Matthew 27:4

4 He said, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." But they said, "What is that to us? See to it yourself."

Matthew 27:4 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 27:4

Saying, I have sinned
Here was a confession, and yet no true repentance; for he confessed, but not to the right persons; not to God, nor Christ, but to the chief priests and elders; nor over the head of the antitypical scape goat, not seeking to Christ for pardon and cleansing, nor did he confess and forsake sin, but went on adding sin to sin, and so found no mercy. The same confession was made by a like hardened wretch, Pharaoh, ( Exodus 9:27 ) . He proceeds and points out the evil he had committed:

in that I have betrayed innocent blood,
or "righteous blood"; so the Vulgate Latin, and Syriac versions, and Munster's Hebrew Gospel read, and some copies; that is, have betrayed an innocent and righteous person, and been the occasion of his blood being about to be shed, and of his dying wrongfully. So God, in his all-wise providence, ordered it, that a testimony should be bore to the innocence of Christ, from the mouth of this vile wretch that betrayed him; to cut off the argument from the Jews, that one of his own disciples knew him to be a wicked man, and as such delivered him into their hands: for though Judas might not believe in him as the Messiah, and the Son of God, at least had no true faith in him, as such; yet he knew, and believed in his own conscience, that he was a good man, and a righteous and innocent one: and what he here says is a testimony of Christ's innocence, and what his conscience obliged him to; and shows the terrors that now encompassed him about; and might have been a warning to the Jews to have stopped all further proceedings against him; but instead of that,

they said, what is that to us? see thou to that:
signifying, that if he had sinned, he must answer for it himself; it was no concern of theirs; nor should they form their sentiments of Christ according to his: they knew that he was a blasphemer, and deserving of death; and whatever opinion he had of him, it had no weight with them, who should proceed against him as an evildoer, let him think or say what he would to the contrary; and suggest, that he knew otherwise than what he said: so the Syriac and Persic versions render it, "thou knowest", and the Arabic, "thou knowest better".

Matthew 27:4 In-Context

2 They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate the governor.
3 When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.
4 He said, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." But they said, "What is that to us? See to it yourself."
5 Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself.
6 But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, "It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since they are blood money."

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Other ancient authorities read [righteous]
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.