Q. I’m confused as to exactly how Judas died since there are two vastly differing descriptions concerning the event. Matthew 27:5 says, “And he (Judas) threw the pieces of silver into the sanctuary and departed; and he went away and Hanged himself”.
Acts 1:18 says “Now this man (Judas) secured a field with the price of his wickedness; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.”
Can you help sort this out?
A. Tradition has it that Judas hanged himself. The word for hanged in Matt. 27:5 means to be choked or strangled which confirms it.
In Acts 1:18 Peter was giving an abbreviated account. The field was actually bought by the priests with the money Judas had thrown at them when they refused to cancel the deal he had made to betray Jesus. (Matt. 27:5-7) The reference to Field of Blood in verse 8 is the same as in Acts 1:19, confirming that it was the same field.
This transaction had been prophesied by Zechariah about 500 years earlier. (Zech. 11:12-13)
The reference to bursting open is thought to mean that when the body of Judas was either cut down or fell after decomposing, it burst open upon hitting the ground.