"Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed.." Matthew 27:5 N.K.J.V.

To understand Judas entering the naon we need to understand "naon".

  1. What normally went on there.

  2. What laws or customs defined the area.

  3. What the "naon" was would have defined, in part, what it meant for Judas to enter it.

  4. Might it be relevant that Jesus did not enter the "naon" but only the "hiero"?

    Summary: What is the meaning of "naon" in this verse?

Jesus taught in the temple precinct, hiero, Mat 26:55 Luke 21:37 John 8:20.

But naon Luke 1:9 The sanctuary and the Holy of holies. Thayer.

  • 1
    Your question does not at all make clear what naon and hiero and vaon mean or are referring to. Could you please edit to give necessary clarification.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 27, 2020 at 15:06
  • @Nigel J Is it clear now?
    – C. Stroud
    Mar 27, 2020 at 17:03
  • BDAG simply calls the "naos" in Matt 27:5, "the entire temple precinct"
    – Dottard
    Mar 28, 2020 at 1:45
  • @Dottard Trench gives three pages in "Synonyms of the New Testament" to why only the priests were allowed in the naos. I don't see Trench's arguments in your BDAG quotes. Trench and Thayer appear to me to be in agreement.
    – C. Stroud
    Mar 28, 2020 at 11:32
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it can be answered either by reviewing a lexicon or by reading entire books on practices of worship in the Second Temple Period, and is therefore either trivial and self-answering or too broad, and it’s unclear which is intended.
    – Dan
    Apr 10, 2020 at 3:34

2 Answers 2


enter image description here Image courtesy of Berthold Werner / Public domain

Through the Gate of Nicanor was the Court of the Israelites. Between the Court of the Israelites and the Holy Place was the Court of Priests where the alter was, and the tables of slaughter. So, the area beyond the Gate of Nicanor, in the midst of which stood the Holy Place, is likely what Thayer considered to be "The Temple". However, this area was only accessible to Israelite men.

Luke records:

1And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. 2And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. 3And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
4For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

-- Luke 21:1-4 (KJV)

Since the widow cast her two mites into the Treasury, then "The Treasury" could not have been beyond the Gate of Nicanor where only Israeli men had access.

John records that after the incident with the woman caught in adultery, Jesus continued talking with the Pharisees:

12Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
20These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.

-- John 8:12,20 (KJV)

John is indicating here that "The Temple" includes "The Treasury", since Jesus said these words "in the treasury, as he taught in the temple", but the "The Treasury" as shown above could not have been within what Thayer considered to be "The Temple", i.e. the area beyond the Nicanor Gate.


After Judas cast down the money in "The Temple":

... the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.
-- Matthew 27:6 (KJV)

It is very likely that Judas' casting down of the money took place in the vicinity of "The Treasury", which couldn't have been near the Holy Place since the Holy Place was beyond the Gate of Nicanor, beyond the Court of the Israelites in an area of the Temple to which only the priests had access.

  • In "Synonyms of the N.T. Trench concludes his comparison of hiero with naos with "in defiance and despair" Judas "presses even into the naos itself into the "adytum" which was set apart for the priests alone".
    – C. Stroud
    Mar 28, 2020 at 15:26
  • 1
    I appreciate what he says, but what has he given in support of his view? John infers that "The Temple" (naos) includes "The Treasury", and "The Treasury" was accessible to women. So, in the absence of further detail, Judas could have thrown down the coins anywhere in the vicinity of "The Treasury". Perhaps he threw them through the Gate of Nicanor into "The Temple" proper. It is unlikely in the extreme that he thew the coins into the Holy Place since it was forbidden for him to go beyond the Court of the Israelites in order to do so.
    – enegue
    Mar 28, 2020 at 20:29
  • 1
    I agree - in the absence of more precise information (which the Bible would have given if it were important), we cannot say anything further.
    – Dottard
    Mar 28, 2020 at 21:11
  • @Dottard Your comment accepted.
    – C. Stroud
    Mar 29, 2020 at 11:12

The word for "temple" used in Matt 27:5 is ναός (naos). The meaning given by BDAG is:

a place or structure specifically associated with or set apart for a deity, who is frequently perceived to be using it as a dwelling, temple.

ναός (naos) occurs 45 times in the NT and can be classified (according to BDAG) as follows:

  1. of temples generally, eg, Acts 17:4, 19:24
  2. of the temple at Jerusalem, eg, (the entire temple precinct) Matt 23:17, 35, 27:5, 40, Mark 14:58, Luke 1:21, John 2:20, Acts 7:48; (the holy place and the most holy place) Matt 27:51, Mark 15:38, Luke 23:45, etc.
  3. the heavenly sanctuary Rev 14:15, 17, 15:6, 8, 16:1, 17, etc.
  4. of the human body, eg, 1 Cor 3:16, 17, 6:16, 19, Eph 2:21.
  5. of Jesus physical body, John 2:19, 20, 21.

Therefore, all that can be said about the "temple" in Matt 27:5 is that because Judas threw the money "into the temple", he was possible somewhere in the temple courts and the coins landed somewhere in the temple building.

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