Luke 20:20

They watched him (parathrhsante). First aorist active participle of parathrew, a common Greek verb to watch on the side or insidiously or with evil intent as in Luke 6:7 (parethrounto) of the scribes and Pharisees. See on "Mr 3:2". There is no "him" in the Greek. They were watching their chance. Spies (enkaqetou). An old verbal adjective from enkaqihmi, to send down in or secretly. It means liers in wait who are suborned to spy out, one who is hired to trap one by crafty words. Only here in the N.T. Feigned themselves (upokrinomenou eautou). Hypocritically professing to be "righteous" (dikaiou). "They posed as scrupulous persons with a difficulty of conscience" (Plummer). That they might take hold of his speech (ina epilabwntai autou logou). Second aorist middle of epilambanw, an old verb for seizing hold with the hands and uses as here the genitive case. These spies are for the purpose of (ina) catching hold of the talk of Jesus if they can get a grip anywhere. This is their direct purpose and the ultimate purpose or result is also stated, "so as to deliver him up" (wste paradounai auton). Second aorist active infinitive of paradidwmi, to hand over, to give from one's side to another. The trap is all set now and ready to be sprung by these "spies." Of the governor (tou hgemono). The Sanhedrin knew that Pilate would have to condemn Jesus if he were put to death. So then all their plans focus on this point as the goal. Luke alone mentions this item here.