Matthew 27:1-10 “How Not to Repent”

Translation & Sermon by Nate Wilson for Christ The Redeemer Church Manhattan KS, 17 Nov 2013



27:1 Now, after morning dawned,

all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus so as to put Him to death.

27:2 And after tying Him up, they led Him away and handed Him over to Governor Pontius Pilate

27:3 Then Judas His betrayer, after seeing that He was condemned,

remorsefully returned the thirty silver [coins] to the chief priests and the elders

27:4 saying, “I sinned by betraying innocent blood.”

But as for them, they said, “What’s [that] to us? You yourself will see.”

27:5 So, after casting the silver [coins] into the temple, he withdrew, went away, and strangled himself.

27:6 Now, the chief priests, after taking the silver [coins] said,

“It is not lawful to throw these in with the offerings, since it is a blood bounty.”

27:7 So, after taking counsel,

they bought the field of the potter with them, to [provide] a cemetery for foreigners.

27:8 on account of which that field is called a field of blood to this very day.

27:9 Then what was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled when he said,

“They took the thirty silver [coins] (the value of the man who had been evaluated,

which they evaluated for themselves from among Israel’s sons),

27:10 and they donated them toward the field of the potter

as the Lord pre-arranged for me.”



In the last sermon, we examined Peter’s denial of Christ, his repentance and restoration. In this sermon, we consider Judas and the priests who also sinned against Christ, yet were not forgiven or restored. Let us examine how they dealt with their guilt and learn how to repent from their example of how not to repent!



27:1 Now, after morning dawned, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel [plotted][1] against Jesus so as to put Him to death.

Πρωιας[2] δε γενομενης συμβουλιον ελαβον παντες ‘οι αρχιερεις και ‘οι πρεσβυτεροι του λαου κατα του Ιησου ‘ωστε θανατωσαι αυτον

·         A.T. Robertson suggests that this parallels Luke 26:66ff, and that this counsel was an attempt to comply with Jewish law that a trial and condemnation to death could not occur during the night, so they did part of it after the sun rose to make it feel a bit less illegal.

·         Luke 22:66 and Mark 15:1 also mention the “scribes” being there. Everybody was there. This was a big deal to the Jewish religious leaders to get rid of Jesus. The threat that Jesus presented to their man-made religiosity was so great that they went to desperate measures to silence Him.


27:2 And after tying Him up, they led Him away and [delivered] handed Him over to Governor Pontius4 Pilate

και δησαντες αυτον απηγαγον και παρεδωκαν αυτον[3] Ποντιῳ[4] Πιλατῳ τῷ ηγεμονι

·         In order to make Jesus look like a dangerous threat to society, they bound Him with ropes to give the impression that He might hurt somebody, then they took Him from the high priest’s house over to the governor’s holiday palace, which was connected to the NW corner of the temple[5], being careful to stand in the temple and not enter the governor’s palace.

·         Luke 3:1-2 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. (NASB, cf. Acts 4:27-28, 1 Timothy 6:13-14)

·         While this is going on with Jesus, we come to the focus of the passage, and that is Judas. It appears that Judas went with the group of priests and elders toward Pilate’s palace, but as they passed through the temple, Judas broke.


27:3 Then Judas His betrayer, after seeing that He was condemned, remorsefully returned the thirty silver [coins] to the chief priests and the elders

Τοτε ιδων Ιουδας ‘ο παραδιδους[6] αυτον ‘οτι κατεκριθη μεταμεληθεις[7] απεστρεψεν[8] τα τριακοντα αργυρια τοις αρχιερευσιν και [τοις[9]] πρεσβυτεροις


27:4 saying, “I sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But as for them, they said, “What’s [that] to us? You yourself will see.”

λεγων ‘Ημαρτον παραδους ‘αιμα αθῷον[10] ‘οι δε ειπον[11] Τί προς ‘ημας; συ οψει

·         Here we have a confession from a key witness. Judas had lived with Jesus for years. Surely he would know if Jesus was guilty of any crime. Furthermore, Judas was hostile toward Jesus; surely he would dredge something up if he could find any excuse to. But even Judas confesses that Jesus is guiltless – innocent!

