How did Judas kill himself?

      According to Matthew, Judas son of Simon Iscariot hung himself (Matthew 27:5). According to Luke, Peter said that Judas fell headlong in a field where his body burst open (Acts 1:15-19). This may seem like a contradiction, however, it is not impossible. It is likely that he hung himself and the weight of his dead, bloated body broke either the rope or the tree limb and his body fell onto the ground, where his entrails spilled forth from the impact. It is even possible that he died from both -- that he may have attempted to hang himself and fell some distance to the rocky ground. In either case, however, it was left to the eyewitnesses and the secondary reports of the disciples as to how Judas was killed -- whether witnesses saw him hanging or saw his body on the ground after it had burst open, and which event the disciples then recorded.

        So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests picked up the coins and said, "It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money." So they decided to use the money to buy the potter's field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. (Matthew 27:5-8)
        "With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood." (Acts 1:18-19)

      What seems more of a contradiction, however, is the account of who bought the field -- the chief priests or Judas. The chief priests took the money that Judas left behind and bought the field. Peter no doubt knew this, yet attributed the purchase to Judas nonetheless. Since it was Judas' money, it was then Judas' field, especially since it was his own burial field. The important fact of the event, though, is that it did fulfill Old Testament prophecy in two ways (Matthew 27:9-10, Acts 1:16, 1:20): that the field was purchased from the potter as prophesied by Jeremiah --quite possibly in the Valley of Ben Hinnom near the Potsherd Gate (Jeremiah 19)-- and that Judas was to be appointed to oppose Jesus, then cut off and replaced as prophesied by David (Psalm 69:22-28, 109:6-19).

        May the table set before them become a snare; may it become a retribution and a trap. May their eyes become darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever. Pour out your wrath on them; let your fierce anger overtake them. May their place be deserted; let their be no one to dwell in their tents. For they persecute those you wound and talk about the pain of those you hurt. Charge them with crime upon crime; do not let them share in your salvation. May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous. (Psalm 69:22-28)
        Appoint an evil man to oppose him; let an accuser stand at his right hand. When he is tried, let him be found guilty, and may his prayers condemn him. May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership. May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. (Psalm 109:6-9)