Question: "How did Judas die?"
Answer: Matthew 27:5-8 says, "So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests picked up the coins and said, ‘It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.’ So they decided to use the money to buy the potter's field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day." Acts 1:18-19 says, "With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood." Which is correct? Did Judas hang himself or did he fall? Did Judas buy the field or did the priests buy the field?
Judas hanged himself in the potter’s field (Matthew 27:5), and then, after his body decayed and bloated, evidently the rope broke, and he burst into pieces on the land of the potter’s field (Acts 1:18-19). The Acts passage presumes Judas' hanging, as a man falling down in a field does not result in his body bursting open. Only decomposition and a fall from a height could cause a body to burst open. When Judas threw the thirty pieces of silver down, the priests took the money and used it to buy the potter’s field (Matthew 27:7), not knowing that Judas was going to hang himself there. Judas may not have purchased the field himself, but it was the money Judas received for betraying Jesus that purchased the field.
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