Then one of them, which was a lawyer
Or that was "learned", or "skilful in the law", as the Syriac and Persic versions, and Munster's Hebrew Gospel read. The Ethiopic version calls him, "a Scribe of the city", of the city of Jerusalem; but I do not meet with any such particular officer, or any such office peculiar to a single man any where: mention is made of "the Scribes of the people" in ( Matthew 2:4 ) and this man was one of them, one that interpreted the law to the people, either in the schools, or in the synagogues, or both; and Mark expressly calls him a "Scribe": and so the Arabic version renders the word here; and from hence it may be concluded that the lawyers and Scribes were the same sort of persons. This man was by sect a Pharisee, and by his office a Scribe; or interpreter of the law, and suitable to his office and character, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying:
he put a difficult and knotty question to him, and thereby making a trial of his knowledge and understanding of the law; and laying a snare for him, to entrap him if he could, and expose him to the people, as a very ignorant man: and delivered it in the following form.