New International Version
When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born.
King James Bible
And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
Darby Bible Translation
and, assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ should be born.
World English Bible
Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he asked them where the Christ would be born.
Young's Literal Translation
and having gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he was inquiring from them where the Christ is born.
Matthew 2:4 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
The chief priests - Not only the high priest for the time being, called כהן הראש cohen ha-rosh, 2 Kings 25:18, and his deputy, called כהן משנה cohen mishneh, with those who had formerly borne the high priest's office; but also, the chiefs or heads of the twenty four sacerdotal families, which David distributed into so many courses, 1 Chronicles 24. These latter are styled סרי הכהנים sarey ha-cohanim, chief of the priests, 2 Chronicles 36:14; Ezra 8:24; and ראשי הכהנים roshey ha-cohanim, heads of the priests, Nehemiah 12:7. Josephus calls them by the same name as the writers of the New Testament. In his Life, sect. 8, he mentions πολλους - των Αρχιερεων, Many of the chief priests. The word is used in the singular in this last sense, for a chief of the priests, Acts 19:14.
Scribes - The word Γραμματευς, in the Septuagint, is used for a political officer, whose business it was to assist kings and civil magistrates, and to keep an account in writing of public acts and occurrences. Such an officer is called in Hebrew ספר המלך seper hamelech, ὁ γραμματευς του βασιλεως, the king's scribe, or secretary. See Lxx. 2 Kings 12:10.
The word is often used by the Lxx. for a man of learning, especially for one skilled in the Mosaic law: and, in the same sense, it is used by the New Testament writers. Γραμματευς is therefore to be understood as always implying a man of letters, or learning, capable of instructing the people. The derivation of the names proves this to be the genuine meaning of the word γραμμα: a letter, or character, in writing: or γραμματα, letters, learning, erudition, and especially that gained from books. The Hebrew ספר or סופר sopher, from saphar, to tell, count, cypher, signifies both a book, volume, roll, etc., and a notary, recorder, or historian; and always signifies a man of learning. We often term such a person a man of letters.
The word is used Acts 19:35, for a civil magistrate at Ephesus, probably such a one as we would term recorder. It appears that Herod at this time gathered the whole Sanhedrin, in order to get the fullest information on a subject by which all his jealous fears had been alarmed.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryThe First-Fruits of the Gentiles
'Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2. Saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him. 3. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5. And they said …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
History of the Interpretation.
Chronology of the Life of Christ.
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
"In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:
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