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Acts 1:18-19 & meaning...


this man obtained a field with the reward for his wickedness, and falling headlong, his body burst open, and all his intestines gushed out. It became known to everyone who lived in Jerusalem that in their language that field was called ‘Akeldama,’ that is, ‘The field of blood.’

Acts 1:18-19


Acts 1 [15.] In these days, Peter stood up in the middle of the disciples (and the number of names was about one hundred twenty), and said, “Brothers, it was necessary that this Scripture should be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was guide to those who took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and received his portion in this ministry. Now this man obtained a field with the reward for his wickedness, and falling headlong, his body burst open, and all his intestines gushed out. It became known to everyone who lived in Jerusalem that in their language that field was called ‘Akeldama,’ that is, ‘The field of blood.’ 

Acts 1 [20.] For it is written in the book of Psalms,

‘Let his habitation be made desolate.

    Let no one dwell therein;’[a]


‘Let another take his office.’[b]


a. Acts 1:20 Psalm 69:25.

b. Acts 1:20 Psalm 109:8.


These verses provide a grim detail about the fate of Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus. To understand the significance of this passage, we need to delve into the context and the repercussions of Judas's actions, as well as how this account ties into the broader biblical narrative.

First, let's consider the immediate context in Acts. This passage is part of a speech by Peter to the gathered believers as they prepare to select a replacement for Judas among the Twelve Apostles. Peter recounts how Judas, who was one of Jesus' chosen disciples, met his end in a manner consistent with the betrayal he committed. The reward of his wickedness refers to the thirty pieces of silver he received for betraying Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16). However, Judas's story takes a tragic turn. Consumed by guilt and despair, he attempted to return the money to the chief priests and elders, declaring, "I have sinned in that I betrayed innocent blood" (Matthew 27:4). When they refused to take the money back, Judas threw it into the temple and subsequently hanged himself (Matthew 27:5).

The field mentioned, called "Akeldama" or "The field of blood," was purchased with the money Judas received for his betrayal. This detail is significant for a few reasons:

It connects Judas's act of betrayal with his end, emphasizing the consequences of his actions.

The name "Akeldama" serves as a perpetual reminder to the people of Jerusalem of the price of treachery and the fulfillment of prophecy.

The gruesome nature of Judas's death, described in Acts as falling headlong and bursting open, differs slightly from the account in Matthew. While Matthew describes Judas hanging himself, Acts suggests that his body suffered a horrific end, possibly due to falling and decomposing in the field he purchased. These accounts may appear different but can be reconciled by understanding that they highlight different aspects of Judas's demise, both pointing to a tragic and dishonorable end fitting for his betrayal.

This passage in Acts also serves to fulfill Old Testament prophecies. For example, Peter, in his speech, references Psalm 69:25: "Let their habitation be desolate. Let no one dwell in their tents," and Psalm 109:8: "Let his days be few. Let another take his office." These references show that Judas's betrayal and its consequences were foreseen in Scripture, underscoring the divine foreknowledge and sovereignty over even the darkest human actions.

Reflecting on Judas's fate also invites us to ponder deeper spiritual lessons. Judas's tragic end serves as a stark warning about the dangers of greed, betrayal, and the refusal to repent genuinely. Despite being close to Jesus and witnessing His miracles and teachings firsthand, Judas allowed his heart to be swayed by personal gain, leading to his ultimate downfall.

We can cross-reference other Scriptures to further explore the themes of betrayal and repentance. For instance, in John 17:12, Jesus refers to Judas as the "son of perdition," indicating his destined path of destruction. This highlights the grave consequences of rejecting the truth and turning away from God's grace.

Additionally, in 2 Corinthians 7:10, Paul writes, "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, which brings no regret. But the sorrow of the world produces death." Judas's remorse over his betrayal led to despair and death rather than true repentance and restoration. This contrast between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow is crucial for understanding how we should respond to our sins and failures. True repentance leads to forgiveness and new life, whereas worldly regret leads to further destruction.

The story of Judas is a powerful reminder of the importance of maintaining integrity and faithfulness in our walk with God. It warns us of the potential for even those close to Jesus to fall away if they allow their hearts to be corrupted by sin. At the same time, it reassures us that God's plan is never thwarted by human actions, as even Judas's betrayal played a part in the fulfillment of God's redemptive purpose through Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection.

In conclusion, Acts 1:18-19 presents a sobering account of Judas Iscariot's fate, illustrating the dire consequences of betrayal and unrepentant sin. This passage, linked with Old Testament prophecies and other New Testament teachings, underscores the importance of genuine repentance and the sovereignty of God in orchestrating His redemptive plan. As we reflect on Judas's story, let it remind us to stay vigilant in our faith and seek true repentance, leading to life and restoration in Christ.

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


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