|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
27:1-10 Wicked men see little of the consequences of their crimes when they commit them, but they must answer for them all. In the fullest manner Judas acknowledged to the chief priests that he had sinned, and betrayed an innocent person. This was full testimony to the character of Christ; but the rulers were hardened. Casting down the money, Judas departed, and went and hanged himself, not being able to bear the terror of Divine wrath, and the anguish of despair. There is little doubt but that the death of Judas was before that of our blessed Lord. But was it nothing to them that they had thirsted after this blood, and hired Judas to betray it, and had condemned it to be shed unjustly? Thus do fools make a mock at sin. Thus many make light of Christ crucified. And it is a common instance of the deceitfulness of our hearts, to make light of our own sin by dwelling upon other people's sins. But the judgment of God is according to truth. Many apply this passage of the buying the piece of ground, with the money Judas brought back, to signify the favour intended by the blood of Christ to strangers, and sinners of the Gentiles. It fulfilled a prophecy, Zec 11:12. Judas went far toward repentance, yet it was not to salvation. He confessed, but not to God; he did not go to him, and say, I have sinned, Father, against heaven. Let none be satisfied with such partial convictions as a man may have, and yet remain full of pride, enmity, and rebellion.
Verse 6. - Took the silver pieces. They picked up the coins which Judas had flung away on the marble pavement of the court, but were perplexed to determine what they should do with them. It is not lawful. These men, who had felt no doubt or hesitation in compassing the death of an innocent Man by the foulest treachery and perversion of justice, have, or hypocritically professed to have, religious scruples about the disposal of this blood money thus thrown on their hands. While they calmly outraged all moral feeling, they punctiliously observed certain outward ceremonial decencies. "They strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel." The treasury (τὸν κορβανᾶν). The temple treasury, supplied by the offerings (corbans) of the pious for the expenses of Divine worship. It is most probable that these scrupulous priests had taken from this treasury the silver which they now deemed it sinful to replace. The price of blood. The wages of murder. It was inferred from Deuteronomy 23:18 that no money unlawfully gained, or derived from an impure source, might be used in purchasing things for God's service. Under Jewish Law such money must be restored to the donor; if circumstances rendered this impossible, or the offerer insisted on giving it, it was to be expended for some public object, the original owner being considered, by a legal fiction, to be its possessor still, and that which was paid for by the money being deemed as his gift to the community (comp. Acts 1:18, "This man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity").
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the chief priests took the silver pieces,.... Off of the ground, after Judas was gone, no other daring to meddle with them; for in any other it would have been deemed sacrilege; and they being the proper persons to take care and dispose of money brought into the temple: and if not, their covetous disposition would have moved them to take up the money:
and said, one to another, it is not lawful to put them into the treasury, or "Corban"; as the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions leave the word untranslated: and which is the place where the offerings for the repair and service of the temple were put, and is the same into which Christ beheld the people casting their money, Mark 12:41. Josephus (u) observes, that
"there was, with the Jews, an holy treasure, which is called "Corbonas";''
and this is the , "the chamber of the Korban", of which the Jews make mention (w): the reason the high priests give why it was not lawful to put this money into the treasury, or into any of the chests in the "Corban" chamber, was,
because it is the price of blood. Thus they strained at a gnat, and swallowed a camel. It is highly probable, that they took this selfsame money out of the treasury to buy this blood with, and yet scruple to put it in, having bought it: and besides, they made no hesitation about seeking for, and shedding this innocent blood, and yet boggle at putting this money into the "Corban", because it was the price of it; proceeding upon the same reason as the law in Deuteronomy 23:18 does, pretending much religion, and great veneration for holy pieces and things, when they made no conscience of committing the most flagitious crimes.
(u) De Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 9. sect. 3.((w) Misn. Middot, c. 1. sect, 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury—"the Corban," or chest containing the money dedicated to sacred purposes (see on Mt 15:5).
because it is the price of blood—How scrupulous now! But those punctilious scruples made them unconsciously fulfil the Scripture.
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