Topic: Jesus and 30 pieces of Silver

Old Testament Prophetic Verses Included

A thousand years before Jesus was crucified King David wrote Psalm 22: the key of understanding the 30 pieces of silver.

  • THE LAW:
    Exodus 21:32 If the ox gores (pierces) a servant (Jesus), he shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver.
    Isaiah 42:1 “Behold! My Servant (Jesus) whom I (God) uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
    “Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.” The bull from Psalm 22 is the ox of Exodus 21:32; Jewish leaders who sought Jesus’ life.
  • Psalm 22
    My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me,
    And from the words of My groaning? O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear;
    And in the night season, and am not silent. But I am a worm (slave/servant), and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people. All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, “He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”
  • Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me. They gape at Me with their mouths, Like a raging and roaring lion.
    • The bulls or oxen are the powerful Jewish Leaders who sought the death of Jesus and were responsible for having him pierced (gored). The bull from Psalm 22 is the ox of Exodus 21:32. Bashan is the place of giants alluding to the strength of these Jewish Leaders in positions of the community.
  • I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax;
    It has melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death.
  • For dogs (gentiles) have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
    They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me.
    They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.
  • But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me; O My Strength, hasten to help Me!
    Deliver Me from the sword, My precious life from the power of the dog (gentile).
    Save Me from the lion’s mouth (king’s decisions) and from the horns (powers) of the wild oxen (Jewish leaders!

According to Exodus 21:32 the strong oxen (the Priests) who gored and pierced Jesus paid Judas 30 pieces of silver. Judas bargained with the Jewish Priests:

  • Zechariah 11:12 Then I (Judas) said to them (the priests), “If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain (don’t) .” So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. (They agreed)

Thirty pieces of silver is the amount to redeem someone from the slave market. The slave is valued at thirty shekels. From this perspective, Jesus is priced as a slave.

Thirty pieces of silver was the price of contempt even though silver itself has been valued as a precious metal.

Matthew 27:30 Then they (the soldiers) spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head.

The following verses are prophetic of Jesus’ betrayal, crucifixion, and the curses the Jewish leaders brought down upon their nation:

  • Psalm 68:30 Rebuke the beasts (bulls/strongmen who gore) of the reeds (literally: spear-men who pierce), The herd of bulls (leaders) with the calves of the peoples, (He) submit (ed) himself with (to) pieces of silver. Scatter the peoples (among the nations) who delight in war.
  • Psalm 22:12 Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me. (bulls “gore’, “pierce”) (As a slave, Jesus is gored/pierced and the betrayers must pay thirty pieces of silver)
  • Isa 42:3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax (literally wick of a candle which gives light) shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.

A reed is literally a spear-man who pierces, like the soldier who drove the spear into Jesus’ side.

The smoking flax is truth which gives spiritual light to the world.

Matthew 27:26b when he (Pilate) had scourged Jesus (flogged Jesus with a Roman scourge), he delivered Him to be crucified.

In one of his Satires, Horace called for “a rule to assign fair penalties to offenses, lest you flay with the terrible scourge (horribili flagello) those who are only deserving of the lash (scutica),” precisely because the scourge caused deeper wounds and could even lacerate the flesh.

Because of its brutality flagellation was feared: it produced deep wounds and could even lead to death. Unlike Jewish law, which had a maximum of forty lashes, Roman law did not provide for limits. Flavius Josephus offers accounts of flagellations carried out in Palestine where the strokes were delivered with such strength that they exposed the victim’s innards. He also confirms that scourging was a prelude to crucifixion. Andrea Nicolotti is a faculty member in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Turin.

By Jesus’ time, there was a longstanding rule that free Roman citizens were exempt from scourges and rods, which were only to be used on foreigners, slaves and gladiators.

By Roman standards, Jesus was a foreigner (Jewish). By God the Father’s standard, Jesus was a servant (the word is akin to being a slave both meaning to serve in obedience).

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