·         It appears that Judas might not have been expecting this result of the trial.

o       Maybe he was thinking that if he could get Jesus before the Jewish supreme court, Jesus would win them over, and then the Jews could unitedly rise up against the Roman oppressors.

o       Or, if that didn’t happen, surely they would just command Him to stop preaching (like they did later to Peter and John). But condemn Him to death? Yikes, that’s not what he meant to do. Maybe Judas was upset with Jesus, but not that upset. Now what?

·         Perhaps he remembered the curse of the law which God would bring against him: Deut. 27:25a “Cursed is he who shall take a bribe to slay an innocent man...” (LXX, cf. Ex. 23:7) Is there any way to get out of this predicament?

·         Maybe Judas thought back to Jesus’ parable of the two sons[12]. The first son had felt bad about not obeying his father, so he went out to work on the farm after he had initially refused.

o       Judas certainly felt bad about what he had just done. The Greek participle from metamellw in v.3 translated “repented himselfKJV/was remorsefulNKJ/changed his mindESV/felt [was seized withNIV] remorseNAS” is different from the Greek root metanoew, which has to do with “repentance” or literally “changing the mind.”

o       Metamellw is found in Jesus’ parable of the two sons in Matt 21:29-32. Classical Greek expert, Marvin Vincent commented in his Word Studies, “Μεταμέλομαι, as its etymology indicates (μετά, after, and μέλω, to be an object of care), implies an after-care, as contrasted with the change of mind denoted by μετάνοια. Not sorrow for moral obliquity and sin against God, but annoyance at the consequences of an act or course of acts, and chagrin at not having known better.

o       “‘It may be simply what our fathers were wont to call hadiwist (had-I-wist, or known better, I should have acted otherwise)’ (Trench)…

o       “[By contrast] (2Cor. 7:10) is noteworthy. “Godly sorrow worketh repentance (μετάνοιαν) unto salvation,’ a salvation or repentance ‘which bringeth no regret on thinking of it afterwards’ (ἀμεταμέλητον) [but the sorrow of the world produces death.]”

·         Bible commentator William Hendriksen wrote, “…it is especially the emotional element that is stressed in metamelomai.” And Judas was emotionally distraught. (So was Cain in Gen. 4:14.) What could he do? He knew he had done a very bad thing.

·         He went to the priests and confessed his sin! Did that fix the problem? No!

o       Confession to an earthly priest is not what the Bible teaches Christians to do.

o       The Roman Catholic rite of confession is wrong. We are to confess our sins to God through Jesus now. To be forgiven, Judas should have sought out Jesus and confessed his betrayal to Him and begged Him for forgiveness. Judas should have repented and told Jesus, “I’ll be your follower after all.”

·         But unlike Peter,

o       who continued to be a follower of Jesus,

o       who ran to the tomb when he heard Jesus might be alive there,

o       who stayed in Jerusalem with the disciples and met Jesus there,

o       and who went to Galilee as Jesus had commanded

o       and dove into the lake and swam to Jesus, not willing to wait ‘til the boat could get him there,

o       Judas, instead, stayed aloof from Jesus and the other disciples.

·         He had cast his lot with the priests of his day who still held power. But when he went to them to make it right, they didn’t help him. They just said, “What is that to us?”

o       The emphasis on the preposition “to” or “in front of us” may indicate that they see Judas as asking for them to declare their deliberations over the past night to be a mistrial, for the one who initiated it all is claiming that Jesus is innocent. By saying “What before us,” it may be a declaration from the Jewish supreme court that it’s not going to re-open the case of Jesus whom they had condemned to death.

o       The next statement is future tense “You yourself will see.” I have difficulty seeing how the standard English translations turn it into an Imperative, “See to it,” but that is the position of all the commentators I read too[13].

§         But, whether the priests are saying, “We don’t care if you feel bad about what you did; deal with it yourself,”

§         or whether they are saying, “We’re not about to re-consider our condemnation of Jesus, and, soon enough, you’ll see why,”

§         they are no help to Judas. They offer no way to fix his guilty conscience.


27:5 So, after casting the silver [coins] into the temple, he withdrew, went away, and strangled himself.

