Judas' Casting Down the Money in the Temple

(To the Editor of The Bible Treasury.) Dear Mr. Editor,

1873 240 Allow me to draw your attention to Matthew xxvii. 5. The word employed is naos, not hieron. What brought Judas in there? We can hardly suppose him to have been a priest. If not, his association and connection with the priests must have been very intimate to have him admitted there where only priests might come. There must have been an arranging of the wickedness sought to be accomplished which gave this intimacy and access to a place appropriated to the priests. I do not find naos used for the general buildings of the temple. It may be found in a dictionary on account of this passage; but though I have no opportunity of consulting books where I write this, I do not think such a use of naos is warranted. Can you throw any light upon it? The importance to me is as throwing light on the dealings between Judas Iscariot and the priests. J. N. Darby.

The reading seems by no means certainly en toi naoi though supported by the main body of uncials and cursives, Itala, Vulg. Syrr. etc.; but eis ton naon has the grave testimony of Aleph, B, L, a few good cursives and versions, with some of the early Greek fathers. If this last be not a change to evade the difficulty, it would less than the former imply that Judas entered the house or sanctuary. He may have only thrown the money into it. But if he himself went in, does it teach us more than the desperation of the betrayer, now feeling the bitterest remorse as he thought of his condemned Master, with the surest forebodings of divine wrath? In such a state one can understand Satan pushing a man blindly to dare aught else, conscious that the worst had been done irreparably. Possibly no doubt the priests may have connived at the entrance of the chief instrument of their wickedness where he ought not; but beyond controversy we see elsewhere (John xix. 28), how punctilious in ceremonials were those that took Jesus. I incline to think therefore that the point is the recklessness of one impelled by Satan, now that his part was over, with a maddened conscience, rather than the fruit of Judas' intimacy with the plotting priests.



1873 270 Dear Mr. Editor,

In your number for March there is a question from J. N. D. as to naon and hieron, together with your answer. I do not think the matter of the least importance. Whatever was the fact, the chief priests and elders and Judas were wicked enough to do anything to accomplish the death of our blessed Lord; but seeing that the scribes and Pharisees would not go into the judgment hall, "lest they should be defiled," (John xviii. 28) when they were, at the same time, crying out for the blood of Jesus, and seeing that they would not put the money, which Judas returned, into the treasury, "because it was the price of blood," and would therefore defile it, it is hardly likely that they would admit Judas himself into the temple, naon, when they would not admit his money into the treasury. Surely blood was upon him, as well as on his money.

I should suppose therefore, that he came to the gate of the temple, and cast down the money to the priests inside — the more so, as it does not say that he went in; it says, "he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, see Matthew xxvii, 3. 'Ioudas . . . .  metameletheis estrepsen ta triakonta arguria  . . . kai hripsas ta arguria en toi naoi anechoresen etc., casting the money down en toi naoi — not going in — and I further come to this conclusion from the contemptuous answer of the chief priests and elders ti pros hemas; su ophe.

I believe that they were wicked enough to have allowed Judas to come into the temple, naon, to have secured the death of Jesus, just as they said "we have no king but Caesar;" but, having accomplished their purpose, they had done with their "defiled" tool, and would hardly have allowed him to come in then — on the contrary, dismiss him with the contemptuous words, "what is that to us? see thou to that." So that I think that we have the text, and the probabilities against his going in. X. Y.