Came round about him (ekuklwsan auton). Aorist active indicative of kuklow, old verb from kuklo (cycle, circle). See Acts 14:20 for the circle of disciples around Paul when stoned. Evidently the hostile Jews cherished the memory of the stinging rebuke given them by Jesus when here last, particularly the allegory of the Good Shepherd ( Acts 10:1-19 ), in which he drew so sharply their own picture. How long dost thou hold us in suspense? (ew pote thn psuchn hmwn airei;). Literally, "Until when dost thou lift up our soul?" But what do they mean by this metaphor? Airw is common enough to lift up the eyes ( John 11:41 ), the voice ( Luke 17:13 ), and in Psalms 25:1 ; Psalms 86:4 (Josephus, Ant. III. ii. 3) we have "to lift up the soul." We are left to the context to judge the precise meaning. Clearly the Jews mean to imply doubt and suspense. The next remark makes it clear. If thou art the Christ (ei su ei o Cristo). Condition of first class assumed to be true for the sake of argument. Tell us plainly (eipon hmin parrhsiai). Conclusion with eipon rather than the usual eipe as if first aorist active imperative like luson. The point is in "plainly" (parrhsiai), adverb as in Psalms 7:13Psalms 7:26 which see. That is to say "I am the Christ" in so many words. See Psalms 11:14 ; Psalms 16:29 for the same use of parrhsiai. The demand seemed fair enough on the surface. They had made it before when here at the feast of tabernacles ( Psalms 8:25 ). Jesus declined to use the word Cristo (Messiah) then as now because of the political bearing of the word in their minds. The populace in Galilee had once tried to make him king in opposition to Pilate ( John 6:14 ). When Jesus does confess on oath before Caiaphas that he is the Christ the Son of God ( Mark 14:61 ; Matthew 26:63 ), the Sanhedrin instantly vote him guilty of blasphemy and then bring him to Pilate with the charge of claiming to be king as a rival to Caesar. Jesus knew their minds too well to be caught now.