Και ‘ριψας τα αργυρια εν τῳ ναῳ[14] ανεχωρησεν και απελθων απηγξατο

·         In Acts 1:18 Peter describes in gory detail how Judas expired: “Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out.” (NASB)

·         This fits with the fact that Matthew 27:5 does not use the usual Greek word for hanging[15]; there was something more to it, but it’s too horrifying to consider exactly what it was he did.

·         Notice that Judas dealt with his guilt by withdrawing and going away. It is a natural thing to deal with shame by hiding – it’s what Adam and Eve did too (they hid from God), but that is the opposite of what God wants us to do.

o       When we isolate ourselves from fellowship with God, and we isolate ourselves from the people of God, we make ourselves vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. A common strategy of Satan is to inject wrong thoughts into our heads. When we are not filling our minds with the truth of God’s word and allowing ourselves to be challenged by the truth as we interact with fellow believers, we, in isolation, have no force to combat the lies of Satan, and he is free to deceive us without competition.

o       When we isolate ourselves, we start believing the lies which the world, the flesh, and the devil put into our minds, and those lies make us even more afraid of approaching Jesus or the church.

·         Satan is all about stealing, killing, and destroying us. One of his tactics is to suggest to our thoughts that we kill ourselves. That kind of thinking is not natural; it goes against our fleshly survival instinct; it comes from Satan[16]. So, when that thought comes into your mind – and experience tells me that it will cross your mind at some point – you must reject it as a lie from the pit of hell and run to Jesus, otherwise you run the danger of acting on that thought, like Judas did. Like any other sin, the sin of destroying your life will not help you one bit.

·         Judas’ suicide was just one more step in his rebellion against God. Don’t take the first step down that path by withdrawing from fellowship with God and fellowship with the people of God, no matter how ashamed and afraid you are about the consequences of your sin. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8a).

·         Now, the scene changes from Judas back to the religious leaders:


27:6 Now, the chief priests, after taking the silver [coins] said, “It is not lawful to throw these in with the offerings, since it is a blood bounty.”

‘Οι δε αρχιερεις λαβοντες τα αργυρια ειπον11 Ουκ εξεστιν βαλειν αυτα εις τον κορβαναν[17] επει τιμη ‘αιματος εστιν


27:7 So, after taking counsel, they bought the field of the potter with them, to [provide] a cemetery for foreigners[18].

συμβουλιον δε λαβοντες ηγορασαν εξ αυτων τον αγρον του κεραμεως εις ταφην τοις ξενοις

·         Look at these good men! They are seeking advice from wise older men,

·         Look at these good men! They are following the law which says (in Deuteronomy 23:18-20) “Thou shalt not bring the hire of a harlot, nor the price of a dog into the house of the Lord thy God, for any vow; because even both are an abomination to the Lord...” (Brenton) So they will not accept Judas’ “blood moneyNIV,ESV” into the temple treasury, where the offerings to God (called, in Hebrew, “corban[19]”) were kept.

·         And, not only are they wisely seeking advice and carefully following the law, they are also are doing good deeds! What a marvelous community service they performed by purchasing a field with the money and turning it into a burial place for all those poor Gentiles who died on business trips and pilgrimages to Jerusalem. Boy, if they had put that project on Facebook, I’m sure they would have gotten a million “likes.”

·         But is this the way to get right with God? No. The priests of Jerusalem would be just as deserving of hell as Judas, because all this advice and law-following and do-good-ism was done apart from God, with hearts of hatred toward Jesus.

o       Notice, they didn’t pray to God; instead, they gathered advice from other men.

o       And notice that, while scrupulously keeping laws about the time of day to hold trials and the source of designated gifts, they flagrantly violated the law against condemning the innocent, and they refused to love the Lord with all their heart.

o       And why did they need a cemetery for foreigners in the first place? Because they despised Gentiles so much that they wouldn’t allow foreigners or strangers to be buried in Jewish burial plots![20] What’s wrong with this picture?

o       Doing good, keeping rules, and staying smart are not the way to repent; they won’t make us right with God. We will only be made right when we turn away from our rebellion against Jesus and trust Him to save us.

