I believe with all my heart that the Bible is absolutely true in everything it says. Now, my brother asked me this question, and I didn’t have an answer for him: Why does it say in Matt 27:3-10 that Judas threw the silver at the chief priests and elders, who in turn bought the potter’s field; while in Acts 1:18, 19 is says the HE purchased it. Also it Matthew, it says he hanged himself and in Acts, it says he fell headlong and all of his bowels gushed out. Did he hang upside down? Why do these two verses seem to conflict in two ways? What am I overlooking or misunderstanding? Thanks for your help.
Matthew 27:3-10 says, “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me.”
Acts 1:16-20 says, “Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishopric let another take.”
Judas brought back the money to the chief priests and elders, but they would not receive it back. That is why Judas finally just threw the money down on the floor. “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.” So the religious leaders did not accept the money back.
If someone came into your house and threw down some money that he had gotten from robbing a bank, and then he went out and killed himself, would that make the money yours, because it was laying on your floor? No. It was the money that he had made off his crime.
But would you leave all of that money laying on your floor? No, because it would bother your conscience to keep it (I hope). What you would do (in the case of a bank robbery) is take the money to the police. You would not be in trouble, because it was not your money (you had not robbed the bank). Even though the robber was dead, he would still be considered responsible for the money.
Such was the case with the elders and chief priests. They would not receive the money back from Judas. What they did was TAKE HIS MONEY LAYING ON THE FLOOR, and they bought the potter’s field with it. Acts 1:18 says, “Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity.” Even though he was dead, it was his money (his reward for iniquity, betraying the Lord) that bought the field.
Your second question had to do with the manner of Judas’ death. Matthew 27:5 says, “And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and HANGED HIMSELF.” Acts 1:18 says, “Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and FALLING HEADLONG, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.”
Hanging is normally accomplished by placing a rope around a person’s neck that tightens as weight is applied to the rope. If the person is just left to dangle on the end of the rope just off the floor, death would be more slowly by suffocation.
But if the person with the rope around his neck is dropped for some distance, when the rope comes to the end, there will be a terrific jolt to the neck, and it will probably break the neck — resulting in instant death (if the jolt is violent enough).
Obviously, when people try to kill themselves, they want it to be as quick and painless as possible (but oftentimes they end up surviving the suicide attempt, and then live with pain because of it, or are maimed in some way). So Judas would not have tried to hang himself just off the ground. That would have been a slow death gasping for air. He obviously found the highest place that he could on the spur of the moment; tied a rope around his neck, AND THEN JUMPED HEADFIRST. Acts 1:18 said, “…and falling headlong.”
The Bible does not say whether he jumped out of a tree and crashed into other branches on the way down; or whether he jumped off a high place and hit rocks on the way down; or whether he was just so high that when he came to the end of the rope it was a tremendous jolt. What the Bible does tell us is that Judas’ body was ripped right in two in the middle. Acts 1:18 says, “and falling headlong, HE BURST ASUNDER IN THE MIDST, AND ALL HIS BOWELS GUSHED OUT.”
What a horrible scene it would have been. A horrible death as the result of a horrible sin. Mark 14:21 says, “The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.”
The end of sin is never a pretty sight. James 1:15 says, “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”