Matthew 2:4
Parallel Verses
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
Clarke'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

the chief.

Matthew 21:15,23 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying...

Matthew 26:3,47 Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, to the palace of the high priest...

Matthew 27:1 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:

1 Chronicles 24:4-19 And there were more chief men found of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar, and thus were they divided...

2 Chronicles 36:14 Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen...

Ezra 10:5 Then arose Ezra, and made the chief priests, the Levites, and all Israel, to swear that they should do according to this word...

Nehemiah 12:7 Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chief of the priests and of their brothers in the days of Jeshua.

Psalm 2:2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,

John 7:32 The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him...

John 18:3 Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees...


Matthew 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Matthew 13:52 Then said he to them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed to the kingdom of heaven is like to a man that is an householder...

2 Chronicles 34:13,15 Also they were over the bearers of burdens, and were overseers of all that worked the work in any manner of service...

Ezra 7:6,11,12 This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given...

Jeremiah 8:8 How do you say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? See, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain.

Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests...

Luke 20:19 And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people...

Luke 23:10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.

John 8:3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought to him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the middle,

Acts 4:5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,

Acts 6:12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came on him, and caught him, and brought him to the council,

Acts 23:9 And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man...

he demanded.

Malachi 2:7 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.

John 3:10 Jesus answered and said to him, Are you a master of Israel, and know not these things?

The 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.
1. AMONG THE JEWS. This History, as to its essential features, might, a priori, be sketched with tolerable certainty. From the nature of the case, we could scarcely expect that the Jews should have adopted views altogether erroneous as to the subject of the prophecy in question; for the Messiah appears in it, not in His humiliation, but in His glory--rich in gifts and blessings, and Pelagian self-delusion will, a priori, return an affirmative answer to the question as to whether one is
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

Chronology of the Life of Christ.
See the Lit. in §14, p. 98, especially Browne, Wieseler, Zumpt, Andrews, and Keim We briefly consider the chronological dates of the life of Christ. I. The Year of the Nativity.--This must be ascertained by historical and chronological research, since there is no certain and harmonious tradition on the subject. Our Christians aera, which was introduced by the Roman abbot Dionysius Exiguus, in the sixth century, and came into general use two centuries later, during the reign of Charlemagne, puts
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I

Literature. I. Sources. The works of the Greek and Roman Classics from Homer to Virgil and the age of the Antonines. The monuments of Antiquity. The writings of the early Christian Apologists, especially Justin Martyr: Apologia I. and II.; Tertullian: Apologeticus; Minucius Felix: Octavius; Eusebius: Praeparatio Evangelica; and Augustine (d. 430): De Civitate Dei (the first ten books). II. Later Works. Is. Vossius: De theologia gentili et physiolog. Christ. Frcf. 1675, 2 vols. Creuzer (d. 1858):
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I

Matthew 2:3
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