·         By the way, Acts 1:18 says that Judas “acquired” (ἐκτήσατο) a field with the bounty the priests paid him to betray Jesus, whereas Matthew says that the priests “bought” (ηγορασαν) this field. Do we have a discrepancy here? No.

o       Note that the verbs are different: It doesn’t say that Judas was the one who did the “shopping” on the real estate market, merely that he “acquired” it.

o       I think it would fit the two Biblical accounts to say that the priests bought the field in Judas’ name, considering the money to still belong to Judas, since they would neither take the money back and declare a mistrial, nor would they accept the money for temple use.[21]

·         Now, neither the Gospels nor Acts explicitly say whether the Potter’s field was the location in which Judas killed himself. However, if my hypothesis about how it all happened is true, I think it probably was that field.

o       I suspect that Judas’ dead body was not discovered for some days, allowing time for the body to disintegrate enough to fall from the tree and burst open. (It would be unusual for a human body to burst open like that just from running across a field and falling down, so the extra time after Judas died could explain it the extreme rupture[22].)

o       So, some time after the Passover week, the potter who owned the field came by to dig some more clay to use in making his ceramic pots and roof tiles and such, and there, to his horror, he discovered Judas’ body in the condition in which it was reported by Peter and Luke in the book of Acts.

o       Now Mr. Potter has a problem, because the law in Deuteronomy 21:23 required that a man who had died by hanging be buried before nightfall or else the land would be defiled, and since it had obviously been more than a day since Judas hung himself, this field was now defiled, and Jewish customers would not buy pottery made from clay from that field.

o       So he put the field on the market. Gentiles, who did not care about Jewish law, would have less of a problem using the place as a burial ground, so the priests saw that as a perfect way to get rid of Judas’ money in a way that would make them look good to their fellow Jews.

o       The Bible doesn’t give us that much detail, but that’s just my hypothesis of how it all might fit together.


27:8 on account of which that field was called a field of blood to this very day.

διο εκληθη ‘ο αγρος εκεινος αγρος ‘αιματος ‘εως της σημερον

·         This fits with the comment in Acts 1:19 that: “…it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language [That would be Aramaic or Hebrew.] that field was called Hakeldama[23], that is, Field of Blood” (NASB).

·         Of course “to this day” meant the day of the writing of the Gospel of Matthew, which was long ago in our perspective. However, even in our day, there are some cemeteries South of Jerusalem in the valley of Gehenna, and there is a monastery in that area called Hakel Dama, so maybe that’s the place. [Show photo]


27:9 Then what was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled when he said, “They took the thirty silver [coins] (the value of the man who had been evaluated, which they evaluated for themselves from among Israel’s sons[24]),

Τοτε επληρωθη το ‘ρηθεν δια Ιερεμιου του προφητου λεγοντος Και ελαβον τα τριακοντα αργυρια την τιμην του τετιμημενου ‘ὸν ετιμησαντο απο ‘υιων Ισραηλ


27:10 and they donated them toward the field of the potter as the Lord pre-arranged for me.”

και εδωκαν[25] αυτα εις τον αγρον του κεραμεως καθα συνεταξεν μοι Κυριος

·         This concept of having one’s “price” or “valueKJV” setNAS,NIV,ESV, (It is the same root word as the initial noun for “value” so I rendered the verb “evaluated” to approximate the Greek more closely by carry through the same English root word[26]) – anyway, this concept of having your worth evaluated by others shows up in the Old Testament Levitical system, where priests were given the authority by God to set values on things and on people devoted to the Lord. These values would then be what the family would have to pay God if they wanted to take the dedicated family member or animal back home. If they couldn’t pony up the money, the person or thing stayed in the service of the temple (See Lev. 27).

·         In this case, the priests evaluated the worth of Jesus at 30 silver shekels, the value of an injured slave (Ex. 21:32). Boy did Caiaphas ever miss the boat with his estimate! Jesus’ worth is inestimably higher than 30 pieces of silver!

