Ancient Sources

Mount Ephraim and Benjamin


58. Aceldama

ORIGINAL TEXTS

Aceldama. Ager sanguinis. Qui hodieque monstratur in Aelia ad australem plagam montis Sion.
(Jerome 39:26-27)


ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Eusebius, Onomasticon 38:20-21 (ca. 295 A.D.); Jerome 39:26-27 (ca. 390 A.D.)
Aceldama (Matt 27:8), the "Field of Blood" in the Gospel. This is shown to this very day in Jerusalem to the north (Jerome: to the south) of Mount Sion.

BIBLICAL BACKGROUND

Zech 11:12-13 "They weighed out as my wages thirty shekels of silver"
I then said to them, "If it seems right to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them." So they weighed out as my wages thirty shekels of silver.
Then the Lord said to me, "Throw it into the treasury" - this lordly price at which I was valued by them. So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them into the treasury in the house of the Lord.

Matt. 27:3-10 The chief priests buy the Field of Blood
When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.
He said, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." But they said, "What is that to us? See to it yourself."
Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself.
But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, "It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since they are blood money."
After conferring together, they used them to buy the potter's field as a place to bury foreigners.
For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.
Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah, "And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one on whom a price had been set, on whom some of the people of Israel had set a price, and they gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord commanded me.

Acts 1:18-20 Judas buys the Field of Blood (Hakeldama)
Now this man [Judas] acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.
This became known to all the residents of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their language Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
"For it is written in the book of Psalms, 'Let his homestead become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it'; and 'Let another take his position of overseer.'

MORE ANCIENT SOURCES

Anonymus Placentinus, Itinerarium 26 (ca. 570 A.D.)
Leaving Siloam we came to the field which was bought whit the price for the Lord, and is called Aceldama. 'the field of blood in which the bury stranger'. Among the tombs are the cells of servants of God, many of them workers of miracles. The whole area covred by the tombs is full of aplle-trees and vines.

Adamnanus, De locis sanctis I,19 (ca. 670 A.D.)
Our friend Arculf often made a pilgrimage to this small plot on the southern side of mount Sion. It has a stone wall. A large number of strangers have been buried there with some care, but there are some others who have been carelessly left unburied, merely having been covered with clothes or skins. They lie rotting on the surface of the soil.


Map Section 5 Place Discussion

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Created Saturday, December 16, 2000 at 13:06:42
by Eugenio Alliata ofm in collaboration with Stefano de Luca ofm
Webmaster: John Abela ofm - Space by courtesy of Christus Rex
copyright - Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem 2000