Matthew 27:5

ESV And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.
NIV So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
NASB And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and left; and he went away and hanged himself.
CSB So he threw the silver into the temple and departed. Then he went and hanged himself.
NLT Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself.
KJV And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

What does Matthew 27:5 mean?

Judas is distraught. When he heard Jesus had been condemned to death, he regretted his decision to take thirty pieces of silver as payment for turning Jesus over to His enemies (Matthew 26:14–16). He has tried to give the money back, but the Jewish religious leaders who paid him don't want it. They also don't want to hear Judas' confession that he has sinned by betraying an innocent person (Matthew 27:1–4). Whether they are denying being involved, or merely callous, the religious leaders aren't taking the money back, or changing their minds.

His conscience is shouting at him, however, so Judas will not keep the money. He throws it down in the temple on his way out. He immediately goes off and commits suicide. His chosen method is hanging, likely meaning he jumped from a high ledge with a rope tied around his neck. The Book of Acts supports this theory with grisly details: as part of this suicide—or not long after—Judas' body fell and was splattered on the ground (Acts 1:16–18).

Some cultures have seen suicide as a noble way to end one's life under specific circumstances. Highly honor-driven cultures have used it to atone for shameful actions. Others see it as an acceptable way to avoid submissive death at another's hand. The strictest religious Jews of Judas' era, however, held a similar view of suicide as that of modern Christianity. Namely, that suicide is an act of tragically misguided despair, at best. It is a sinful rebellion against God's control over life, at worst. Especially tragic is that Judas' remorse led him to suicide, but not to real repentance (Matthew 26:24; Mark 14:21).
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