Christian reading

Issue N20

answers for a jew, valeriy sterkh

Answers for a Jew

Does Jesus fulfill the prophecies about Messiah? (part 13)

Messiah betrayed by a close friend: «I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He [Judas Iscariot] that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me» (Jn 13:18). The underlying prophecy: «Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me» (Ps 41:9).

The cost of betrayal: «Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy [Jeremiah] the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me» (Mt 27:3-10). Saint Jerome of Stridon writes: «We do not find this testimony in Jeremiah. We find something similar to it in Zachariah who was, perhaps, one of the last prophets. And though the meaning is not exactly the same, the wording and order are different. Recently I read in one of the Jewish scrolls, which I obtained from a Jew belonging to a Nazarene sect, a sacred writing of Jeremiah in which this passage is quoted verbatim. However, I am inclined to think that this testimony is, most likely, borrowed from Zachariah, because the Gospel writers and Apostles usually refer only to the Old Testament meaning, with the order of words slightly changed». The underlying prophecy: «And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD» (Zech 11:12-13).

(to be continued)