What is Akeldama in the Bible?

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By BibleAsk Team


What is Akeldama in the Bible?

Akeldama, also known as the Field of Blood, is a place mentioned in the Bible, specifically in the New Testament. It is associated with the betrayal and death of Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus. The name “Akeldama” comes from the Aramaic words “Hakel Dama,” which translate to “Field of Blood.”

The field was purchased by the chief priests with the thirty pieces of silver Judas had returned to them after feeling remorse for betraying Jesus. They used this money, which they considered blood money, to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners, thus fulfilling a prophecy referred to in Matthew 27:7-10, which cites the words of the prophet Jeremiah.

Akeldama is traditionally located in the Valley of Hinnom, near Jerusalem. This area has a long history associated with death and burial, which adds to the somber significance of the site.

1. The Betrayal of Jesus:

The story of Akeldama begins with the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot. Judas, one of the twelve disciples, agrees to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.

Matthew 26:14-16 (NKJV): “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 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. So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.”

2. The Last Supper:

The betrayal is spoken of during the Last Supper, where Jesus identifies Judas as the one who would betray Him.

Matthew 26:20-25 (NKJV): “When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve. Now as they were eating, He said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.’ And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, ‘Lord, is it I?’ He answered and said, ‘He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me.

The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.’ Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, ‘Rabbi, is it I?’ He said to him, ‘You have said it.'”

3. Judas’ Remorse:

After the betrayal, Judas experiences remorse and attempts to return the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests.

Matthew 27:3-5 (NKJV): “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.”

4. Purchase of the Potter’s Field:

The chief priests, unwilling to put the money back into the treasury because it was blood money, decide to use it to purchase a field for burial. This field becomes known as the Field of Blood, or Akeldama.

Matthew 27:6-8 (NKJV): “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.”

Acts 1:18-19 (NKJV): “Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.”

5. Fulfillment of Prophecy:

The events surrounding Akeldama are seen as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. The use of the thirty pieces of silver to purchase the potter’s field is reminiscent of prophecies found in the books of Zechariah and Jeremiah.

Zechariah 11:12-13 (NKJV): “Then I said to them, ‘If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.’ So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’—that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord for the potter.”

Jeremiah 19:1-13 (NKJV): (Jeremiah’s symbolic action at the potter’s house).

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