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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW - Chapter 27 - Verse 5

Verse 5. And he cast down, etc, This was an evidence of his remorse of conscience for his crime. His ill-gotten gain now did him no good. It would not produce relief to his agonized mind. He attempted, therefore, to obtain relief by throwing back the price of treason. But he attempted it in vain. The consciousness of guilt was fastened to his soul; and Judas found, as all win find, that to cast away or abandon ill-gotten wealth will not alleviate the guilty conscience.

In the temple, It is not quite certain what part of the temple is here meant. Some have thought it was the place where the sanhedrim was accustomed to sit; others, the treasury; others, the part where the priests offered sacrifice. It is probable that Judas cared little, or thought little, to what particular part of the temple he went. In his deep remorse he hurried to the temple, and probably cast the money down in the most convenient place, and fled to some situation where he might take his life.

And went and hanged himself. The word used in the original, here, has given rise to much discussion, whether it means that he was suffocated or strangled by his great grief, or whether he took his life by suspending himself. It is acknowledged on all hands, however, that the latter is its most usual meaning, and it is certainly the most obvious meaning. Peter says, in giving an account of the death of Jesus, Ac 1:18 that Judas, "falling headlong, burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out." There has been supposed to be some difficulty in reconciling these two accounts, but there is really no necessary difference. Both accounts are true. Matthew records the mode in which Judas attempted his death by hanging. Peter speaks of the result. Judas probably passed out of the temple in great haste and perturbation of mind. He sought a place where he might perpetrate this crime. He would not, probably, be very careful about the fitness of the means he used. In his anguish, his haste, his desire to die, he seized upon a rope and suspended himself; and it is not at all remarkable, or indeed unusual, that the rope might prove too weak, and break. Falling headlong—that is, on his, face—he burst asunder, and in awful horrors died—a double death, with double pains and double horrors—the reward of his aggravated guilt.

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