The proof text for this idea comes from Matthew 27. The story is the account of Judas betraying Jesus for thirty pieces of silver; but he then later feels remorse and attempts to return the thirty silver pieces to the chief priests. They don’t accept the money, so Judas throws it at their feet and then goes out and hangs himself. After Judas’ death, the silver is used to buy the potter’s field, as a burial place for foreigners.
Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.” – Matt. 27:9-10
This prophecy is only attributed to Jeremiah, and yet it includes a major portion from Zechariah as well. In these passages, the idea of buying a field with silver in obedience to the command of the Lord is the overarching narrative. Here are the passages in question:
“I knew that this was the word of the Lord; so I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel and weighed out for him seventeen shekels of silver.” – Jeremiah 32:8b-9
You, Sovereign Lord, say to me, “Buy the field with silver and have the transaction witnessed.” – Jeremiah 32:25
I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord. – Zechariah 11:12-13
In the above references we have the Lord’s command to buy the field, and we have the price for the land of seventeen shekels. At first glance, seventeen shekels doesn’t sound like thirty pieces of silver, but here’s where a little history and some math come in. For the temple, the half-shekel was the official silver coin for temple usage. In ancient Israel, there were multiple shekel weights and even different standards for measurement that were sometimes utilized, so it is not possible to be completely certain about the precise weights of shekels or pieces of silver. There are, however, sources we can refer to make a good estimate . In Jeremiah’s day, the shekel is believed to have been in the range of 12.9 grams; but by the first century they were using Tyrian shekels that weighed about 14.3 grams. Half-shekels were used for the temple tax, so a standard “piece of silver” would have been half of Jeremiah’s shekel . Using those numbers, the seventeen shekels of Jeremiah were equivalent to thirty pieces of silver (i.e., thirty Tyrian half-shekels) in the first century . The Jeremiah passages don’t give us the reference to the potter’s field, though. That additional information comes from Zechariah. Therefore, we get the primary instruction from Jeremiah, but there are addi-tional details in the account from Zechariah. This example teaches us that revelations from different prophets can be combined into one prophetic narrative—like connecting puzzle pieces together.