
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