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Judas Iscariot or Scariot

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JUDAS ISCARIOT or SCARIOT. lob5as laKapiLe or ZKaptc.b0. The twelfth apostle and the traitor (Matt. x. 4). The term Iscariot or Scariot is used also of his father, Simon (John vi. 71; I xiii. 26). The usual explanation of "Is cariot" is a "a man of Kerioth" (Ish Kerioth). If this was the Kerioth in Judah (Josh. xv. 25), it implies only that he alone of the twelve was not a Galilean. If the Kerioth in Moab (Jer. xlviii. 24), it suggests also that he was of heathen environment, or even origin, as was the last of the Seven Deacons (Acts vi. 5), who presumably became the founder of the Nicolaitans (Rev. ii. 6). There is one parallel case to this transliteration of Ish in II Sam. x. 6, 8, where Ish Tob ("a man, or 'men' of Tob") is represented in the Septuagint by lareo0 or 'Eco-T(.43 and in Josephus (Antt. vii. 6, I § 121) by "Io-rof3os. Jerome, however, prefers the meaning "of Isachar." "For Isachar is interpreted `gain,' to signify the reward of the traitor" (on Matt. x. 4, Vallarsi, vii. 57).

There is, however, no little evidence for the reading "Scariot." So the Palestinian Syriac always, the Old Syriac generally, and the Peshitta Syriac and Aphrahat as often as "Iscariot." In Syriac tradition therefore no stress was laid on the first syllable, and the meaning of "man" was not given to it. In view of the and Pseudepigrapha (1913).

Travers Herford

, Christ in Talm. and Midr. (19o3).

facts that it is very rare for the first syllable of words beginning with a vowel and an "s" which is followed by another consonant to be omitted (Israel is shortened to Srahel once in Crom. and to Srhl once in T.Z. of the Vulgate MSS. of the N.T.), whereas there is an universal tendency to prefix a vowel to words beginning with "s" especially with "sk" (e.g., Shekaniah becomes 'Io avia, I Chr. xxiv. i 1. See also further Albrecht, Neuhebr. Gram. auf. Grund der Mishna, 1913 § 10), it seems probable that the Syriac writers thought primarily not of "Iscariot" but of "Scariot." This indeed is read by D in most places in the Synoptic Gospels, and once in the Fourth (John vi. 71), and is a very common read ing in other Greek MSS. and the Latin MSS.

What then does "Scariot" mean? The Tosephta (2nd cent.) of Nedarim iv. 3 has Iscortya (var. lect. Scortya), and the Jeru salem Talmud of Nedarim vii. 3 p. 40c has Scortya without ex planation. But in the parallel passage in the Babylonian Talmud (Nedarim 55 b) both forms occur, and the explanation given by Rabba bar BarChanah (c. A.D. 300) is "a coat of leather." It is, in fact, the Latin scorteus, the feminine of which, scortea, is used especially of a leathern garment. Hence John Lightfoot remarks "Now in such aprons they had purses sewn, in which they were wont to carry their money" (Exercit. on Matt. x. 4, Pitman xi. 172). Judas, however, held not a bag but a box for the money (John xii. 6; xiii. 29), but a portable box would certainly have been covered with leather to preserve it from the Eastern sun. Thus "Scariot" ("Iscariot") may refer to Judas

as the one who kept the money-box. If, however, Westcott and Hort's text of John vi. 71; xiii. 26 is really right, in applying the term to the father of Judas it may be that the family were work ers in leather.

Judas' object in betraying his Master is regarded in the Gospels as due to selfishness based on avarice. De Quincey thinks that it was rather to compel our Lord to display His Messianic power in saving Himself and delivering the nation (Judas Iscariot, 1857, Masson, viii. 177-206).

There are two accounts of what was done with the money that Judas received. Acts i. 18 says that he bought a field; Matt. xxviii. 3-8 that he threw down the money into the temple and the High Priests bought a field for a cemetery. This may be due to different traditions. But if his money was used ultimately to buy Akeldama it might well be said that he himself bought it.

It is difficult, still more difficult, to reconcile the statement of Matt. xxvii. 5 that Judas hanged himself, with that of Acts i. 18, that he became so swollen Orpnviis) that he burst asunder.

Many worthless tales were written in the Middle Ages about the history of Judas before the time he associated himself with our Lord. The popular hatred of Judas has sometimes been strangely expressed. In Corfu the people on Easter Eve throw down quantities of crockery into the streets, thus executing an imaginary stoning of the traitor.

(See Lord Kirkwall, Ionian Islands, 1864. ii. 47 sq.) Cf. the detesta tion of Haman expressed by Jews at Purim. (A. L. W.) the Cercis Siliquastrum of botanists, belong ing to the family Leguminosae. It is a native of southern Europe and Asia Minor, and forms a handsome low tree with a flat spreading head. In spring it is covered with a profusion of purplish-pink flowers, which appear before the leaves. The flowers have an agreeable acid taste, and are eaten mixed with salad or made into fritters. The tree was frequently figured by the older herbalists. One woodcut by Castor Durante has the figure of Judas Iscariot suspended from one of the branches, illustrating the popular tradition regarding this tree. Another species, C. canadensis, the American Judas-tree, called also redbud, is found in North America from southern Ontario to eastern Nebraska and southward to Florida, Texas and Mexico, and differs from the European species in its smaller size and pointed leaves. The still smaller Texas redbud (C. reniformis), with kidney-shaped leaves, occurs in eastern Texas and adjacent Mexico; and the shrubby California redbud (C. occidentalis) is found chiefly in foothills and mountains in the interior parts of the State. The Chinese Judas-tree (C. chinensis), native to eastern Asia, with large, whitish-margined leaves, is planted as an ornamental shrub.