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Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Aceldama

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"the field of blood." So called because it was bought with the price of blood, according to Matthew 27:6-8; and because it was the scene of retribution in kind, the blood which Judas caused to be shed being avenged by his own blood, according to Acts 1:19; Revelation 16:6. The purchase of the field was begun by Judas, and was completed after Judas' death by the priests, who would not take the price of blood from Judas but used the pieces of silver to pay for the field. He did not pay the money (Matthew 27:5), but had agreed to pay it, with a view of securing "a habitation" to himself and his wife and children (Psalms 109:9; Psalms 69:25). Stung with remorse he brought again the 30 pieces of silver, went to the field, hanged himself, and, the cord breaking, his bowels gushed out.

Thus there is no discrepancy between Matthew 27:8 and Acts 1:19. Substantial unity amidst circumstantial variety is the strongest mark of truth; for it. proves the absence of collusion in the writers. (Bengel.) Or probably Peter's words (Acts 1:18) are in irony. All he purchased with the reward of iniquity was the bloody field of his burial. What was bought with his money Peter speaks of as bought by him. The field originally belonged to a potter, and had become useless to him when its clay was exhausted. Jerome says it was still shown S. of mount Zion, where even now there is a bed of white clay. Matthew (Matthew 27:9) quotes Jeremiah's prophecy as herein fulfilled. Zechariah 11:12-13 is the nearest approach to the quotation, but not verbatim. Probably Jeremiah 18:1-2 and Jeremiah 32:6-12 are the ultimate basis on which Zechariah's more detailed prophecy rests, and Jeremiah is therefore referred to by Matthew.

The field of blood is now shown on the steep S. face of the ravine of Hinnom, on a narrow level terrace, half way up, near its E. end; now Hak-ed-damm. The chalk favors decomposition; and much of it for this reason, and for its celebrity, was taken away by the empress Helena and others, for sarcophagic cemeteries. A large square edifice, half excavated in the rock, and half massive masonry, stands on the steep bank facing the pool of Siloam, as a charnel house 20 feet deep, the bottom covered with moldering bones. "The potter" represents God's absolute power over the clay framed by His own hand: so appropriate in the case of Judas, "the son of perdition," of whom Jesus says, "It had been good for that man if he had not been born"; given over to a reprobate mind and its awful doom. This is the point of Jeremiah 18:6, which is therefore referred to by Matthew (Isaiah 30:14; Isaiah 45:9; Romans 9:20-21).


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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Aceldama'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/fbd/a/aceldama.html. 1949.

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