Monday, July 17, 2017

[BTT033] Mat 27:3-9 / Jeremiah 32:1-15

Previous: [BTT032] Mat 21: 1-5 / Zechariah 9:1-10

Mat 27:3-9 / Jeremiah 32:1-15


Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”
And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!”
Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.
But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.” And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.
Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. For then the king of Babylon’s army besieged Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah’s house. For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, “Why do you prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it; and Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape from the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him face to face, and see him eye to eye; then he shall lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and there he shall be until I visit him,” says the Lord; “though you fight with the Chaldeans, you shall not succeed”’?”
And Jeremiah said, “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle will come to you, saying, “Buy my field which is in Anathoth, for the right of redemption is yours to buy it.”’ Then Hanamel my uncle’s son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the Lord, and said to me, ‘Please buy my field that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin; for the right of inheritance is yours, and the redemption yours; buy it for yourself.’ Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord. So I bought the field from Hanamel, the son of my uncle who was in Anathoth, and weighed out to him the money—seventeen shekels of silver. And I signed the deed and sealed it, took witnesses, and weighed the money on the scales. So I took the purchase deed, both that which was sealed according to the law and custom, and that which was open; and I gave the purchase deed to Baruch the son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, in the presence of Hanamel my uncle’s son, and in the presence of the witnesses who signed the purchase deed, before all the Jews who sat in the court of the prison.
“Then I charged Baruch before them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Take these deeds, both this purchase deed which is sealed and this deed which is open, and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may last many days. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land.”’


This passage may be the apex of Matthew's radical re-interpretation. He claims that Jeremiah is talking about someone buying a field with 30 pieces of silver, which they received as the price of a man's life. But that's completely at odds with the original context and the original text.

The passage in Jeremiah starts with the king of Judah complaining about Jeremiah prophesying that Babylon will defeat Judah. Jeremiah responds that he made a real estate deal (bought a field with silver). Why? Because even after Babylon inevitably curb-stomps Judah, there is still hope in the future. The children of God might be going away for a while, but they'll be coming back.

That's all well and good, but it bears no relation to what Matthew is talking about:

1). There is no mention in Jeremiah that the field is a potter's field.
2). The price paid for the field is seventeen shekels of silver, not thirty pieces of silver.[1]
3). There is no indication in Jeremiah that seventeen shekels is anything other than the worth of the field - it is not mentioned as "the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced."
Again, we are faced with two possibilities: first, that Matthew had access to a version of Jeremiah that we do not; second, Matthew is doing whatever he wants with text. Matthew also cares nothing about the original context, or that the prophecy has already been fulfilled by the return of the Jews to Israel under Cyrus. He just does not give one iota of a crap about the principles we moderns use to interpret Scripture.

Point One: Prophecies may have multiple fulfillments

Re-Revised Point Two: The context may be misleading in prophecy
Point Three: Past, Present, and Future do not matter in prophecy
Revised Point Four: The exact wording does not matter in prophecy
Next: [BTT034] Mat 27:35 / Psalm 22:16-18

[1]Arguably, the thirty pieces of silver could possibly weigh seventeen shekels. Even if this is the case, the prophecy specifies a weight of silver, not a number of coins.

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