by Matt Slick
The name of the field in which Judas was buried was the Potters Field. It was a plot of land outside of Jerusalem, "on the southern slope of the Valley of Hinnon near the Kidron Valley"1. The chief priests bought the land so that they could bury strangers there if no one claimed their bodies.
- Matthew 27:10, "And they conferred together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers. 8 For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “AND THEY TOOK THE THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER, THE PRICE OF THE ONE WHOSE PRICE HAD BEEN SET by the sons of Israel; and they gave them for the potters field, as the Lord directed me."
This verse is a reference to Zechariah 11:12-13 which says,
- "I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages. 13 Then the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD."
After Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, he threw the money back at them and went out and hung himself (Matthew 27:3-5). But because it was blood money, money that was used for the life of a person, it could not be put back into the temple treasury. Therefore, the Jews used it to buy that plot of land.
Matthew 27:6-8, "The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” 7 And they conferred together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers. 8 For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day."
Some scholars suspect that the reason it is called the "potters field" is that it was either bought from a potter or it was a place where potters would dump their clay refuse.
"Matthew’s reference to this event as the fulfillment of “the prophecy of Jeremiah” has provoked much discussion. Several OT allusions seem to be mixed here: Jeremiah’s visit to the potter’s house (Jer. 18:1–5; cf. 19:1–13), his purchase of a field from his cousin for seventeen silver pieces (32:9), and Zechariah’s contribution to the treasury of his wages—thirty shekels—according to God’s command (Zec. 11:12f.)."2