They feared Him

Mark 11:18 AV
And the scribes¹ and chief priests heard ‭[it]²‭,
and sought³ how they might destroy⁴ him:
for they feared⁵ him,
because all the people⁶ was astonished⁷ at his doctrine⁸.‭

¹) A scribe was a religious teacher: so instructed that from his learning and ability to teach advantage may redound to the kingdom of heaven‭ (see below for more).
²) The word “it” was added for readability.
³) To seek [in order to find out] by thinking, meditating, reasoning, to enquire into‭.
⁴) To put out of the way entirely, abolish, put an end, to ruin‭, to render useless‭, to kill‭, to put to death‭.
⁵) To fear, be afraid of one‭, to be scared.
⁶) The crowd, the multitude.
⁷) Struck with amazement, astonished, amazed‭.
⁸) Greek: διδαχή‭ (didache) ‭- teaching‭

Other translations

And the chief priests and the scribes heard [of this] and kept seeking some way to destroy Him, for they feared Him, because the entire multitude was struck with astonishment at His teaching. [AMP]

And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching. [ESV]

The high priests and religion scholars heard what was going on and plotted how they might get rid of him. They panicked, for the entire crowd was carried away by his teaching. [MSB]

And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine. [KJV]

The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. [NIV]

When the leading priests and teachers of religious law heard what Jesus had done, they began planning how to kill him. But they were afraid of him because the people were so enthusiastic about Jesus' teaching. [NLT]

And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching. [NKJV]

Study

And the Scribes and chief priests heard it

The Scribes and chief priests heard the reproof Jesus gave to the money changers, buyers, and sellers in the temple; and His strict prohibition that none should carry any vessels through it; and the argument He used from the prophecy of Isaiah, and the sharp rebuke He gave for the profanation of the holy place.

Scribes

In the Bible, a scribe is a man who is learned in the Mosaic law and in the sacred writings, an interpreter, a teacher.
Scribes examined the more difficult and subtle questions of the law; added to the Mosaic law decisions of various kinds thought to elucidate its meaning and scope, and did this to the detriment of religion.

Since the advice of men skilled in the law was needed in the examination in the causes and the solution of the difficult questions, they were enrolled in the Sanhedrin; and are mentioned in connection with the priests and elders of the people.

Scribes‭ anciently held various important offices in the public affairs of the nation.
The Hebrew word so rendered (sopher) is first used to designate the holder of some military office (Judges 5:14‭ A.V., “pen of the writer”; R.V., “the marshal’s staff”; marg., “the staff of the scribe”).
The scribes acted as secretaries of state, whose business it was to prepare and issue decrees in the name of the king ‭(2 Samuel 8:17, 20:25; 1 Chronicles 18:16, 24:6; 1 Kings 4:3; 2 Kings 12:9,10,11, 18:13–37;‭ etc.).
They discharged various other important public duties as men of high authority and influence in the affairs of state.

There was also a subordinate class of scribes, most of whom were Levites.
They were engaged in various ways as writers. Such, for example, was Baruch, who “wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord” ‭(Jeremiah 36:4,32).
‭ In later times, after the Captivity, when the nation lost its independence, the scribes turned their attention to the law, gaining for themselves distinction by their intimate acquaintance with its contents. On them devolved the duty of multiplying copies of the law and of teaching it to others ‭(Ezra 7:6, 7:10,11,12; Nehemiah 8:1,4,9,13‭)

It is evident that in New Testament times the scribes belonged to the sect of the Pharisees, who supplemented the ancient written law by their traditions ‭(Matthew 23:1-36) thereby obscuring it and rendering it of none effect.

The titles “scribes” and “lawyers” (q.v.) are in the Gospels interchangeable (Matthew 22:35; Mark 12:28; Luke 20:39;‭ etc.).
They were in the time of our Lord the public teachers of the people, and frequently came into collision with him. They afterwards showed themselves greatly hostile to the apostles ‭(Acts 4:5, 6:12)‭ Some of the scribes, however, were men of a different spirit, and showed themselves friendly to the gospel and its preachers.

Thus Gamaliel advised the Sanhedrin, when the apostles were before them charged with “teaching in this name,” to “refrain from these men and let them alone” ‭(Acts 5:34-39,‭ compare Acts 23:9‭)

chief priest, high priest‭

‭‭The chief priest, or high priest‭ was honoured above all others with the title of priest, he was the chief of priests.

It was lawful for him to perform the common duties of the priesthood; but his chief duty was, once a year on the day of atonement, to enter into the Holy of Holies (from which the other priests were excluded) and offer sacrifices for his own sins and the sins of the people, and to preside over the Sanhedrin, or Supreme Council, when convened for judicial deliberations.

According to Mosaic law, no one could aspire to the high priesthood unless he was of the tribe of Aaron and descended from a high priestly family; and he on whom the office was conferred held it till death.

But from the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, when the kings of Seleucideae and afterwards the Herodian princes and the Romans arrogated to themselves the power of appointing the high priests, the office neither remained vested in the pontifical family nor was conferred on any for life; but it became venal, and could be transferred from one to another according to the will of civic or military rulers.

Hence it came to pass, that during the one hundred and seven years intervening between Herod the Great and the destruction of the holy city, twenty–eight persons held the pontifical dignity.‭

‭The high priests, in addition to holding the high priestly office, both those who had previously discharged it, and although disposed, continued to have great power in the State, as well as the members of the families from which high priest were created, caused that they had much influence in public affairs.‭

And sought how they might destroy him

They took counsel together to take away his life, for they hated reformation

For they feared him

They feared that He should go on, and make great changes and alterations among them, which would affect their credit and character, and their gains also, and draw the people after him.

Because all the people were astonished at His doctrine

The people were astonished at His doctrine because He spoke with words like no one did, and His manner of speaking was also very different from what they used to hear from the Scribes and Pharisees. His words were with majesty, power, and authority.

And also the miracles, by which His word was confirmed, as well as the reformation and discipline He was introducing; which was done with such a sovereignty and power, that it was amazing to them.

Doctrine

● Characteristics of‭ the teachings of the Christ are:
‭‭ ▪︎ Imperishable ‭(Mark 13:31)
‭‭ ▪︎ Gracious ‭(Luke 4:22)
‭‭ ▪︎ Mighty ‭(Luke 4:32)
‭‭ ▪︎ Spiritual ‭(John 6:63)
‭‭ ▪︎ Life Giving ‭(John 6:68)
‭‭ ▪︎ Incomparable ‭(John 7:46)
‭‭ ▪︎ Words of Judgment (John 12:48)
‭‭ ▪︎ Divine ‭(John 14:24; 1 Timothy 6:3)

● Promises to those who Keep the teachings of the Christ are: (Luke 2:51)
‭‭ ▪︎ Eternal Life ‭(John 8:51)
‭‭ ▪︎ The Abiding Comforter (John 14:15,16)
‭‭ ▪︎ Divine Fellowship (John 14:23)
‭‭ ▪︎ Divine Disclosure ‭(John 17:6)
‭‭ ▪︎ Assurance ‭(1 John 2:3)
‭‭ ▪︎ Access to God (Revelation 3:8)

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The Jewish leaders, being those who took part in the Sanhedrin (the scribes, the Pharisees, and the chief priests), are here representative of those who heard Jesus’ words, took offense at them, but did not intervene.

The evangelist now openly states that they intend to put Jesus out of the way because they are afraid of the influence He has with His teaching on the people (all the crowd), compare Mark 1:22.

With the growth of Jesus’ popularity among the people, they lose their following, endangering their own position.

Twitter: @SchoemakerHarry
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