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Document Details :

Title: Akeldama (Acts 1:19)
Author(s): DERRETT, J. Duncan M.
Journal: Bijdragen
Volume: 56    Issue: 2   Date: 1995   
Pages: 122-132
DOI: 10.2143/BIJ.56.2.2002454

Abstract :
Mt 27:3-10 and Acts 1:18-19 do not show the priests as hypocrites (Grotius). Independent stories, they share Akeldama. Judas was known to guides in Jerusalem before AD 70, as the 'hander-over'. Pilgrims would see proof of his ambiguous act on the spot. Matthew thought Jesus was bought as a sacrifice. His tale is skillful. Judas was a sinner. He tried to undo his act at the last minute, divesting himself of the 30 coins. The priests ignore his repentance: the transaction was accomplished. He abandoned the cash. They cannot presume he intended to benefit the temple because the coins were (a) a price and (b) a valuation of a life killed (1 Ch 22:8, 28:3), both tainted, and ineligible as a dedication, since vows of the value of a person about to be killed are invalid (worthless). But the sum can go towards purchasing land for burials. A stranger's burial ground would interest pilgrims, and it might have been bought cheaply if all the soil was removed for clay. According to Acts Judas himself bought the land before he died, but it remained unoccupied, called Ground of Blood. But Akeldama is 'field of (1) blood (demēy, (2) Equivalent or Compensation/Retribution (dāmēy).' Field-blood-retribution is a known sequence (2 Kgs 9:21-26). The money was someone's 'blood', Judas' 'reparation'. His charity towards strangers had multiple implications.