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Morrish Bible Dictionary


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The word Ἀκελδαμα, 'field of blood,' is Aramaic expressed in Greek letters, the word being differently spelt in different MSS. The field was bought with the money paid to Judas for betraying his Lord but which he in despair could not keep. In that sense he bought the field, Acts 1:18,19 ; whereas it was really purchased by the chief priests, Matthew 27:6-8 ; cf. Zechariah 11:12 . The traditional spot is on the slope of the hill south of Jerusalem, where there is a ruined structure, long used as a charnel-house. It is some 20 feet deep, with a few decaying bones at the bottom. Tradition says that the bodies were thrown into it, and that the soil possessed the power to consume them in 24 hours. Shiploads of the earth were carried away to form European burial grounds in the time of the Crusades. The soil cretaceous would favour the decomposition of the bodies.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Aceldama'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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