What does Matthew 26:15 mean?
ESV: and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver.
NIV: and asked, 'What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?' So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver.
NASB: and said, 'What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?' And they set out for him thirty pieces of silver.
CSB: and said, "What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you? " So they weighed out thirty pieces of silver for him.
NLT: and asked, 'How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?' And they gave him thirty pieces of silver.
KJV: And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
NKJV: and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.
Verse Commentary:
Under the influence of Satan (John 13:2, 27), one of Jesus' chosen twelve disciples, Judas Iscariot, has made a traitorous decision. He will betray the Lord to the Jewish religious leaders who want to arrest and kill him (John 13:3–4). Matthew positions this decision following Jesus' correction of the disciples over expensive ointment. They said the woman who anointed Jesus should have sold the oil and given the money to the poor. Jesus insisted she was preparing His body for burial (Matthew 26:1–14).

John 12:6 reveals that Judas was already stealing from the group moneybag at this point. He may have been growing in disillusionment with Jesus' approach to Rome, the Pharisees, and Israel. His decision now to betray Jesus also comes with an apparent financial motive. He asks the chief priests what they will give him to deliver Jesus over to them. They pay Judas 30 pieces of silver.

This was not a large amount of money. It is the amount in the law that was to be paid by the owner of an ox that accidentally gored a slave to death (Exodus 21:32). Zechariah only sarcastically referred to this as a "lordly price" (Zechariah 11:13). It is a shockingly low amount for the betrayal of the Son of God, of course, and it reveals how little value Israel's religious leaders placed on Jesus. It also suggests that Judas' motivations might have been personal, in that he perhaps came to resent Jesus and His mission.
Verse Context:
Matthew 26:6–16 finds Jesus and the disciples in Bethany at the home of a man identified as "Simon the leper." A woman, likely Mary the sister of Lazarus, opens a bottle of extremely expensive ointment and anoints Jesus' head as He reclines at the table during dinner. The disciples think the ointment should have been sold and the money given to the poor, but Jesus insists she has done a beautiful thing that will prepare Him for burial. Judas then offers to turn Jesus over to the chief priests. They pay him 30 silver pieces, a price ironically associated with the cost of a common slave.
Chapter Summary:
The Jewish religious leaders further their plots to arrest and kill Jesus, finding a willing traitor in Judas Iscariot. A woman anoints Christ with oil during a dinner at Bethany. Next, Jesus and the disciples hold the Passover meal in an upper room where Jesus predicts His arrests and introduces the sacrament of communion. Then Jesus prays in unimaginable agony in the garden of Gethsemane before being betrayed by Judas and captured. The disciples scatter. Before the high priest, Jesus explicitly claims to be divine. They convict Him of blasphemy and sentence Him to death. As this happens, Peter denies knowing Jesus and runs away in shame.
Chapter Context:
After a long series of teaching (Matthew 24—25), Matthew 26 begins with Jesus saying He will be delivered up for death. Christ is anointed at a dinner in Bethany and Judas agrees to turn Him over to the chief priests. Jesus holds a Passover meal with the disciples, predicts an act of treachery, and introduces the sacrament of communion. He tells the disciples they will run in fear and that Peter will deny Him, which happens just as prophesied. Christ prays in great sorrow in a garden and is then arrested and taken away and unfairly sentenced to death. After this, Jesus will be taken to the Roman governor, where Jewish leadership will press for Him to be executed as an insurgent.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
Accessed 5/27/2024 12:05:44 PM
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