·         But God “pre-arranged” the whole thing,

o       appointingKJV the prophet Zechariah (11:12-13) to predict that the Messiah would be evaluated at a paltry 30 pieces of silver which would be cast down in the house of the Lord and then paid to a potter,

o       and God saw to it that these very things happened to Jesus. It was all at the Lord’s commandNIV and directionNAS,NKJ,ESV.

o       It shows the detailed level of control God has on all of our lives.

o       This is not to say that the priests were mere robots mindlessly controlled by God’s will;
no, they made wicked choices for which they were responsible before God to be punished, but even in doing so, they were carrying out what God intended to happen.

o       Same thing happened with Pharaoh in Exodus 9:12, “And the Lord hardened Pharao's heart, and he hearkened not to them, as the Lord appointed” (Brenton) – same words! (καθὰ συνέταξεν κύριος). Yet, in God’s justice, He rained plagues upon Pharaoh and literally made him “take a long walk off a short dock” that ended his life in the Red Sea. So, God’s sovereignty does not take away our responsibility.

·         Now, this is the tenth time that Matthew has said that an event in the life of Jesus fulfilled the word of a prophet[27]. However, in the previous nine instances, (except maybe the prophecy about Jesus being a Nazarene - 2:23), we could clearly identify the source of the quote from the Old Testament, but this time it is not so clear.

·         If we search the writings of Jeremiah (which would include Lamentations), we can find:

o       the word “potter” in chapter 18 (κεραμέως - 18:2) where Jeremiah learns that men are like clay in the hands of a potter and that God is sovereign[28],

o       then in Jeremiah 19:11 he says, “…I break in pieces this people, and this city, even as an earthen vessel is broken in pieces which cannot be mended again.” (Brenton)

o       We read the phrase, “I acquired the field… for seventeen shekels of silver,” in chapter 32 (39:9 in the LXX - ἐκτησάμην τὸν ἀγρὸνἑπτὰ σίκλους καὶ δέκα ἀργυρίου) as a parable of the reconstruction of Israel after the Babylonian captivity. It’s a different price, though.

o       There are other passages like Jeremiah 6:30, “Call them [that is, the rebellious Israelites] reprobate silver, because the Lord has rejected them.” (Brenton)

o       And Jeremiah 9:22a “Thus says the LORD, ‘The corpses of men will fall like dung on the open field’” (NASB) Interesting that, in this way, Judas recapitulates apostate Israel at the time of the exile.

o       In Jeremiah 10:23, the interplay of the sovereignty of God and the will of man comes out, “I know, O Lord, that man’s way is not his own; neither shall a man… direct his going.” (Brenton)

o       But about the closest we get to the prophecy Matthew quotes is Lamentations 4:2 “The precious sons of Zion, who were equalled in value with gold, how are they counted as earthen vessels, the works of the hands of the potter!” (Brenton) which has some of the same words but is still rather different.

·         In the writings of the prophet Zechariah, however, we find something substantially closer, Zech. 11:12b-13 “…they weighed out thirty shekels of silver[29] as my wages. Then the LORD said to me, ‘Throw[30] it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued[31] by them.’ So I took[32] the thirty shekels of silver and threw[33] them to the potter[34] in the house of the LORD” (NASB).

·         The problem is, the name “Jeremiah” is what’s Matthew’s gospel here. Sure, a couple of Greek manuscripts from the 6th and 9th Centuries omit the prophet’s name, and one 12th Century manuscript corrects the name to read Zechariah, but all the other thousands of Greek manuscripts read “Jeremiah,” so we can’t blame this on a scribal error. Jeremiah was the name originally written; we have to find some other solution to the apparent discrepancy.

·         The two main ways of resolving this question are[35]:

o       First, that many of the ideas expressed by Zachariah sixty years after Jeremiah can be found scattered throughout Jeremiah’s writings in kernel form[36], so, whether or not Jeremiah wrote this exact sequence of words, the words are rooted in Jeremiah’s prophecies, which, in turn, are rooted in the mind of God. Furthermore it was Jewish tradition to lump minor prophets together with major prophets[37], so it may not have been false to attribute to Jeremiah what Zachariah wrote.

o       Secondly, Matthew doesn’t give us an exact quote of the text of Zachariah. It doesn’t match exactly with either the Septuagint Greek or the Hebrew Masoretic text of Zachariah 11. Jeremiah could very well have spoken word-for-word the prophecy which Matthew quotes and just never written it down – the Greek word Matthew uses in v.29 (rhema) is the word for a spoken statement, not a written statement. So, anyone who wants to say that this constitutes an error in the Bible cannot logically reach that conclusion without first proving that Jeremiah never said these words, something which could not be done without a time machine and a very persistent reporter with a device that could record some 50 years of nonstop audio – that is if, in fact, Jeremiah really never uttered the words.

o       The bottom line is that we don’t have the details of how this quote came to us, but sketchy information doesn’t automatically make the information false. The Bible remains trustworthy.

