thirty pieces of silver

The money Judas Iscariot received for betraying Jesus to the authorities. He later threw the money into the Temple of Jerusalem (see also Jerusalem), and the chief priests bought the “potter's field” with it, to be used as a cemetery for foreigners.

Note

This money is referred to as “blood money” — money received for the life of another human being.

Note

“Thirty pieces of silver” is also used proverbially to refer to anything paid or given for a treacherous act.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.