Judas' Apostatizing Fulfilled Part 4
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
I read of a man that fell from the roof of a house, "and his belly burst and his bowels came out." I have also heard that when a man condemned to death by hanging, is legally and properly hung that he bowls move. But, I always believe in a literal interpretation of scripture; therefore, since it says, “he burst asunder in the midst,” that is proof enough that his abdomen burst open and his insides fell out. And this was the miserable end of Judas. As to the seeming difference between what has been reported by the Evangelist Matthew and the Apostle Peter, it may be reconciled by the ways mentioned in the previous paragraphs; although it seems most likely, that Judas was not able to bear the torments of his mind, and that’s why he hanged himself. He was not strangled by the devil, or by any disease; probably, he fell down from the tree on which he hung, because either the rope broke, or the limb where the rope was attached; and consequently, the things happened to him which are recorded. Or he might have fallen either due to a violent strong wind which blew him down; or through wild beasts adding their weight to his, causing either the rope or the limb on which he hung to break; or, which seems to be the best explanation, he might be thrown down by men, either on their own volition, or by the order of the civil magistrates, because they did not want such a horrible spectacle to hang for very long; and they would not take him down, in a gentle manner, but by cutting the rope, and allowing the body to fall, and burst asunder, as is describe here.
Perhaps Christ was referring to the fate of Judas when he said of the wicked servant that he would cut him in sunder—“ and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt 24:51; NKJV).
19 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.
And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem;
Public notice was taken, “and it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem.” You might say, it was in the newspapers, and was the talk of the town; that a remarkable judgment of God had taken the life of the man that betrayed his Master. The disciples talked about it among themselves, and Matthew knew where Judas was buried; “Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day” (Matt 27:8; NKJV). Jerusalem was buzzing with all the talk about this unpleasant incident, but nobody doubted the truth of the affair.
Let’s review the facts; what was known that caused such a stir in Jerusalem.
• That Judas betrayed Jesus of Nazareth into the hands of the chief priests, for thirty pieces of silver; that this was the reward of his iniquity.
• The incident in the temple that led to the priests purchasing the field.
• The name of the field, which would preserve the memory of the guilt of Judas—The field of blood. The field purchased by the price of blood. The name by which this field was called was Aceldama. It was just outside the walls of Jerusalem, on the south of Mount Zion. It is now used as a burying-place by the Armenian Christians in Jerusalem, who have a magnificent convent on Mount Zion.
• The field was formerly called the potter's field. A field that had been used for the purpose of making pottery until it was worthless for other purposes and could be bought cheap. Potters' fields are still found in the Kedron Valley south of the city.
• The field was to be used to bury strangers in and as a burial place for the poor.
• The repentance of Judas in a wretched way, his dying testimony in behalf of our Lord‘s innocence, and his tragic death.
Now, one would think that since all this was common knowledge it would have awakened those to repentance that had had a hand in the death of Christ when they saw that Judas, who acted first and started the other events that culminated in Christ’s death, had taken his own life. But their hearts were hardened, and, if they were to be softened, it must be done by the word of God, applied by the Spirit of God.
These circumstances must have damaged the reputation of the priests in the public mind, but God can take the worst things that happen and make them the very best thing that ever happened, and perhaps He did precisely that by using these circumstances to prepare the citizens of Jerusalem to receive the Gospel of the kingdom, when preached to them after the day of Pentecost.
insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
“In their proper tongue,” means "in their own dialect" (the "Jerusalem dialect"), which at this time was Chaldee, or Syriac, not Hebrew, which had long ceased to be the “proper tongue” in Palestine. "Aceldama,” which means “the field of blood" belonged to that language. We know that Peter did not speak this language because of what is said in Mark’s gospel—“And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto” (Mark 14:70; KJV). It is clear that the Galilean dialect was different from the Jerusalem dialect.
There are two reasons given for naming the field, Akeldema. The reason given in Matthew is the fact that the money that bought it was "the price of blood," and the reason in Acts appears to be that it was derived from the bloody death of Judas. Both reasons are true since either one of them is sufficient to suggest the name.
This field has been identified as one owned today by the Armenian Christians in Jerusalem. It stands near to the valley of Himom and is on the south side of Mount Zion. The name it was given was fitting—“the field of blood"—because it was bought with the price of Christ's blood: and if, as some say, Judas hanged himself there, or was thrown headlong there by Satan, and that this was the place where his bowels gushed out; then it may also be called by that name, because it was sprinkled with Judas’ blood. The name kept alive the disgrace not only of the one that sold that innocent precious blood but of those that bought it too.
20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.