·         And the point of this reference to prophecy is to underscore the sovereignty of God over every detail.



Now we’ve surveyed three different ways to respond to sin and guilt: Peter’s way which led to forgiveness and a restored relationship with God, the Priests way which led to their destruction in 70 ad, and Judas’ way, which resulted in an early death and the label “son of perdition.” What can we learn from this?



Peter (how to repent)

Priests (how not to repent)

Judas (how not to)

Sinned by

Denying Christ

Condemning the innocent

Helping Jesus’ enemies

When convicted

Wept bitterly

Passed the blame

Had regrets

Confessed by

Pursuing and talking with Jesus

Did not confess.

Telling priests

Associated with

Other disciples

Themselves, not Jesus or disciples.

Priests/no one?

Tried to make things right by

Affirming love for Jesus and serving him lifelong

Human advice, Rule-keeping, and a good deeds

Returning bounty and killing self


1.      When you sin, there is hope of forgiveness and restoration. Do not accept condemnation as your fate when you have sinned. The law condemns every one of us to hell. Yes we deserve it, but when the Devil whispers to you to just kill yourself, you’d be better off dead, shout in His face, “NO, I’m not going there! Lord Jesus, save me; I am yours!” (Psalm 119:94)

2.      When you sin, don’t go to other people to feel better about yourself; go to Jesus to confess your sin and ask Him to forgive you, and HE WILL! (1 John 1:9)

3.      When you sin, do not walk away from the fellowship of the church, and do not stay away from Jesus, press in with all your might. (Mt. 11:12, Heb. 10:23-25)


[1] The NASB and NIV leave something to be desired, in my opinion: “conferred together” doubles the “sym” and omits the labon, and “came to the decision” bears no resemblance to “sumbolion elabon… kata” and omits the auton.

[2] Cf. adverbial use in Matt. 16:3; 20:1; 21:18.

[3] Although found in the majority of Greek manuscripts (including 5th Century A and W), Critical editions of the GNT omit auton (“him”) here because of its omission in six manuscripts (א, B, C, K, L, 33) as well as the Vulgate. It is not indispensable, since another auton supplies the object earlier on in the verb chain. Whether followers of the Majority text or not, all the standard English versions include the word “Him” here.

[4] Pontius apparently just means that he came from the Pontii family, so it’s like we would use a last name today. However, because four Greek manuscripts – two from the 4th Century (א, B) and two from the 9th Century (L, 33) – omit the word “Pontius,” the Critical editions of the Greek New Testament (GNT) pass on this omission, and thus it is not in the ESV, NAS, or NIV English translations. This is not adequate textual basis to revise the traditional Greek text found in thousands of manuscripts (including 5th century manuscripts A, C, W) which includes the name Pontius. It’s also in all the early Latin translations. Origen, the Diatessaron, and the Syriac versions quote it both ways. The parallel passages of Mark 15:1, Luke 23:1, and John 18:29 do not use the word “Pontius,” so it’s not a carryover from a parallel passage. The committee that came up with the United Bible Society’s third Critical edition admitted that “there is a considerable degree of doubt” whether the omission is correct, but unfortunately, this information is not passed on to readers of the modern English versions.

[5] Cf. John 18:28 “Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover.” (NASB) “The reference must be to the fortress of Antonia at the northwest corner of the temple area.” ~W. Hendriksen

[6] Westcott’s early critical edition of the GNT followed three manuscripts which shortened this word by one syllable to παραδους, making the participle Aorist. The Aorist form would shade the meaning slightly to focus on the past betrayal rather than the fact that he was still in the process of betraying Jesus. Curiously, the KJV joins the NAS and NIV in rendering the Aorist meaning (had betrayed), whereas the ESV joins the NKJV in rendering the Present meaning (betrayer).

