Maarten J.J. Menken, «The Old Testament Quotation in Matthew 27,9-10: Textual Form and Context», Vol. 83 (2002) 305-328
The source of the fulfilment quotation in Matt 27,9-10 must be Zech 11,13, but the biblical text is distorted to a degree that is unparalleled in the other fulfilment quotations, and Matthew ascribes the quotation to Jeremiah. Another difficulty is that the quotation seems to have influenced the context to a much larger extent than in the case of the other fulfilment quotations. A careful analysis of the text shows that the peculiar textual form can be explained in a relatively simple way. The influence of the quotation on Matt 27,3-8 is limited, and is best ascribed to Matthew’s redaction. After all, this fulfilment quotation appears to be less exceptional than it is sometimes supposed to be.
Matthew is the only evangelist to relate, in the context of his passion narrative, that Judas repents and returns his traitor’s money to the chief priests and elders, and that the priests use it to buy a field to bury strangers in (27,3-10). He has inserted the scene in his Markan framework 1 immediately after the Council has sentenced Jesus to death and delivered him to Pilate (27,1-2): now that Judas perceives the fateful effect of his act (cf. 27,3), he repents. The insertion is slightly awkward in that, immediately before and after the inserted piece, the chief priests and elders are with Pilate (see 27,1-2.12), but during it they are in the temple (see 27,5).
At the end of the episode, we meet one of Matthew’s fulfilment quotations, the last one to appear in his gospel. Just as the other fulfilment quotations, it is introduced by Matthew’s standard but slightly flexible formula, in this case: "Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, when he said" (completely identical to 2,17). Just as the other fulfilment quotations, it is a reflection after the event, that can be omitted without a loss of flow to the story line. It reads as follows (I add a literal English translation):
(9) kai_ e!labon ta_ tria/konta a)rgu/ria,
th_n timh_n tou= tetimhme/nou o$n e)timh/santo a)po_ ui(w=n 'Israh/l,
(10) kai_ e!dwka au)ta_ ei)j to_n a)gro_n tou= kerame/wj,
kaqa_ sune/tace/n moi ku/rioj.
(9) And I took the thirty silver pieces,
the price of the one priced, whom some of the sons of Israel had priced,
(10) and I gave them for the potter’s field,
as the Lord directed me.
I presuppose that instead of the 3rd pers. pl. e!dwkan that is printed in modern editions, we have to read the 1st pers. sg. e!dwka, with ) B2vid W sys.p.h (and a few other witnesses)2. To explain the singular as an