The chief priests took counsel (ebouleusanto oi arcierei). First aorist middle indicative of bouleuw, old verb, seen already in 11:53 which see. The whole Sanhedrin ( 7:32 ) had decided to put Jesus to death and had asked for information concerning him ( 11:57 ) that might lead to his arrest, but the Sadducees were specially active now to accomplish the death of Lazarus also (ina with first aorist active subjunctive of apokteinw as in 11:53 ). Perhaps they argued that, if they should kill both Jesus and Lazarus, then Lazarus would remain dead. The raising of Lazarus has brought matters to a crisis. Incidentally, it may be observed that here we may see the reason why the Synoptics do not tell the story of the raising of Lazarus, if he was still living (cf. the case of Malchus's name in John 18:10 ).