[7] Found in the O.T. in 1 Sam. 15:35; 1 Chron. 21:15; Psalms 106:45; 110:4, and Jer. 20:16 – to describe God’s “relenting,” and in Ex. 13:17; Prov. 5:11; 25:8; Ezek. 14:22 – to describe men’s “regretting,” and in 6 more N.T. passages.

[8] On the basis of three Greek manuscripts (א, B, and L), the Critical editions of the GNT insist that this verb did not originally have a prepositional prefix that would color the meaning from merely “turned” to “returned.” I’m siding with the thousands of manuscripts (including 5th Century A, C, and W). All the English versions that follow the Critical edition render the word “returned/turned back” anyway!

[9] Although in the Majority of Greek manuscripts (including A and W, and thus in the T.R. and Patristic editions – although not the one published by e-sword), several ancient Greek manuscripts (א, B, C, L, Θ, 0231, 33) omit the definite article here, so the Critical editions go with that omission. Curiously, two English translations (ESV, NIV) which follow the Critical text include the definite article, and two English translations (KJV, NKJV) which follow the Textus Receptus exclude the definite article! The meaning isn’t really any different.

[10] Two 9th Century Greek manuscripts read dikaion (“Righteous”), and practically all the Italian translations followed suit, but the original is considered by most Greek scholars to be “innocent” (although the editors of the UBS 3rd edition say there is “some doubt”). It seems to me that the only ones with cause to doubt would be Roman Catholics who feel that the Vulgate is the only true Bible. All the English versions read “innocent.”

[11] Critical editions of the GNT spell this word a little differently (ειπαν), but the N-A and the UBS do not give manuscript evidence in their critical apparatus for this departure from the majority of Greek manuscripts. It doesn’t matter, though because it’s just a variant spelling of the exact same word, no difference in meaning. The same goes for the last word in this verse: Critical editions spell it οψῃ, which is just an alternate spelling of the same word, but no manuscript evidence is offered for this variant.

[12] Cf. Origen Against Celsus II.xi “…the instructions of Jesus had been able to produce some feeling of repentance in his mind”

[13] A.T. Robertson wrote that it is a “volitive future, an equivalent of the imperative, is commoner in Latin (tu videris) than in Greek, though the Koiné shows it also.”

[14] The Critical editions, based on four ancient manuscripts (א, B, L, Θ - plus f13), opt for the synonymous reading εις τον ναον, rendering “the temple” in the Accusative rather than the Dative case. The majority reading (with the preposition en) can mean either “in” or “into,” (i.e. Judas was “in the temple” when he threw the coins, or Judas was outside the temple and threw the coins “into the temple.”), whereas the Critical reading leans more toward “into,” as is borne out by the translations of the ESV, NAS, and NIV. The UBS text committee noted that there was a “very high degree of doubt” as to whether their alternate reading is accurate. The Majority reading is supported by 5th Century manuscripts A, C, and W, as well as the Latin versions. Origen apparently quotes it both ways. I think it is best to keep the majority reading, but narrow its meaning down to the more specific sense of the variants (“into”) when translating into English. By the way, this synonym for hieron “temple,” while it can mean the Holy of Holies, “does not always have to refer to the inner shrine, but can also have a broader meaning (cf. John 2:19).” ~William Hendriksen.

[15] The only other occurrence of this word in the Greek Bible is in 2Sam. 17:23, where Ahithophel killed himself after he realized that Absolom, with whom he had sided, wouldn’t take his advice and was therefore going to lose the kingdom. The Greek word usually used for hanging is kremasai.

[16] Commenting on this verse, Chrysostom called suicide “a work of an evil spirit,” and Calvin wrote, “Satan charms the wicked; he turns them to frenzy, so that they cut themselves right off…” ~Calvin

[17] Predictably, since this is a transliteration from Hebrew into Greek, there are spelling variants (korbonan, korban, etc.), but they all mean the same thing.

[18] Alternately, xenois could be interpreted according to Eph. 2:12 as - not merely people from another country, but - anyone who had never been circumcised or who had been excommunicated from the synagogue.

