The St. Onuphrius Greek Orthodox Monastery.
Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”” — Matthew 27:8-10
I don’t know about you but the sight of a lot of blood always creates a sense of urgency and shock. Where did it come from? What happened? Can the bleeding be stopped? How serious is it? But a pool of blood? Please call 9-1-1.
In Israel there is a biblical archaeological site that exists today called in Hebrew Akeldama or “Field of Blood” (Acts 1:18-19). It was originally known as “the potter’s field” (Matthew 27:7) which was a burial place for unknown, unclaimed or indigent people. It’s located in the Hinnom Valley just outside of Jerusalem. There’s no blood there anymore but at one time it was a site to be avoided. Before it was purchased by the Jewish authorities, for “thirty pieces of silver,” but it also had a demonic history that goes as far back as the time of King Solomon and may have involved some his many wives (970-931 B,C.). We’re told it was a field where live children were sacrificed to the god of Ba’al, known as Molech (Jeremiah 19:1-13). Sound familiar? The site was also referred to by early Jews as a punishment area, or a “hell on earth.” *
In New Testament times, as we also know from Scripture, it was the place where Judas Iscariot’s body was quickly buried after he hanged himself—having suddenly repented of betraying Jesus. He returned the same “thirty pieces of silver” given him by the chief priests and elders (Matthew 26:14-16, 27:3-7). Akaldema is now the site of a Greek Orthodox Monastery which was built there in 1874.
Many geographical sites in biblical history are identifiable today, although it sometimes takes a lot of searching and digging. But guided by the Scriptures, that’s what archaeologists do. Based on the continuing discovery of those locations, we can have confidence that the Bible is true. As my friend and one of the world’s most respected archaeologists, Dr. Steven Collins says, there is not one place in the history of Scripture where any geographical sites are ever made up or fantasized. None. If they’re named in the Bible, they are a real location.
The reality of future events spoken of by prophets of old, will and have been fulfilled in the New Testament age. For example, Jesus fulfilled 324 prophecies about his coming and ministry.** No other writings of any group or man-made organization can make that claim.
Jeremiah is quoted as saying that what he spoke was “directed by the Lord” (Matthew 27:9-10). Paul’s letter to Timothy verifies this fact, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
So dear saints, we can trust that the sites written about in the Bible are real, both the prophets who spoke and the future events they spoke of in the Bible are real, and the words of Scripture are real. Also, if you ever go to Israel, and I hope you do, you may visit the monastery that sits over the “Field of Blood”—but by all means visit the empty tomb! It’s by far much more moving, exciting, impressive, encouraging and inspiring. It helps verify the most monumental event in human history, the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. — Maranatha!