[19] This Greek word translated “[temple] treasury” is actually a transliteration of the Hebrew word קרבּן, which comes from the Hebrew word qarav “to be near” or, by extension, “to bring near.” It described the animals and food and goods that were offered to the Lord at the temple. Once given to the Lord, they were holy and could not be taken back. In the Greek Bible, this word only appears here and in Mark 7:11, when Jesus noted the hypocrisy of dedicating possessions to God in order to avoid helping one’s parents.

[20] Calvin noted the irony that this was a “sign of hope given to the Gentiles by being included on the price of Christ’s death.”

[21] Cf. Vincent, “By a fiction of the law the money was still considered to be Judas', and to have been applied by him to the purchase of the potter's field.” (A.T.Robertson agreed)

[22] I got this idea from Dr. Georgia Purdom, a Biology professor at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, on p. 121 of the book, Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions.

[23] Strong explains that this is from חלק (“smoothness/allotment”) and דּם (“blood”).

[24] Most English translations place this phrase “from Israel’s sons” as the subject of “they valued,” but it is a prepositional phrase and doesn’t have a nominative in it and is placed at the end of the sentence, so I am experimenting with an alternate translation here which keeps it as a prepositional phrase at the end of the sentence.

[25] A couple of Greek manuscripts (א, W) spell this in the first person “I gave,” and another (A) spells it in the third singular “he gave,” but the third plural “they gave” is considered to be the original reading by the editors of the Patristic, Textus Receptus, and Critical editions of the GNT. The variant could be explained by the fact that the spelling of the first person singular form and of the third person plural form of the previous verb is identical in Greek.

[26] The Greek word for “honor” or “value” or “price” (time) shows up three times in this verse, first as a noun, then as 2 verbs, so the KJV gives a more literal rendering of the Greek than the NAS or NIV or ESV, but the two verbs are a bit redundant in meaning, so the meaning is not changed by the omission of the third in those English versions.

[27] Cf. Matthew 1:22; 2:15; 2:17; 2:23; 4:14; 8:17; 12:17; 13:35; and 21:4. In addition, there are other passages in Matthew which are also fulfillments of prophecy, but in which Matthew didn’t actually use the phrase “fulfilled the word of the prophet.”

[28] Jeremias, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there thou shalt hear my words. (Brenton)

[29]  MT and LXX agree with Matthew: τριάκοντα ἀργυροῦς/ שְׁלֹשִׁים כָּסֶף

[30] Different word from what Judas did (rhipsas) but synonyms: (LXX=Κάθες “put down” MT=  הַשְׁלִיכֵהוּ)

[31] Zachariah has a synonym (δόκιμόν “think” “esteem”) to Matthew’s time (“honor” “value”) the MT is  יָקַרְתִּי

[32] Compare LXX ἔλαβον “I took” with Matthew ἔλαβον “they took” and the Hebrew  וָאֶקְחָה“I took.”

[33]  Matthew’s quote reads edwkan “they gave;” the Septuagint of Zech. reads ἐνέβαλον “I threw in” and the MT reads וָאַשְׁלִיךְ “I sent.”

[34] Both times that the MT mentions “potter” (הַיּוֹצֵר), the LXX reads “kiln” (χωνευτήριον) – different from Matt’s keramews

[35] Most of this point came from Paul Taylor and Bodie Hodge’s article “Mixed Prophets,” in the book Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions, Ed. Ken Ham, 2010, Master Books.

[36] William Hendriksen noted: “shedding of innocent blood (Jer. 19:4/Mt. 27:4), chief priests and elders (Jer. 19:1/Mt. 27:3-7), a potter (Jer. 19:1&11/Mt. 27:7&10), the valley of Hinnom (the traditional location of the Potter’s field) called “the valley of Slaughter” (Jer. 19:6) much like Matthew’s “Field of Blood” (Mt. 27:8), and this valley becoming a burial place (Jer. 19:11/Mt. 27:7).

[37] I’ve heard, but have not substantiated, that sometimes a minor prophet’s book would be appended to a major prophet’s scroll to fit a standardized length of parchment. Lightfoot argued that the book of Jeremiah was placed first before Isaiah in ancient editions of the Old Testament, thus all of the prophetic books could be subsumed under the title “Jeremiah” just as Jesus uses the Psalms to refer to all the writings in the Bible in Luke 22:44.